Foundation for Social Welfare Services

Address: Foundation for Social Welfare Services, 36, St Luke’s Road, Gwardamanġa, PTA 1318

Telephone: +356 22959000

Fax: +356 21225354

Aġenzija Appoġġ (Head Office)

Aġenzija Appoġġ, as the agency offering quality psycho-social welfare services to individuals and families inclusive of all diversities through empowering, advocating and safeguarding the well-being of these persons. Aġenzija Appoġġ, in collaboration with all stakeholders, provides welfare services of the highest possible standard for its service users, such that they are supported and empowered in addressing their needs and enhancing their quality of life.

Aġenzija Appoġġ, houses the Domestic Violence Services, which include the Domestic Violence Unit (DVU), the Domestic Violence Risk Assessment Service, the STOP! The Violence and Abuse Service, the Child to Parent Violence Service and the Għabex Emergency Shelter. These services are committed to the promotion of a society with zero tolerance to violence, and to bringing about positive and healthy changes in people’s lives – changes that will enable them to enhance their potential through the support, care and understanding that they receive from the professionals of the Agency.

The Domestic Violence Unit (DVU)

The DVU provides specialised social work services to adults and their children who are suffering abuse in the family and in intimate relationships. The service is made up of a team of professionals who support victims at the time of crisis by providing immediate assistance to meet their immediate needs. More specific aims and objectives of DVU include:

  • Providing support to adult service users who suffer abuse within intimate relationships, and to help them better understand and address their situation.
  • Assisting service users in developing safety plans.
  • Encouraging self-empowerment and helping service users and their children to overcome the effects of living in a violent environment.
  • Helping service users to find shelter when necessary.
  • Referring service users to other services and professionals as necessary.
  • Contributing to public education and awareness on domestic violence and promoting zero-tolerance to violence.
  • Formulating inter-agency domestic violence procedures and working in liaison with the concerned entities on the negotiation and application of these procedures.

Domestic Violence Risk Assessment Service

The Domestic Violence Risk Assessment Service offers immediate assistance to victims of domestic violence after they lodge a police report. Risk assessors carry out a risk assessment on the victim’s and children’s safety, so that a concrete safety planning strategy can be carried out to safeguard their lives, meet their needs and ensure that they are provided with long-term support by the professionals working within the DVU.

The team of professionals within this service is trained to carry out the risk assessment tool so that victims who file a police DV report are assessed on the level of risk they are in due to the violence they are experiencing. This assessment is carried out to identify the appropriate support services and protection for the victim. This service works on a 24-hour basis.

The aims and objectives of the Domestic Violence Risk Assessment Service include:

  • Aiding victims over the age of 18 years who suffer abuse within their family and intimate relationships.
  • Helping victims properly understand and address their situation.
  • Constructing safety plans together with the victims.
  • Helping service users find shelters when necessary.
  • Referring service users to social workers and other professionals working within DVU.
  • Liaising with the police and other concerned agencies to strengthen the relationship and cooperation between the DVU and ameliorate the service offered to victims of domestic violence.

Child to Parent Violence Service

Child to parent violence is when a child or children are abusive towards their parents or primary caregivers. Social workers are increasingly encountering situations where child to parent violence is a major issue. As a result, the Foundation for Social Welfare Services ensured that various professionals within the Foundation learn more about this social problem, participate in research, are professionally trained to effectively work on cases of child to parent violence. Following expert training, Aġenzija Appoġġ launched the service of Child to Parent Violence. This service falls under the bigger umbrella of the Domestic Violence Services (DVS).

The aim of the service is to engage the whole family or the most significant family members where there’s child to parent violence. This service works in a systemic manner with the social worker of the parents or primary care givers, and other professionals or services that are working with the family in order to address the various traumas that the family would have experienced. Individually and altogether as a family unit, professionals address safety issues to ensure that all the members of the family feel and are safe. Following this, the family or the most significant family members are encouraged to proceed with therapy to address any past issues of trauma or any other difficulties they might want to address.

STOP! The Violence and Abuse Service

The scope of STOP! is to assist men who are abusive in intimate relationships to become aware of, understand and take responsibility for their behaviour, thus encouraging change and more respect in their relationships. This is done through a group programme spanning over 22 weeks, which are then followed by an additional 8 support group sessions. Before being accepted to the programme, perpetrators have individual sessions with a professional who assesses their suitability for the programme. The service also liaises and communicates with the Domestic Violence Unit (DVU) regarding the progress of the perpetrator. The service users are also provided with a social work service when required and in times of crises.

The main learning outcomes for abusive service users include:

  • Learning to stop abuse and violence behaviour
  • Learning to identify trigger and danger signs
  • Learning to break out of isolation
  • Learning safer ways to express strong feelings
  • Learning to build healthy relationships
  • Learning to take responsibility for their behaviour

The STOP! The Violence and Abuse Services are committed to: 

  • Developing and contributing to services for the safety of women and children
  • Contributing to public education on domestic violence
  • Working towards developing a society with zero tolerance to violence

STOP! The Violence and Abuse Service: Flowchart