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Will I have to give up my house if I move into refuge?

No - you do not have to give up your home if you don't want to. If you claim Housing Benefit and are unsure about whether you wish to return home or not, Housing Benefit can be paid for your home and refuge accommodation for a limited period of time until you decide what you want to do e.g. give up your tenancy, have your partner removed or apply for permanent housing elsewhere.

What help will I receive?

Women's Aid workers will support you emotionally and practically. We can offer assistance with housing needs, safety planning, attending appointments, completing forms etc. When you leave refuge and move into your own home you will be offered "follow-on" support to help you settle in.

When in refuge Children & Young People's workers will also provide practical and emotional support for your children and can help with schools, nurseries, playgroups etc. You children will also be invited to take part in activities and outings.

How long will it be until I am rehoused?

It can vary from person to person. It depends upon a number of factors including how many bedrooms you need, availability of housing stock in the area and any medical needs. There is no "average" time.

Can my family and friends visit me?

On admission to refuge no external visitors will be permitted during an initial settling and safety planning period. This may take up to 6 weeks. During this time residents must make arrangements to meet friends and family away from the refuge. After the settling and safety planning period women and children living in refuge can arrange with their keyworker to have up to 2 named female visitors. The full details of our Visitors Policy will be explained to you on admission to refuge.

Can I have a pet in refuge?

Unfortunately pets are not allowed in refuge. Maybe you can ask a friend to look after your pet or you can contact Pet Fostering.

Do I need to come into refuge to use your service?

No - any woman who has experienced domestic abuse can access our support services. Any worker, friend or relative can contact us for information and support on your behalf. You can also call or drop into our office during opening hours.

Can my children attend a local school?

Yes, it is a requirement, both legally and within our policies that children of school age attend school.

Are there rent charges?

If you are in receipt of benefits you are entitled to claim Housing Benefit. If you are not entitled to Housing Benefit we will calculate the rent level you will be required to pay. You will be responsible for paying for your own gas and electricity while in refuge.

Where will I be re-housed?

We will advise you on re-housing and can liaise on your behalf if you require. You can be rehoused out with the Fife area if you have concerns about your safety.

Can I stay out overnight while I am living in refuge?

Yes, on occasion and as long as you inform us.

If I have a specific question or complaint about a service where do I direct this?

Where the complaint relates to the FWA counselling service and the FWA Complaints policy has been exhausted, complainants can submit a complaint to COSCA (Confederation of Scottish Counselling Agencies). The complaint should be made in writing using the procedures laid down in the COSCA Complaints Procedure, which is available on the COSCA website.  When it is not possible for the complainant to submit the complaint in writing, COSCA offers assistance for the complaint to be made.

A complaint from a third party (ie not a service user) about the FWA counselling service may be accepted where the third party alleges that the counselling service provided (i) breached the COSCA Statement of Ethics and Code of Practice and (ii) had a direct and adverse effect on the third party submitting the complaint.

At the conclusion of any complaint concerning the FWA counselling service, a report will be submitted to COSCA using the procedure provided for on the COSCA website.


16 Melville Terrace




Telephone:      01786 475140




Suite 1, First Floor, Saltire House, Pentland Park,
Glenrothes, Fife. KY6 2AL
Telephone Support: 0808 802 5555
Business: 01383 732289

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Fife Women’s Aid is a charitable company limited by guarantee Co. No. SC316350
Registered Office: Suite 1, First Floor, Saltire House, Pentland Park, Glenrothes, Fife. KY6 2AL
Registered Scottish Charity SC011689