The Orange House evaluated: how does the systemic approach in open shelters work? Presentation of research 2017 – 2019 (橘屋評鑑:如何全面管理開放式庇護所?2017-2019年的研究成果展示)

11/06/2019 - 13:45 to 11/06/2019 - 15:15
Proposal(Workshop / Presentation)
Coordinating organization: 
Blijf Groep
New Methods in Shelter Management and Social Work
Organization Name: 
Blijf Groep (Blijf集團)
Proposer: Essa Reijmers
Describe your workshop/presentation (300-500 words): 
The innovative Dutch Orange House Approach that Blijf Groep uses since 2011 completely changed the way in which shelters work. The approach entails a new type of women's shelter and new working methods: the Orange House provides shelter and care in a safe, but open and visible setting, within the community. Not secret, but safe has been our motto from the start. The interventions break with the traditional ‘behind closed doors’ approach where relevant stakeholders were not included in the solution. This was changed with this systemic approach, focusing on the social context of the family and the environment and working with all family-members, including (if safety allows) the (ex-) partner/perpetrator. The approach puts much focus on the impact of domestic violence on children and on the concept of safe parenting after domestic violence.
We now have more than 7 years experience with this approach, there are 3 Orange Houses and more underway: what do we see in practice, what are the experiences of the women and their children in the Orange Houses? A large-scale study on intergenerational transfer of patterns of domestic violence (2016 – 2020) is currently being conducted in the Netherlands by the Verwey Jonker Institute. As part of this broader study research has been done under 100 clients of 2 Orange Houses. Jointly, a small scale study has been done with women from migrant backgrounds that do not speak Dutch, but come tot he Orange Houses as well. The research, which is scheduled to be finished by the end of 2019, gives us valuable insights on both the profiles of the women we serve (trauma, type and intensity of violence etc.) and on the effects of our approach on safety, traumatization and well-being. As this study is part of a larger research project, there will also be data on other approaches, so to enable us to assess effectiveness in a broader perspective.
As there has been quite some interest in this systemic approach and the new concept of safety, we want to present the results of this important research to an international audience and discuss conclusions, dilemma’s and open ends with colleagues from diiferent horizons.
All Speakers:
Katinka Lünnemann
Katinka Lünnemann is Coordinator of the Domestic Violence Research program and senior researcher at the Verwey-Jonker Institute. She is skilled in qualitative and quantitative methods and legal competences.
She has been doing research in the field of domestic and sexual violence for thirty years. She did the independent research on the first Orange House (2009) and leads the current 3-year research program in
the Orange Houses of Alkmaar and Amsterdam.
Claire Loeber
Claire Loeber (1983) finished Interdisciplinary Social Sciences at the University of Utrecht in 2007 and started her professional career
at Child Protection Services (The Hague), where she specialized in the drastic effects of domestic violence, abuse and neglect on
children. The main tasks of this job were risk analysis and coordinating the professional care.
After 5 years of working for Child Protection services, she wanted to focus more on working directly with clients on a future without violence and preventing abuse
and focus more on parents/parenting after domestic violence. So she started working as a social worker for Blijf Groep 3 years ago, and still does this passionately.
Her main focus is on safety and empowering women during their stay in the Orange House. Giving insight in how domestic violence is a dynamic in the relationship
where many times both many times both partners are part of the solution, is a big part of her approach. She strongly believes in including all family members in the professional care,
since she experienced that this has a positive effect on everyone. Because she is such a big fan of the systemic approach, she decided to start formal training as systemic family therapist.
She has actively supported the research of the Verwey-Jonker Institute from the start.
Essa Reijmers
Essa Reijmers is senior-policy advisor Innovation & Development Blijf Groep. She led the project in which the Orange House approach was developed (2008 - 2012). Blijf Groep now has Oranje Houses in the cities of Alkmaar, Amsterdam and Almere. She is facilitator and organizer of the independant research that is currently being done by the Verwey Jonker Institute.