There has been a dedicated Multi-Agency Development Service within GEWA since 2008, which is funded by the Scottish Government. A multi-agency response to domestic abuse is essential, particularly as there are so many agencies involved in the prevention of gender-based violence which include health services, the police, social work services, education, housing providers and voluntary organisations.
The purpose of a multi-agency approach is essentially to provide a safer, more resource effective response to survivors. There is a number of national and local multi-agency structures that exist to support domestic abuse survivors “Interagency work on domestic violence can be a way of getting statutory and voluntary agencies to tak e on the issue in a meaningful, coordinated way” (Hague, 2001, p. 305).
The multi-agency development worker attends and is proactive in a range of groups and forums which address the local priorities and needs of women, children and young people experiencing gender-based violence. These include the Glasgow Violence Against Women Partnership which has a city wide strategic responsibility to ensure resources are planned effectively and organisations are meeting their overall objectives.
The multi-agency service is also very active in the North East Violence Against Women Implementation Group which exists to plan, coordinate and evaluate services and activity within the area, ensuring any gaps are addressed and best practice is highlighted. The multi-agency worker is the link person for ensuring GEWA remain proactive in the planning, provision and discussion of service delivery in the North East area, and furthermore are at the centre of any community activity that seeks to prevent and reduce domestic abuse on an individual and societal level.