We believe that every woman and child experiencing domestic violence, and family homelessness have different needs and we are therefore committed to providing custom-made support to meet those needs.
Casa Ioana provides its services to women and children experiencing domestic violence and family homelessness. Although domestic violence is one of the leading causes of ‘homelessness’ for women and children, not all women and children who find themselves without a home will be experiencing domestic violence. While our psychosocial support is similar for both categories – support to access employment, childcare and affordable housing – we recognise that security and safety is a major concern for those leaving a domestic violence situation. To meet these safety concerns, the location of our domestic violence shelter is kept confidential.
Social exclusion is the consequence of a series of problems affecting an individual such as unemployment, discrimination, poor skills, low income, poor housing or lack of housing, ill health and family breakdown. When such problems combine, they can create a vicious cycle. Social exclusion has complex and multi-dimensional causes and consequences, creating deep and long-lasting problems for individual families, for the economy, and for society as a whole.
If you are a woman or child experiencing domestic violence and family homelessness and want to talk to Casa Ioana about your options, you can call us during normal office hours on +40 21 332 6390 or send us an email to office@casaioana.org.
You do not have to be a Romanian citizen to use our services; we often support women and children from other nationalities living in Romania.
Remember: always call 122 in an emergency.

Our services

Casa Ioana’s integrated ACASĂ programme meets the particular needs of families and individuals over an extended period. We work with a broad network of both public-sector agencies and other service providers to help women and children resolve all their problems and acquire the necessary skills and assistance they need to regain family stability and affordable housing. We address the multiple underlying issues of domestic violence and family homelessness, rather than simply focusing on providing short-term emergency shelter.
We are dedicated to improving our services and we work hard to learn about the people we work with, e.g. their backgrounds, their needs and their ambitions. We have a hugely varied group of people to support and are committed to providing the holistic and personalised support they need to move on with their lives.
Casa Ioana’s services fall under three general headings:

  • temporary accommodation
  • psychosocial support
  • peer support

Temporary accommodation

Casa Ioana manages two family shelters in Bucharest. We run a family shelter for women and children who are experiencing domestic violence and have nowhere to stay and another shelter for families experiencing homelessness.
Our family shelters are designed to provide temporary accommodation AND support services. We are not an emergency night shelter and our beneficiaries are expected to work with our psychosocial support team and plan towards self-dependency. Although Casa Ioana can provide its psychosocial support to women and children who live outside our shelters, we do not provide accommodation without the psychosocial support package.
If you need emergency accommodation only, please visit our useful links section to search for other options.

Family shelter for women and children experiencing domestic abuse

Please understand that we have limited places in our shelter and it is likely that we will not have a place for you and your family immediately. However, we will discuss the options with you and help you decide what is best for you and your family in the interim.
Domestic violence shelters play a critical role in providing support and safety for victims and their families. Shelters are especially important to victims who lack access to other resources, or who feel they have no other safe place to which they can escape.
Our domestic violence shelter provides seven families and three single women with safe temporary accommodation for up to a year if necessary, thus giving families and individuals more time to recover and move on with their lives.
If you have time and you are sure that it is safe, it will help if you can take certain things with you before you come to Casa Ioana. Some of the important things are documents like birth certificates, marriage certificates and legal papers, also keys, money and phone numbers. It will also make your early days in our family shelter easier if you can manage to pack a bag for yourself and your children with clothes, toiletries and other possessions. In certain circumstances, we might be able to take in pet animals but you must get our agreement first.
Do not worry though, if you leave in a hurry, Casa Ioana can provide you with essentials like food and toiletries when you get to the shelter.

Family shelter for families and single women experiencing or facing family homelessness

Please understand that we have limited places in our shelter and it is likely that we will not have a place for you and your family immediately. However, we will discuss the options with you and help you decide what is best for you and your family in the interim.
Transitional shelters play an important part in providing support and safety for women and children experiencing family homelessness.
Our family shelter provides thirteen families and six single women with safe temporary accommodation for up to a year if necessary.
It will help if you can bring certain things with you when you come to Casa Ioana. Some of the important things are documents like birth certificates, marriage certificates and legal papers, money and phone numbers. It will also make your early days in our family shelter easier if you can manage to pack a bag for yourself and your children with clothes, toiletries and other possessions.
Do not worry though, if you leave in a hurry, Casa Ioana can provide you with essentials like food and toiletries when you get to the shelter.

What do Casa Ioana’s family shelters provide?

Families are allocated their own rooms whilst single women share dormitories. Shared spaces include a kitchen, showers and toilets and a recreational area. Laundry facilities are also provided.
Our family shelters do not operate curfews and you may come as go as you please, although for security reasons, you will need to make prior arrangements if you come and go during the night.

Psychosocial support services

Through our unique ACASĂ programme, we provide comprehensive services that keep the family together whilst placing emphasis on empowering individuals: a process by which people are supported to take control of their daily lives and exercise choice. Empowerment means our beneficiaries have the authority to take decisions in matters relating to themselves, in relation to their daily lives and in connection to their self-development.
You do not have to live in one of our family shelters to receive psychosocial support. You can call us during normal office hours on +40 21 332 6390 if you want to talk to Casa Ioana about your options or send an email to office@casaioana.org.
Families and single women, where applicable, are allocated their own social worker who will help to build a trusting and empowering relationship between the two.
Casa Ioana has developed an extensive network of formal partnerships with public and private service providers to ensure the widest possible range of quality services for our beneficiaries.
Our support package includes, but is not limited to:

  • children’s education, activities and childcare
  • employment support and training
  • family mediation
  • individual and group counselling
  • legal advice and support in obtaining a temporary restraining order where applicable
  • medical support and advice
  • personal financial advice and training
  • support and advice on affordable housing

We place emphasis on supporting our beneficiaries to resolve the issues that hinder their social inclusion whilst at the same time, equipping them with essential resources so that if they meet a crisis in the future, they can cope.

Peer support

Peer support is a natural human response to shared difficulties and most people who have been through hard times empathise with and have an urge to reach out to others who struggle with problems that feel similar to their own. For example, an older woman with children shares her experiences with an overwhelmed new mother. A widow offers words of comfort to a woman whose husband has recently died. The desire for peer support relationships can be seen as a natural human response to shared struggles.
A “peer” is an equal, someone who has faced similar circumstances, such as experiencing domestic violence or social exclusion, In peer support, the people involved share similar experience. That is one of the key differences between peer support and professional services and treatment. “Support” is another way of expressing the kind of understanding and encouragement towards growth that people who struggle with similar issues can offer one another.
In Casa Ioana, we place great reliance on the positive outcomes that peer support offers. Our regular support groups – also referred to as self-help groups – are groups of people who meet to share common problems and experiences associated with domestic violence and social exclusion. In a support group, people are able to talk with others who are like themselves – people who truly understand what they are going through and can share the type of practical insights that can only come from firsthand experience.

Commitment to quality

Casa Ioana is committed to providing high quality services that meet the needs of women and children experiencing domestic violence and family homelessness.
At Casa Ioana, we believe that every woman and child is unique. We treat every woman and her children as individuals with different needs.
We believe that quality demonstrates the value of services to our funders and partners whilst at the same time, improving the satisfaction of beneficiaries, staff and volunteers. It helps to make monitoring and evaluation easier and allows our beneficiaries and stakeholders to know what to expect from Casa Ioana and our services.
We are accredited by The Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Protection and Elderly to provide social services. In 2010, Casa Ioana was awarded a European EQUASS Assurance accreditation certificate for providing quality services to our beneficiaries and other stakeholders.
Casa Ioana operates a systemic approach to supporting women and children experiencing domestic violence and family homelessness. This means that we ensure the same high standards of care and professionalism across all of our services.
No matter which service a beneficiary is using, she or he will be assured of the same high level of personal support.

How do we achieve high quality?

Casa Ioana is a learning organisation. We constantly strive to improve our services so that they meet the needs of women and children experiencing domestic violence and family homelessness.
Our professional psychosocial team, led by our manager, use a range of tools that enable us to monitor and evaluate our performance so we can continuously improve our service delivery.
Our Outcomes Star enables us to measure the difference that we make in the lives of our beneficiaries.
Everything we do in Casa Ioana is shaped by our beneficiaries. We regularly ask our beneficiaries what they think of our services and we act on their advice to ensure that we continue to meet their needs.
Casa Ioana also ensures that all members of staff receive ongoing and comprehensive training so that they can continue to provide services that meet the needs of our beneficiaries.

Training

We use a comprehensive, ongoing and consistent staff-training programme that keeps staff motivated and up-to-date with new concepts. Our training covers induction for new staff members and on the job training.

Induction and on the job training

Casa Ioana has developed an Organisational Manual that includes information on the practical and technical skills needed to prepare a new staff member. New staff members train next to more experienced staff allowing the new staff member to see firsthand the different facets of the position and develop a working relationship with other members of the staff team.

Staff development – ongoing training

Professional development leading towards specific new knowledge, or to the next level of expertise and encompasses:

  • graduate courses
  • attendance at conferences and workshops
  • study visits
  • team building

Casa Ioana conducts annual staff appraisals to help monitor standards, agreed expectations and objectives, and the delegation of responsibilities and tasks. They are also useful in establishing individual training needs.
Our volunteers also receive induction as well as on the job training where necessary.

Our Quality Statement

  • Casa Ioana is committed to the provision of a quality service, which is defined by our dedication to make a positive difference in the lives of women and children experiencing domestic violence and family homelessness. We do this primarily by providing temporary accommodation, easy access to innovative community-based psychosocial services and opportunities for peer support that assist them to achieve their full potential through participation and management of activities, and the provision of a committed and professional staff-team, volunteers and best practices.
  • We will provide services that comply with national requirements, and adopt and implement best practice. We will undertake our activities in a manner that enables our beneficiaries to access services and psychosocial support relevant to their needs. We will continually review the services we provide in terms of their accessibility, availability and appropriateness while ensuring that the use of the service on a day-to-day basis is monitored through the collection of relevant data.
  • We will promote genuine and meaningful stakeholder and community engagement. We will meet and, where appropriate, exceed the statutory requirements for consultation or engagement.
  • We will provide services whilst adhering to the practice and implementation of equal opportunities in service delivery both within and outside of Casa Ioana.
  • We will be accountable to all our stakeholders for the achievement of our vision, values and strategy for a better future, understanding and management of expectations, actions compatible with vision and values, monitoring of outcomes, accountability for results and a culture and governance that makes this possible.
  • We will ensure that services add value to our beneficiaries by taking action to ensure that improved services, activities and outcomes are delivered.