A Day in the Life of a Family Support Worker – Amman Valley
Samantha Davies is one of our domestic abuse specialists and family support worker based who is currently in our Amman Valley refuge.
In this role, she is responsible for the safety of the ladies who live within the refuge and empowering them by providing support along with guidance on the tools they need to rebuild their lives. This includes individual, one-to-one support sessions as well as for the children in the refuge. Samantha is also responsible for the everyday running of the refuge including all health and safety checks.
According to Samantha, there is no such thing as a typical working day as every day is different! In general, her working day is from 9 am to 5 pm unless she is on call. Her day begins with a catch up with the ladies in the refuge over a cuppa. Her priority is to see her service users first thing. This ensures that if they have any emergencies that they need support with then these takes priority. She then books in her daily support sessions for the afternoon, giving them the time to organise themselves during the day.
These support sessions can vary depending on what support is required and what needs to be done. No single day is the same; and this is one of the main reasons why Samantha loves her job. For example, some days are filled with completing paperwork and phone calls to liaise with other support agencies. Other days can include welcoming a new lady into refuge, settling her in making her feel welcome and most importantly safe. She could be then supporting her to contact local services such as the GP or going to the shops for food and necessities.
Her role as the refuge support worker focuses principally on providing support to the ladies and children in the refuge. At times, this can be complex as there is often a variety of matters that they need support with. The main goal is to keep the women and the children safe and empowering them to move on with their lives.
From 5pm, she prepares for the on-call service within the team. This ensures that the ladies within refuge are supported 24/7 for emergencies and that when there is availability within the refuge, there is access for that place at any time day or night.
What Samantha most enjoys about her job is working hands on with clients and seeing the ladies that receive support evolve and gain confidence. The ladies that arrive at refuge and engage in the support provided are not the same people when they leave, having become a new and empowered version of themselves.
The biggest challenge which Samantha has faced since she joined Calan DVS last August has been working under the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 epidemic and the implications this has had on all support services. The issues have included difficulties for the ladies at the refuge engaging within the community and accessing some local services.
On a final note, Samantha would like to say that working with the team at Calan DVS within the Amman Valley team has provided her with first-hand experience of working with the best bunch of colleagues who have made her feel so welcome. They really are a wealth of knowledge and really do go above and beyond to support their clients.