Community of Women Advisory Committee
Terms of Reference
The Consumer/Survivor Group was established by the York Region Violence Against Women Coordinating Committee (YRVAWCC/Coordinating Committee) as part of a Trillium grant in order to involve women who have experienced abuse in the work of the Coordinating Committee.
Through this Group, the York Region Violence Against Women Coordinating Committee will hear and benefit from the voices of women in York Region who have experienced woman abuse. The participation of consumer / survivors will expand the information available to ensure that services work well for abused women and their children.
Members of the Consumer/Survivor Group will bring the perspective and voice of women who have experienced abuse to the work of the YRVAWCC through the following activities:
- Working groups –Members of this Group may contribute to the work of the Coordinating Committee by participating as a member of the various Working Groups currently existing.
- Information sharing – Members of this Group will participate on the Coordinating Committee. They will gather information on the work of the CC and report back to the Group. Members will also provide updates on the work of the Consumer/Survivor Group to the Coordinating Committee.
- Contributing to discussions – Group members will participate equally in discussions at Coordinating Committee and Working Group meetings.
- Voting – Each member will sign the Terms of Reference for the Coordinating Committee. The Group will participate as a voting member of the Coordinating Committee and will be represented by the member of the Group who is in attendance at the Coordinating Committee meeting.
- Projects – The Group may choose to undertake projects, as agreed to by the Steering Committee.
- Community advocacy and public education – The Group will help to increase awareness of violence against women by working on advocacy and community education initiatives, as agreed to by the Steering Committee and in partnership with the Public Education Working Group.
Based on broad objectives set by the Steering Committee, the Consumer/Survivor Group will develop a workplan within the first six months that will be submitted to the Steering Committee for approval.
The Consumer/Survivor Group is accountable to the YRVAWCC through the Steering Committee.
This Consumer/Survivor Group will be comprised of 6 to 10 women who have successfully participated in the selection process and the orientation session.
Effort will be made to ensure that the members of the group reflect the diversity of backgrounds and experiences within York Region (e.g. ethno-cultural, socio-economic, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, geographic region, etc.).
Members will be appointed for a term of 18 months and can be reappointed for another term.
Membership may be voluntarily terminated by individual members or may be terminated by the Facilitator should a member not be able to meet the goals and objectives of the committee or not be able to respect the process and confidentiality of the Consumer/Survivor Group.
In order to be a member in good standing, regular attendance at meetings is required.
A member who is absent for three consecutive meetings, without providing the Facilitator with written or verbal notification and reason for such absence, shall be deemed to have resigned from the Group.
Meetings will be held every 6 to 8 weeks in a location that is respectful of the travel needs of participants.
A Facilitator and/or the YRVAWCC Coordinator will provide support to the Consumer/Survivor Group.
The Facilitator will be responsible for:
- Being present at all meetings;
- Supporting the Consumer/Survivor Group in the development and implementation of a workplan;
- Keeping Consumer/Survivor Group on task;
- Ensuring that minutes are taken; and
- Attending the Coordinating Committee meetings with one member of the Consumer/Survivor Group.
The Coordinator will handle all administrative matters, including setting up meetings, financial matters, and maintaining records.
One member of the Consumer/Survivor Group will be in attendance at each Coordinating Committee meeting. This person will report to the Coordinating Committee on the work of the Consumer/Survivor Group.
A review of the group will be conducted following its first year of existence to determine how well it is working. This will allow for any issues to be identified and addressed in order to support the effectiveness of the Consumer/Survivor Group.