Case management has been Femili PNG’s core focus since the organisation started operations in Lae in 2014. Through its centres in Lae, Port Moresby and Goroka, Femili PNG has assisted over 4,800 survivors of family and sexual violence (FSV), child abuse, and sorcery accusation-related violence (SARV) by working closely with partners. From learned experience, Femili PNG has seen case management as an effective approach in assisting survivors of abuse and violence. Therefore, it is in the interest of the organisation to share knowledge and methodologies of case management with service provider partners to promote a collaborative response in helping survivors and addressing violence more effectively.
In collaboration with the Eastern Highlands Provincial (EHP) Community Development office, Femili PNG facilitated a four-day Case Management training program from 21 – 24 February 2022 to 17 participants in Goroka. This was the third training provided to partners in Goroka under the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls in all communities. The majority of participants were from the Community Development office, with a few from other stakeholders such as the Family Support Centre, Family & Sexual Violence Unit, Meri safe haus, and local NGO, the Kafe Urban Settlers Women’s Association.
The topics discussed in the training included: client privacy and confidentiality, the responsibility of service providers in relation to confidentiality, case management and its different stages, developing plans of action, implementation of action, follow-up and case monitoring, evaluation of outcome, and case closures.
Participants shared the many challenges that they face when assisting survivors of violence. Common issues included limited human resources and insufficient funding. The EHP Community Development Advisor Ms Siviri Lalave was present and heard partners share these challenges. She thanked Femili PNG for providing support and organising the training, saying “Femili PNG has come in to fill the gaps, where we did not know where to connect and how to connect.” She added, ‘’this training that Femili PNG is helping and equipping us with, and filling the gap that we have, it is a blessing from God.’’
Femili PNG CEO Ms Daisy Plana also expressed appreciation to the participants for attending the training despite their busy schedules, and for embracing the knowledge shared. The discussions and activities in the training helped participants to realise ways they can manage cases, and address some of the challenges they were faced with. One of the key lessons learnt was case conferencing, which helped participants recognise the importance of coordination for positive outcomes. The participants were grateful for the training and are eager to put into practice what they have learnt.
Through its case management outpost in Goroka co-located with the Provincial Community Development office, Femili PNG continues to work in partnership with service providers and organisations who have been committed to addressing FSV and SARV issues in Eastern Highlands Province.
Feedback from participants
Teiyo Benaka works as the Medical Social Worker with the Family Support Centre (FSC) at Goroka General Hospital.
Currently there are only two officers at the FSC attending to patients from the hospital outpatient, walk-ins and referrals from other partners. Mr Benaka expressed a need for additional staff, especially case managers and clinical counsellors who can assist with the overload of cases.
From the training, Mr Benaka found it interesting and helpful to learn about coordinating and case conferencing. He said, ‘”this training is helpful, and it is like a tool for us to use.’’ Mr Benaka is eager to put into practice what he has learnt from the training. He is also optimistic in seeing positive changes, especially for FSC Goroka to have the capacity to see patients and operate similarly to Port Moresby and Lae.
Constable Joylyn Yariyari works with the Family and Sexual Violence Unit (FSVU) in Goroka.
Constable Yariyari didn’t just follow her father’s footsteps in joining the force, but was motivated to join because she saw how women did not have a voice and were not treated equally, especially in the highlands communities. She decided to become a police officer so she can help vulnerable women.
Constable Yariyari was grateful for the training, stating that the police station is the first place that people go to when they face problems. “This case management training that I attended is very helpful to me as a young constable who just joined the force,’’ she said. She expressed that it’s not easy working as a young female police officer, but she continues to push on despite the challenges.
One of the things that Constable Yariyari will try to work on after the training is to have a filing system in place. She also realised the importance of gaining the client’s trust and case conferencing, which are helpful practices that will add value to her work.
Femili PNG remains grateful to the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative for supporting the case management training in Goroka. Femili PNG Goroka case management outpost is also supported by the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative and the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program.