Il-Milja is a therapeutic setting which provides holistic services for women and their children who are escaping various forms of violence. Its team is made up of social workers, residential support assistants, social support workers, care workers, and a therapeutic team. The set up offers a communal living arrangement which supports the principle of women helping women that is highly promoted by women’s organisations. However, each family lives in a separate flatlet, thus enabling and empowering women to develop independent living which supports them to live a life free from violence and abuse. It also offers the space for families to continue functioning as a family within a space which can be personalised and which is dignified. The stay is usually 18 months long, depending on the individual’s case and family care plan. The team works with every member of the family to assess their needs and to identify appropriate interventions which enable a family to live in a healthy and safe manner.
The shelter accommodates twelve families, and the number of service users can be up to 36 individuals including children. Il-Milja shelter is also available to women who are accompanied by their grown children as well as those women accompanied by pets. The support offered covers the area identified below which amongst others include:
- Individual psychosocial support
- Training and employment
- Parenting after experiences of violence
- Financial management especially in cases where financial abuse prevailed
- Maintaining a safe and healthy home
- Support to deal with the impact of the traumatic events which were experienced by the women and their children
- Facilitating the access to legal support
- Support to find alternative accommodation
- Support to access community resources
- Enabling the women and children to break the cycle of violence
- Empowering the women to take decisions which protect them and their children best
- Supporting women and children escaping violence to acknowledge their strengths and once again believe in themselves and their capabilities
The service accepts referrals from the Foundation of Social Welfare Services. Every person who is referred is assessed by a social worker and the Home Manager of il-Milja to ensure that the service can meet their needs. The shelter operates mainly as a second stage shelter. However, in case where there are no available placements in the emergency shelters, admissions within our shelter are possible. The service also offers an after-care service for a period of around six to twelve months.