CFS LEGAL SERVICES

ORGANIZATION

The advocacy department consists of 3 staff members who provide a large range of advocacy services to assist victims of family violence. The department consists of the following staff:

Director for Legal Services
Client Advocate
Advocate Assistant

RESPONSIBILITIES

It is essential that all members of the advocacy team understand their role in assisting clients by providing them with a foundation in which they are able to make informed decisions regarding their individual lives. It is essential that the philosophy of empowerment be the cornerstone of the advocacy process. Empowerment restores a victim's power and control over his/her own life as well as the opportunity to see them self as a strong survivor.

Advocacy is a concept as well as an action. As such, we must remind ourselves of the ethics and values that are the foundation for advocacy and social justice work. By the nature of our work, we set ourselves apart as ethical people. We seek to empower those we serve with information and offer safe places in which they can make their own choices. It is imperative that, at the very least, we do no harm. Therefore, we must:

• Live ethically and practice ethically.
• Think independently and use independent judgment.
• Resist individual, organizational, professional and societal pressures that are morally harmful.
• Do not practice, condone or facilitate any kind of discrimination.
• Advise those we work with of their rights, risks, opportunities and obligations associated with service to them and provide accurate and complete information regarding the extent of those services.
• Withdraw services precipitously only under the most unusual circumstances and with careful consideration of the recipient's rights.
• Inform those they serve of the limits of confidentiality.
• Engage in dialog and feedback rather than avoidance.

DEVELOPMENT OF ACTION PLAN

• The objectives of devising an immediate plan of action are to secure the client's immediate safety, address primary needs and empower the client with the belief that they will survive outside the relationship and that EVERYONE deserves a violence-free life for themselves and their family. The plan is formulated through a three-step process:

Crisis Intervention

Assessment

Screening

OUR STAFF:

• Listen - Make an effort to really hear something and to pay attention.
• Inform – Impart information.
• Facilitate – Assist and make the process easier.
• Empower – Authorize and invest with power.

OUR SERVICES INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:

• Crises Intervention
• Assistance with Restraining Orders
• Legal Clinic (Dissolutions and Parentage)
• Referrals Based on Need
• Safety Planning
• Family Violence Education
• Court Accompaniment


The above services are offered at our business center located at 510 W. Main St., Suite 106 in El Centro, CA. For further information please call 760-353-6922 or email jpritchard@womanhaven.org.