Capacity Building for Frontline Staff: First Response Toolkit

November 6, 2018 @ North York Civic Centre

On November 6th 2018, Toronto West Local Immigration Partnership (TWLIP), in collaboration with other Toronto LIPs, delivered its city-wide forum – Capacity Building for Frontline Staff: First Response Toolkit” at North York Civic Centre.  This forum is an initiative of TWLIP’s Women Against Violence Action Group that aims to promote the message that gender-based violence is everyone’s issue to address, and to support local community organization to enhance their knowledge and build their capacity to address this issue.

The capacity building event was a half day event and was designed for front-line staff from outside the Violence Against Women (VAW) Sector. Participants were provided with the opportunity to learn how to utilize the First Response Toolkit (3rd edition)  that was developed by the Women Against Violence Action Group, to effectively identify and work with clients who are victims of gender-based violence.

The forum began with a short presentation by a motivational speaker from the community who had experienced and survived abuse, then followed by the toolkit training provided by the Action Group members. Participants learnt about various tools and resources that they can use to identify and support violence against women clients. The training also included a Question and Answer (Q&A) period for the participants to ask their questions to the presenters. It was an interactive session and both the participants and the presenters were able to engage in a lively discussion.

All participants also took part in a facilitated case scenario group activity. In this activity participants were divided in four smaller groups, each group was given a real life case scenario and was asked to discuss the scenario by referring to the toolkit. Each of the groups then presented a summary of their discussion, outlining the points below:

  • The type of abuse in the scenario
  • The underlying issues evident, and whether or not the group is ready to serve the client
  • Evaluation of the risks (type and level) involved in the scenario
  • A safety plan for the client involved and a referral chart

This activity allowed participants to utilize all aspects of the toolkit so that they become familiar with the content and are able to take actions to support clients.

The day ended with a closing remark, recognizing that November is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Canada, and re-emphasizing that gender-based violence is everyone’s Issue to address and not just the “experts” in VAW sector.

See the following resources shared at the event: