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Training needs assessment of workers providing services to battered women Morrow, Dawn M. 1993

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TRAINING NEEDS ASSESSMENT OFWORKERS PROVIDING SERVICES TO BATTERED WOMENByDAWN MARITA MORROWB.A.(Hons.), University of Manitoba, 1981A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Department of Counselling Psychology)We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAJuly, 1993Vancouver, B.C.© D. Marita Morrow, 1993In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature) Department of 6oi t=n-zere6-, ".4. el-4n The University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate^412/.) /923DE-6 (2/88)iiAbstractThe purpose of this study was to determine the training needs ofworkers who provide services to battered women and thecharacteristics of workers who would be willing to train astrainers to educate other workers. The data were collected by twomail-out questionnaires returned by 118 frontline workers and 53administrators from agencies providing services to battered womenin seven communities in British Columbia. Two focus groups wereconducted to examine the training needs of special groups, onewith native workers in the northeastern region of the province,and one with workers from other cultural minorities in the LowerMainland. Frontline workers who responded to the questionnairereported how much training they had received and how competentthey felt about their knowledge and skills related to workingwith battered women. Questions on sex role attitudes and theWife-beating is Justified Scale (Saunders, Lynch, Grayson, &Linz, 1987) were included to measure workers' attitudes towardwomen and battering. A Pearson-product moment correlation foundthat levels of competence regarding knowledge and skills werepositively correlated with the number of hours of trainingreceived (r=.80, p<.01, and r=.67, p<.01, respectively) and withsex role attitudes (r=.42, p<.01, and r=.52 r R<- 01 ,respectively). Areas in which further training is needed, asindicated by lower levels of training and competence amongfrontline workers, included legal issues, suicide, cross-culturalawareness, dating violence, forced sex in marriage, immigration,and lesbian battering. The focus group data supported the neediiifor cultural-sensitivity training. Workers who were willing to betrained as trainers reported having fewer years of experienceworking with battered women, but more training and competence inlegal issues and more competence in planning and leading supportgroups than non-trainers. They were also more likely to haveexperienced abuse. The administrators provided backgroundinformation about their agencies, and indicated how much trainingon battering they had provided for workers and whether they werewilling to sponsor further training. Both workers andadministrators acknowledged the need for more training onbattering and indicated that, to be accessible to the majority ofworkers providing services to battered women in the province,training programs should be delivered locally.ivTable of ContentsAbstract ^iiTable of Contents ^ivList of Tables ^viAcknowledgements^  viiIntroduction ^1Literature Review ^4Interdisciplinary Approaches to Family Violence ^4Training ^8Needs Assessment ^16Summary ^20Research Questions ^22Part I: Questionnaires ^24Method ^24Sample ^24Questionnaire Development ^32Procedure ^35Data Analysis ^36Results ^39Frontline Workers' Questionnaire ^39Administrators' Questionnaire ^51Discussion ^54Part II: Focus Groups ^59Method^  59Sample ^60Procedure ^62Data Analysis ^65Results ^66Native Workers' Focus Group ^66Cultural Minority Workers' Focus Group ^68Discussion ^72Conclusions ^74vLimitations ^80Implications ^82Suggestions for Further Research ^83References ^85AppendicesAppendix A.^Frontline Workers' Questionnaire ^89Appendix B.^Administrator's Questionnaire ^98Appendix C.^Covering and Follow-up Letters^ 102Appendix D.^Tables D-1, D-2, D-3^  106Appendix E.^Tables E-1, E-2, E-3  110Appendix F.^Focus Group Questions andStatement of Consent^  114Appendix G.^Recommendations  117List of TablesTable 1.^Frequency of administrators and workersresponding by agency and community ^25Table 2.^Demographic characteristics of frontlineworkers' and potential trainers andnon-trainers ^28Table 3.^Services provided, work frequency, workcapacity and years of experience workingwith battered women ^30Table 4.^Services provided by agencies, capacity ofworkers, and sources of funding reportedby administrators ^31Table 5.^Training received by frontline workers ^40viTable 6.Table 7.Table 8.Table 9.Table D-1.Frontline workers' levels of competenceregarding their knowledge of issues relatedto working with battered women ^41Intercorrelations among variables ^43Frontline workers' level of competenceregarding their skills when working withbattered women^  44Conditions of training for potential trainersby level of importance ^50Training received by potential trainers^ 107Table D-2.^Potential trainers' levels of competenceregarding their knowledge of issues relatedto working with battered women^ 108Table D-3.^Potential trainers' levels of competenceregarding their skills when working withbattered women^  109Table E-1.^Training received by non-trainers^ 111Table E -2.Table E -3.Non-trainers' levels of competence regardingtheir knowledge of issues related to workingwith battered women Non-trainers' levels of competence regardingtheir skills when working with batteredwomen^112113viiAcknowledgementsI would like to thank my supervisor, Dr. Bonita Long, forher assistance, expertise, and encouragement throughout thethesis process. I also wish to acknowledge my committeemembers, Dr. Mary Russell and Dr. Richard Young, for theirhelpful suggestions. Many thanks go to the staff andvolunteers at Battered Women's Support Services whosecommitment to stopping violence against women inspired thisresearch. Without their resources and expertise, this thesiswould not have been possible. I would also like to expressmy appreciation to the workers and administrators whoparticipated in the training needs assessment. Finally, Ithank my special friends, Adele, Rhonda, and Yvonne, fortheir unfailing love and support.IntroductionWife battering has come to the forefront of publicawareness due to the efforts of the women's movement(Gilman, 1988) and increased media attention to the issue inthe last few years. There is often front page coverage of adramatic murder of a woman by her husband or some horrifyinginstance of physical abuse reported on the evening news.Even television and the movies have recently dealt with thispreviously taboo subject. Nevertheless, it is easy tobelieve that this violence happens "out there" to a fewimpoverished women married to brutal men.The statistics refute the perception that batteredwomen come exclusively from minority backgrounds or have lowsocioeconomic status (Walker, 1979). In fact, 1 in 8 womenin Canada suffers an assault by her husband or live-inpartner each year (MacLeod, 1987). According to crimestatistics, wife battering is responsible for one-fifth ofCanadian homicides and 2 women per week die at the hands ofa current or ex-husband or lover (Bergman, 1991). A study byMcCarthy and Gartner (cited in Fennell, 1991) found that 62%of female murder victims were killed in their homes by theirhusbands or other men they know intimately, making the homeone of the least safe places for many women. Less than atenth of the murdered women in the study were killed bycomplete strangers. Although the media report the gruesomedetails of these crimes, death is only the end result ofyears of hidden abuse for many battered women.1Twenty years ago, the women's movement identified wifebattering as a serious issue and responded to batteredwomen's needs by establishing shelters and transition housesthat provided temporary refuge, counselling, and advocacyfor abused women and their children (Gilman, 1988; Pence &Shepard, 1988). These grassroots organizations had littlereliable financial support from governments or othersocietal institutions. As public awareness of battering andother forms of abuse has grown, more and more women havecome forward seeking help. Now governments are responding byproviding core funding and grants to agencies andorganizations that serve battered women. The purpose of thisstudy is to determine the training needs of workers whoprovide services to battered women through governmental andnon-governmental agencies across British Columbia.There are currently thousands of individuals in theprovince who deal with battered women and batterers throughgovernmental and non-governmental agencies. They includeprofessionals in the fields of health, criminal justice,social services, education, and the church as well asvolunteers and staff at women's centres and transitionhouses. One of the recommendations of the British ColumbiaTask Force on Family Violence (1992) is that all those whowork with victims of family violence should receive trainingthat addresses attitudes, knowledge, and skills in order tofacilitate effective prevention and early intervention inthis area. The Task Force suggests that issues such as2gender inequality, the nature and dynamics of familyviolence, power and control, and cultural diversity shouldbe discussed in training programs so that appropriateinterventions will be used that reduce the impact ofnegative assumptions about battered women in general andabout victims who belong to minority groups that arediscriminated against in our society.For information and training, agencies that provideservices to battered women often turn to the grassrootsorganizations that began the battered women's movement. Onesuch organization is Battered Women's Support Services(BWSS) in Vancouver. Established in 1979 to develop andfacilitate support groups for battered women and to educatethe public and professionals on battering, it now alsooffers individual counselling and legal advocacy to batteredwomen (Battered Women's Support Services, 1988). In responseto increasing requests for educational presentations andworkshops (50 given between December, 1991 and November,1992; Battered Women's Support Services, 1992), BWSSreceived a grant from the provincial Ministry of Women'sEquality to conduct a training needs assessment of workerswho provide services to battered women in British Columbia.BWSS will subsequently apply for government funding todevelop and implement a province-wide train-the-trainerprogram to ensure that battered women are being servedeffectively.3Literature ReviewThere is a limited amount of literature available ontraining workers who provide services to battered women.This review will first describe an interdisciplinaryapproach to battering that promotes the coordination ofcommunity services for battered women and its application totraining. Training programs for service-providers areexamined, as well as research on their attitudes towardbattering and battered women and their feelings ofcompetence, which are explored in this study. Finally,literature on training needs assessment methodology isreviewed.Interdisciplinary Approaches to Family Violence As a result of greater public awareness of violenceagainst women and children and the subsequent increase indemand for services for victims of domestic violence,communities are seeking new ways to cope with the issue.Kinnon (1988a) cites several reasons why a new approach isdesirable. Services have tended to be fragmented, withlittle consistency in attitudes toward survivors of abuse orknowledge about family violence. Each agency has dealt withclients in isolation and has lacked awareness about otherresources to which to refer them. This results infrustration and confusion for clients as they attempt tounderstand the function and responsibility of each agency inthe system. Service-providers, too, burn out as they try to4meet clients' needs without the cooperation of otherorganizations that also serve their clients.The Interdisciplinary Project on Domestic Violence(IPDV) was established in consultation with the Canadiangovernment and 10 national professional associations toaddress this problem by promoting "a coordinated,interdisciplinary approach among professionals for theprevention, identification and treatment of domesticviolence" (Kinnon, 1988b, p. 5). The IPDV (Kinnon, 1988a)found that three major barriers inhibit cooperation amongprofessionals working with battered women. The hierarchicalsocial structure of professional institutions promotesauthority and autonomy over cooperation. A shortage offinancial and human resources in many organizations resultsin overworked and under-supported staff. Some professionalsare resistant to changes due to ignorance about abuse ornegative attitudes toward its victims. The IPDV strives toovercome those barriers by encouraging communication, trust-building, and the sharing of ideas among professionalgroups. This interdisciplinary approach is implemented viatraining, developing protocols, and forminginterdisciplinary committees of professionals who work inthe area of domestic violence.The IPDV addresses only the concerns of professionalswho deal with domestic violence, but there areinterdisciplinary programs that promote cooperation betweenprofessionals and para-professionals, such as workers in5battered women's shelters and counsellors in women'scentres. Also, the IPDV, as its name suggests, addresses allforms of violence between family members, including childand elder abuse as well as wife battering. Kinnon (1988b)notes that all provincial and territorial governments haveaddressed domestic violence to some extent and some promoteinterdisciplinary approaches to the issue, but most of theseapproaches have been initiated at the local level.Two of these community-based programs that address aninterdisciplinary approach to wife battering specificallyare the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project in Duluth,Minnesota (Pence & Shepard, 1988) and the LondonCoordinating Committee on Family Violence in London, Ontario(London Coordinating Committee, 1989). A multiple-baselinemethod was used to evaluate the success of a coordinatedcriminal justice system and social services approach tostopping wife assault in three Minnesota communities overtwo years (Gamache, Edleson, & Schock, 1988). There was aconsiderable increase in successful prosecutions and court-mandated counselling of batterers in all communities afterthe coordinated interventions were in effect. The studyshowed that this approach can alter community responses tobattering, but it did not examine how battered women wereaffected by those interventions.The London model (London Coordinating Committee, 1989)also places great emphasis on the criminalization ofbattering due to research done there that showed that early6police intervention significantly decreased violence in thehome. Police charges increased from 3% of batterers beforethe program to 65 - 70% in subsequent years. Consultationand coordination among member agencies is encouraged notonly in dealing with batterers and battered women, but inpromoting public and professional awareness of the problem.Training is done by representatives of agencies individuallyand as teams to educate workers on prevention andintervention in wife assault, particularly in the area oflegal advocacy.A new interdisciplinary approach in Vancouver, the WifeAssault Coordination Committee (WACC) (British Columbia TaskForce on Family Violence, 1992), was established by theMinistry of the Attorney General in 1990, and models itselfon the London and Duluth programs. The WACC consists ofrepresentatives from a broad range of organizations inVancouver that provide services to battered women. Theentire committee meets quarterly and five sub-committees(health, Ministry of Social Services, justice, native women,and immigrant and visible minority women) meet monthly toexamine procedures and practices, identify gaps in services,and to develop recommendations for action. Similar projectswere funded in six other communities in British Columbia:Campbell River, Courtenay/Comox, Dawson Creek, Nelson,Victoria, and Williams Lake.7Training Training is an issue that is central to developing aninterdisciplinary approach to battering. Among Kinnon's(1988a) recommendations in the IPDV report are those formore education and information sharing, and for morestrategies that are adaptable for various cultural andregional contexts. The B.C. Task Force report (1992) alsorecommends that all those working with victims of familyviolence be trained in the nature and dynamics of thatviolence. As well as providing knowledge and skills to dealwith wife assault, the report suggests that training mustaddress attitudes such as sexism, racism, and homophobiathat promote the inequality that contributes to familyviolence. The Task Force report also stresses the need forthis training to be delivered by frontline community workerswho have frequent direct contact with battered women and bymembers of minority groups who understand the additionalproblems faced by battered women from those groups.A study by Davis (1984) supported the need for acoordinated approach to avoid sending conflicting messagesto battered women and having women despair of gettingappropriate assistance. Five hundred service-providers(social workers, welfare workers, police, probationofficers, nurses, doctors, transition house workers, andfamily court judges) in 24 agencies gave recommendations foraction to be taken by a couple in a battering relationshipin a fictitious scenario. Biases were found in different8occupations and among individual workers regarding what theyconsidered to be appropriate action for each spouse. As aresult, Davis recommended case coordination and jointtraining of workers who provide services to battered womenso that they could share information and their perceptionsof clients' problems and develop common strategies toaddress battering.Few studies have addressed the training needs ofworkers who provide services for women who are victims ofviolence. Lloyd, Cate, and Conger (1983) deplore this lackof training programs and propose four basic goals fortraining service providers: examining personal attitudes andfeelings toward family violence, increasing knowledge of thedynamics of family violence, emphasizing resources and thebuilding of support networks, and advocacy for families.They acknowledge that one of the most important elements insuccessful intervention is a meaningful worker-clientrelationship and they suggest that meeting workers' needsmay help improve the effectiveness of the services workersprovide. However, their research is not based on a survey ofworkers, but on their perceptions of how a particular modelof family violence intervention might best be implemented.Two other studies describe feminist models ofintervention with battered women and the effect of thetraining programs on the practitioners who participated inthem. Rinfret-Raynor and Paquet-Deehy (1988) explored thereactions of 15 female social workers who were trained for912 two-day sessions and supervised for 10 half-days over 18months in the use of such a model. Fifteen supervised groupdiscussions and a six-month follow-up group interview werequalitatively analyzed to determine the factors thatinfluence the workers' implementation of the model. Theresearchers found that workers encountered institutionalresistance to implementing the feminist model and torecognizing the need to help battered women. They also foundthat the training had an impact on workers' personal andprofessional roles. The women became more assertive, morecomfortable with their feelings of anger, and more aware oftheir own victimization in some situations. However, theyalso felt more competent professionally due to the skills,awareness, and confidence they acquired through thetraining.Another training program on domestic violence wasdescribed by Boulanger, Giroux, and Sabourin (1988). In thiscase, 24 workers from the Ministry of Social Services indifferent regions of Quebec received 4 one-week blocks oftraining and supervision over one year, and those trainees,along with a transition house worker, subsequently trainedother workers in their regions for three weeks. The authorsbecame trainers for 27 women who provide services tobattered women as social workers, psychologists, welfareworkers, and community workers and organizers in Montreal.They found that the workers felt angry, powerless, andafraid at times during the training as they confronted the10problem of violence against women. However, the women alsofelt that they had grown both personally and professionallyas a result of the training. The trainers noted theimportance of teaching workers to be aware of their limitsand to avoid the temptation to take on the responsibility of"rescuing" battered women. Criticism of the training programincluded the realization that five consecutive days oftraining were too tiring and demanding and that supervisionin the workplace following training would be desirable toevaluate the effectiveness of the program and to respond toindividual needs.According to Lavoie, Jacob, and Martin (1988), most ofthe research done with workers who provide services to womenvictims of violence has been with sexual assault workers andhas examined their personal characteristics, such as gender,or organizational factors that affect the quality ofservices offered. They decided instead to explore thefeelings and attitudes of frontline workers who provideservices to battered women in order to determine how toimprove the quality of services as well as the workenvironment. Their sample included 426 police officers,social workers, transition house workers, psychologists, andcommunity and social services workers who had had contactwith a battered woman in their work over the previous year.A questionnaire measured 14 factors that might affect tworeactions of frontline workers: their attitudes toward women11who are victims of violence, and their feelings ofcompetence in their work with those women.The study found that traditional sex role attitudes arelinked to favourable attitudes toward the use of violence toresolve interpersonal problems (Lavoie, Jacob, & Martin,1988). Other research conducted with male and femaleuniversity students found that egalitarian sex roleattitudes are strongly related to low tolerance and approvalfor men's use of physical force against women (Finn, 1986;Greenblatt, 1985). In both studies, men were more likelythan women to support traditional sex roles. Gentemann(1984) randomly surveyed 422 women by telephone in NorthCarolina and discovered correlations between thejustification of wife abuse and education (r=-.53), income(r=-.48), and age (r=.34) at the .01 level of significance.The study also found a relationship between traditional sexrole attitudes and greater justification of battering.Furthermore, when developing a scale that measuresattitudes toward women who are victims of violence, Lavoie,Martin, and Valiquette (1988) found that there is asignificant correlation (r=.68, p<.01) between non-traditional sex role attitudes and favourable attitudestoward battered women among 129 people (mean age = 32 years)recruited at shopping malls. A favourable attitude wasdefined as not blaming the woman for the battering, notadvocating keeping the marriage together at the expense ofthe woman, and believing that battered women should be12helped. Therefore, if frontline workers are found to havetraditional sex role attitudes, it might suggest that thereis a need for training about sex role socialization and itscontribution to battering in order to improve workers'attitudes toward battered women.A study by Stringer-Moore, Pepitone-Arreola-Rockwell,and Rozee-Koker (1984) attempted to examine the impact oftraining regarding battered women on the attitudes of 177attendees at two conferences on family violence and todetermine whether there were attitudinal differences amongoccupational or demographic groups. Eighty-four percent ofthose surveyed were women, with a mean age of 32 years and amean education level of 16.7 years for the total sample.Respondents included university students, counsellors, andsocial services, women's organization, medical, legal andeducation workers, but no indication was given as to whetherthey worked with battered women.Respondents were asked about personal experiences andfears of battering. Thirty-six percent of the women reportedhaving been battered at least once as an adult and 64% saidthey were afraid of being physically hurt by men. The studyfound that after a three-day conference, participants werewell-informed about battering and had "positive" attitudesabout the causes of battering and the services that shouldbe offered to battered women, but those causes and serviceswere not defined. There was no control group or pretestingto determine attitudes prior to the conference, so the13effects of training cannot be determined. Occupational anddemographic differences occurred only regarding personalfears and experiences of battering.Lavoie, Jacob, and Martin (1988) also measured workers'sense of competence in their interventions with batteredwomen. Competence was defined as feeling comfortable,useful, resourceful, and not feeling as though one iswasting time dealing with matters related to battering.Kottler (1991) described competent therapists as beingperceived as confident and credible by their clients, whichproduces positive results in therapy. Lavoie, Jacob, andMartin (1988) found that knowledge of resources and legaloptions for battered women, an anti-violence attitude,working frequently with battered women, and the perceivedsupport of supervisors all contributed to feelings ofcompetence among frontline workers. This implies thatincluding information about community resources for batteredwomen and the criminal justice system in training programsmight help workers feel more confident. Lavoie, Jacob, andMartin (1988) cited Bandura's (1977) study that showed thatcompleting a task, observing successful modelling of a task,social influences such as encouragement, and a person'sphysical and mental state all contribute to self-efficacy,or feelings of competence. Therefore, it would follow thatmore frequent contact with battered women, or repetition ofthe task, would enhance workers' feelings of competence.14Bandura (1982, 1984) further argued that perceivedself-efficacy not only reflects past performance on tasks,but contributes to and sometimes predicts future performancebetter than does past performance. Those who see themselvesas being highly efficacious or competent perform better thanthose who perceive themselves as being inefficacious. Thisis because their beliefs about their abilities affect theirbehaviour, thoughts, and emotions. By including factors thatfoster self-efficacy in training programs, workers mayperceive themselves as being more competent and subsequentlyperform better on the job.Finally, it is also important to examine theeffectiveness of services for battered women from theclient's point of view. Bowker (1988) surveyed 1000 batteredwomen: 854 recruited via a women's magazine, and 146previously battered women who were interviewed in depth.They reported that the most effective sources of help werewomen's groups, shelters, lawyers, and social services andcounselling agencies. The most effective personal strategiesto combat battering were separating and obtaining a divorce,seeking help immediately, and raising self-esteem whileincreasing independence. Although the data may have beenbiased due to volunteer recruitment, there are implicationsfor training workers who provide services for batteredwomen. Battered women may benefit most from having a safeplace to go, obtaining legal counsel and advocacy, andreceiving emotional support. Therefore, workers may be most15effective if they are trained to give legal information andreferrals, and to provide counselling that builds self-esteem and encourages independence.The literature on training workers who provide servicesto battered women suggests that it is as important toaddress workers' attitudes as it is to increase their skillsand knowledge through training programs. In fact, researchhas shown that there are links between workers' attitudesabout sex roles and battered women and their feelings ofcompetence when dealing with battered women. Otherdemographic factors, such as age, sex, and income, were alsofound to be related to attitudes. Competence, or self-efficacy, was linked to other variables such as knowledge ofcommunity resources and legal options, frequency of workwith battered women, and support in the workplace. Batteredwomen reported finding legal assistance and counselling themost helpful. Further research on these issues is warrantedto determine what should be included in training programs tohelp workers feel competent and to deliver services tobattered women as effectively as possible.Needs Assessment There are four different types of needs identified byBoyle (1981) and York (1982). Felt needs are perceived needsthat may be wants or desires. Expressed needs are demandsfor action to meet those needs. Normative or prescribedneeds are defined by experts who identify deficienciesbetween desirable standards and actual conditions. Finally,16comparative needs are identified when one populationreceives service(s) that another similar population doesnot. The second group is then considered to be in need.Boyle (1981, p.146) states that the most useful definitionof need for educators is "the gap between what is and whatcould be" because it encompasses the four needs justdescribed.Rummler (1987) describes four different approaches todetermining training needs: performance analysis, taskanalysis, competency analysis, and the training needssurvey. The first two methods, performance and taskanalysis, involve intensive interviews and observation ofindividuals and precise identification of actual and desiredperformance outputs or tasks for specific jobs. They aretime-consuming, expensive, and obtrusive measures, althoughthey objectively and accurately identify the knowledge andskills required for training a narrow population. Competencyanalysis involves asking experts to identify the minimumcompetency that professionals in a particular field shouldpossess and then testing the target population to determinetheir level of proficiency in order to develop a trainingprogram to help them reach the desired level. According toBoyle (1981), this approach is best suited to managerial orprofessional training needs assessments.The training needs survey is the most common method ofneeds assessment (Rummler, 1987). It is suitable for usewith a large and widely dispersed population (Boyle, 1981),17it is inexpensive, and takes relatively little time(Rummler, 1987). Questionnaires and interviews are used toacquire information about existing conditions; attitudes,beliefs, or knowledge; and available resources (Boyle,1981). Posavac and Carey (1992, p. 106) state that thepurposes of needs surveys are "to assess the need for aservice, the acceptability of a particular service, and thewillingness of people to use the program or facility." Theyrecommend that if surveys ask about the desirability ofprograms, they should include information about costs to geta realistic idea of respondents' willingness to supportthose programs. Needs assessments should also examine towhat degree similar programs have been used by participants.The major drawback to a training needs survey is that it issubjective, soliciting opinions rather than objective data.Although used primarily in marketing research, focusgroups, or group interviews, can be used for needsassessments to provide follow-up and to clarify data fromquestionnaires, and to explore a particular topic in moredepth (Morgan, 1988). They can also elicit reactions toservices and programs (Posavac & Carey, 1992). By bringing asmall group of people together to discuss an issue, theresearcher provides an opportunity for the expression ofopinions and ideas that may have been missed in a pencil andpaper survey. Group interaction can also elicitparticipants' experiences and attitudes that lead toinsights not just about what they think, but why. Focus18groups may be more or less structured, depending on how manyquestions and probes the group moderator introduces, but themoderator remains as uninvolved as possible to permit aspontaneous flow of ideas.The disadvantages of focus groups are that they takeplace in an artificial setting and are created and managedby the researcher, and are limited to the observation of thesubjective opinions of a few people. However, they permitthe observation of a large amount of interaction on a topicin a limited time at little cost. Using triangulation tocross-validate findings with other sources of data, such asquestionnaires, researchers can employ focus groups to adddepth and insight to needs assessments (Morgan, 1988).York (1982) cautions that data from training needsassessments may reflect the needs of service providers atthe expense of those they serve because workers tend to becommitted to their own services. The remedy would be tosurvey the target population as well, a solution that istime-consuming and expensive. It may be necessary to relyupon the commitment of frontline workers to serve theirclientele as effectively as possible and to appeal to theirbest interests by giving them a voice in the development oftraining programs via focus groups and questionnaires thatsolicit their opinions and ideas.There may also be a bias toward the status quo andresistance to developing new programs or modifying old ones(York, 1982). However, the questionnaire and focus group19formats permit the researcher to identify unmet needs andadapt the information and delivery of the training programto the target groups, which should help to appeal to theinterests of participants and favourably dispose them toreceiving the training.Brackhaus (1984), in a critical review of the problemsof needs assessments, warns that the values of the agencyconducting the assessment may conflict with those of theparticipants. Added to this are the interests of the fundingbody. Finally, the values of the researcher furthercomplicate matters and it is easy to see how the validity ofsuch a study could be compromised. It is essential that aresearcher keeps in mind the political issues andramifications involved when conducting a needs assessment.Despite these drawbacks, however, Brackhaus (1984) considersneeds assessment to be a cost-effective way to provide arational basis for making decisions about programs and tomaximize the success of those programs.SummaryIn summary, previous research on workers and theservices they provide for battered women is limited, andfurther study in those areas is warranted. The literature oninterdisciplinary approaches to battering promotes communitycoordination of services and underlines the importance oftraining workers so that battered women receive consistentand effective help. Attitudes are considered an importantelement of training, and research suggests that workers'20attitudes toward sex roles are related to their demographiccharacteristics and attitudes about battering. In turn,workers' levels of competence were found to be affected bytheir attitudes. Competence, or self-efficacy, was alsolinked to work frequency and knowledge of communityresources and legal options. Therefore, an investigation oftraining needs should not only include an assessment ofskills and knowledge, but attitudes as well. The discussionon training needs assessment methodology provided therationale for the use of questionnaires and focus groupinterviews to collect data for this study.21Research QuestionsThe following questions guided the analysis of the datacollected for the training needs assessment. Questions 1 to4 addressed the training needs of the workers surveyed,questions 5 and 6 examined associations found in theresearch literature among variables related to workers'attitudes and feelings of competence, and questions 7 to 9explored agencies' willingness and ability to providetraining for workers who provide services to battered women.Question 1. In what areas of knowledge and skills haveworkers received the most and least training?Question 2. In what areas of knowledge and skills do workersfeel the most and least competent?Question 3. To what extent are workers' levels of competenceassociated with their years of experience and frequency ofworking with battered women (Bandura, 1977, 1982, 1984), thenumber of hours of training they have received (Bandura,1977, 1982, 1984), their sex role attitudes (Lavoie, Jacob,& Martin, 1988), and their attitudes toward battered women(Lavoie, Jacob, & Martin, 1988)?Ouestion 4. To what extent are workers' sex role attitudesassociated with their age (Finn, 1986; Gentemann, 1984;Greenblatt, 1985), sex (Finn, 1986; Greenblatt, 1985),education (Gentemann, 1984), income (Gentemann, 1984), andyears of experience working with battered women?Question 5. What are the most important characteristics of22workers who are willing to be trained as trainers to educateother workers who provide services to battered women?Question 6. What conditions are necessary for workers toparticipate in train-the-trainer training?Question 7. What kind of training have agencies provided fortheir workers in the last two years?Question 8. How much are agencies willing to spend ontraining?Question 9. What types of agencies are willing to haveworkers train as trainers?23PART I: QUESTIONNAIRESTwo sources of data were used for this study: mail-outquestionnaires and focus groups. The methodology and resultsof each will be discussed separately. Part one will describethe frontline workers' and administrators' questionnaires,and part two will describe the native workers' and culturalminority workers' focus groups.MethodSampleThe training needs assessment was not intended totarget specialists or experts in working with batteredwomen, but rather professionals, para-professionals, andvolunteers who have contact with battered women throughtheir work. Therefore, 95 administrators' questionnaires and288 frontline workers' questionnaires (3 per agency, inorder to reach 30%-50% of the workers in each agency) weremailed to 95 governmental and non-governmental agencies thatare members of wife assault coordination committees in 7communities across British Columbia. Eight agencies weresubsequently discounted from the sample because they did notoffer direct services to battered women, and oneadministrator indicated that the questionnaires were notrelevant for that agency, reducing the eligible sample to 86administrators and 261 workers. Questionnaires were returnedby 53 administrators and 118 frontline workers, for responserates of 62% and 45%, respectively. Table 1 indicates howmany responded per agency and community.24Table 1Frequency of Administrators and Workers Responding by Agency and CommunityAGEWCFCAMPBKLLRIVER cowry:RAWcomox DAWSON CREEK NELSON VANCOUVER VICTORIA WILLIAMSLAKE TOTALA=AdministratorsW=Workers A W A ii A li A K A WAboriginal 1 2 4 1 2 4 6Alcohol/DrugProgram3 1 3 1 6Church 1 1 1 2 1Child and FamilyServices1 4 1 1 2 2 5 3 5 14Hospital 1 1 2 1 3 1a6 1 2 5 13Health Services 1 3 3 1 6MulticulturalServices3 10 1 2 4 12Legal Services 1 2 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 2 6 8Mental HealthServices2 3 1 1 1 1 1 2 5 7Community and 1Social Services2 2 5 2 6 2 3 7 16Transition House 1 1 1 1 1 3 1 2 1 4 2 4 1 8 15Victim AssistanceProgram2 2 3 1 2 3 1 3 11Women's Centre 1 2 1 1 2 3Total 6 5 6 15 9 17 10 16 8 32 7 17 7 16 53 118aTwo sets of 3 frontline workers' questionnaires were sent to nurses and social workers at a hospital domestic violence program.The communities surveyed were those selected by theVancouver Wife Assault Coordination Committee (WACC) (B.C.Task Force, 1992) to establish pilot regional committeesaround B.C. (Dawson Creek represents the northwest part ofthe province; Williams Lake, the northeast; Nelson, theinterior; Vancouver, the lower mainland; andCourtenay/Comox, Campbell River, and Victoria representVancouver Island). The Vancouver WACC used geographiccriteria to choose the regional centres, but also required ahigh level of wife assault reported by police statistics inthose areas and a variety of models of intervention andsupport for battered women, according to a former policyanalyst for the WACC (J. Coombe, personal communication,December 17, 1992). Williams Lake and Courtenay were notedto have large native populations, another factor thatinfluenced the WACC's choices.The communities with the highest frontline workers'response rates were Vancouver (63%), Victoria and DawsonCreek (both 57%), followed by Courtenay/Comox (42%),Williams Lake (41%), Nelson (31%), and Campbell River, whereonly 21% of the workers surveyed returned questionnaires.The administrators' response rates were: Dawson Creek (90%),Campbell River (75%), Victoria (70%), Nelson (59%), WilliamsLake (54%), Courtenay (50%), and Vancouver (50%).Administrators from every community except Vancouverresponded at a higher rate than frontline workers, which mayhave been because questionnaire packages and reminders were26personally addressed to them, whereas workers receivedquestionnaires from their administrators.The types of agencies with the highest response ratesfrom workers were multicultural services (80%), communityand social services (67%), health services (67%), hospitals(62%), transition houses (55%), and alcohol and drugprograms (50%). The lowest response rates were recorded fromvictim assistance programs (41%), child and family services(39%), legal services (38%), mental health services (33%),women's centres (25%), aboriginal services (22%), andchurches (11%). The high rate of responses from culturalminority workers was a surprise, as it was expected thatlanguage might prove to be a barrier in a pencil and papersurvey. However, the written questionnaire format may havebeen a factor in the limited number of replies received fromnative workers in aboriginal agencies.Table 2 compares demographic information from the totalsample of frontline workers (N=118) to sub-samples ofworkers who expressed a desire to train as trainers (n=64)and those who did not (n=54). The frontline workers werepredominantly women (89%), ranging in age from 21 to 58years (M=39, SD=7.8). The majority were highly educated,with 90% having completed college or universityundergraduate or graduate studies. Half the workers reportedhaving children, 37.3% as a couple and 13.6% as singleparents. A few workers reported "other" householdarrangements such as living with extended family or being2728Table 2Demographic Characteristics of Frontline Workers, Potential Trainers, and Non-Trainers VariableTotalSample ofFrontlineWorkersN = 118PotentialTrainersn = 64Non-Trainersn = 54Sex$ % %Female 89.0 89.1 88.5Male 11. 0 10.9 11.5EducationSenior high 7.6 10.9 3.8Technical/vocational program 1.8 1.6 1.9College 22.0 21.9 23.1University undergraduate program 44.9 42.2 48.1University graduate program 23.7 23.4 23.1Type of householdaCouple with children 38.6 35.5 43.1Couple with no children 21.9 22.6 21.6Single 17.5 19.4 13.7Single parent family 14.0 14.5 13.7Two or more unrelated adults 4.4 3.2 5.9Two or more related adults 1.8 1.6 2.0Other 1.8 3.2Household incomebLess than $10,000 3.5 3.1 4.4$10,001 - $30,000 26.0 34.4 14.3$30,001 - $50,000 37.4 40.6 34.7$50,001 - $70,000 16.5 10.9 22.4$70,001 - $90,000 9.6 7.9 12.2More than $90,000 7.0 3.1 12.2aN = 114, n = 62 and n = 51 due to missing data.bN = 115 due to missing data.parents with adult children who have moved away. Their meanannual household income was between $30,001 and $50,000.Table 3 compares the total sample of workers topotential trainers regarding the kinds of services theyReported providing, the frequency with which they workedwith battered women, the capacity in which they worked, andthe number of years of experience they had in their workwith battered women. The majority of workers in both groupsprovided counselling services. A higher percentage ofpotential trainers did telephone counselling, legal advocacyand support group facilitation, although they were lesslikely to provide health care than non-trainers. Mostrespondents worked with battered women daily or weekly on afull-time basis, with potential trainers working morefrequently than non-trainers. Potential trainers had lessexperience working with battered women, with a mean of 1 to3 years versus 7 to 9 years for non-trainers.As shown in Table 4, counselling and legal advocacywere the most frequently reported services in agencies fromwhich administrators' questionnaires were received. Most ofthe agencies were staffed by full-time and part-timeworkers. The mean number of workers per agency who provideddirect services to battered women was 4 full-time, 2 part-time, 4 volunteers, and 1 casual worker. The provincialgovernment was reported as a source of funding for almostall of the agencies, followed by public fundraising and thefederal government. "Other" financial sources cited by2930Table 3Services Provided, Work Frequency, Work Capacity, andYears of Experience Working With Battered Women VariableTotalSample ofFrontlineWorkersN = 118PotentialTrainersn = 64Non-Trainersn = 54Services providedaPersonal counselling 68.6 68.8 67.3Telephone counselling 60.2 64.1 55.8Legal advocacy 39.8 45.3 32.7Support group facilitation 26.3 29.7 19.2Referrals 23.7 23.4 25.0Drug/alcohol counselling 22.0 21.9 23.1Health care 22.0 15.6 30.8Other 32.2 26.5 11.5Work frequencybDaily 40.5 41.3 37.3Weekly 37.1 44.4 29.4Monthly 22.4 14.3 33.3Work capacityFull-time 74.4 73.4 74.5Part-time 19.7 21.9 17.6Volunteer 3.4 4.7 2.0Casual 2.5 - 5.9Years of ExperienceLess than 1 9.4 12.5 5.91 - 3 35.9 42.2 27.54 - 6 24.8 29.7 19.67 - 9 12.0 7.8 15.710 - 12 8.5 6.3 11.813 - 15 5.1 1.5 9.8More than 15 4.3 9.8aCould check more than one = 63 due to missing data.31Table 4Services Provided by Agencies, Capacity of Workers, and Sources of Funding Reported by Administrators Variable N=53Services providedPersonal counselling 73.6Telephone counselling 56.6Legal advocacy 45.3Referrals 34.0Support groups 32.1Shelter 28.3Health care 22.6Drug/alcohol counselling 18.9Child care 17.0Other 32.1Capacity of Workers aFull-time 85.4Part-time 60.4Volunteer 35.4Casual 22.9FundingProvincial government 92.5Public fundraising 39.6Federal government 34.0Private 17.0Municipal/local government 17.0Other 11.3Note. Could check more than one response.aN = 48 due to missing administrators included membership fees, donations,and bingo. Almost half the agencies (45%) offered servicesin languages other than English, with a mean of threelanguages per agency. Agencies where only English was spokewere primarily transition houses, and aboriginal, legal,mental health, and social services.Questionnaire Development The development of the frontline workers' questionnaire(see Appendix A) began with a preliminary draft developed byBWSS that reflected the knowledge and skills workers in thatagency consider to be important in their experience oftraining workers to work with battered women. BWSS is afeminist organization and I was trained there as a peercounsellor and support group leader, therefore questionnaireitems reflect feminist values, i.e., "that battering doesnot take place between two people individually in isolation,but in a social context, and is rooted in the oppression ofwomen" (Battered Women's Support Services, 1991). The areasof knowledge included in the preliminary draft remained muchthe same through subsequent revisions of the questionnaire,but the types of skills became more detailed and specificbased on the counselling issues for battered womenidentified by Pressman (1984) and Rinfret-Raynor and Paquet-Deehy (1988). The skills items were pilot-tested with sevenworkers at BWSS to prioritize the skills and to includethose that were considered essential and to revise wordingto avoid jargon and ensure clarity.32An expert at BWSS who develops and implements trainingprograms for workers who provide services to battered womenwas consulted regarding the amount of time typically spenton each topic and skill in BWSS training and other similarprograms. The number of hours was dependent on the levels ofexpertise of the workers and their particular needs.Generally, one- or two-day professional developmentworkshops would devote a few hours to each topic. The BWSStrainer emphasized that this type of training is notintended to develop expertise on specific issues, but toprovide workers with information on how to respondappropriately to battered women on issues relevant to thetrainees' work and to supplement primary training they havealready received to do their jobs. Therefore, the categoriesfor hours of training on the questionnaire were chosen withhalf-day and day-long workshops in mind.To address the workers' attitudes, three questions thatare indicative of sex role attitudes and six that addressattitudes toward battered women were included on thequestionnaire. Respondents were asked about their use of thetitle "Ms." and to what degree they label themselves asfeminists. According to Smith and Self (1981), a greaterpreference for the use of Ms. and self-labelling as afeminist are reliable indicators of liberal or egalitariansex role attitudes. Causal modelling (Fassinger, 1985; Long,Kahn, & Schutz, 1992) provides support for the construct anddiscriminant validity of the two items. Also, a question33adapted from the mission statement of Battered Women'sSupport Services (1991) asked to what degree workers agreewith the feminist assumption that women are oppressed in oursociety.The six questions that address attitudes towardbattered women were taken from a subscale of the Inventoryof Beliefs about Wife Beating (Saunders, Lynch, Grayson, &Linz, 1987). The Inventory was developed and tested forvalidity and reliability with a population that included 70advocates for battered women. The questions were chosen forthe survey because they loaded highest on the factor thatreflects the attitude that wife beating is justified.Respondents were also asked whether they have been in abattering relationship and whether they witnessed orexperienced physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse aschildren. Those questions were included to determine to whatextent trainers need to prepare workers to help them dealwith potentially painful personal reactions to the contentof the training program.The questionnaire asked workers to rate how competentthey feel about their knowledge and skills regarding theirwork with battered women so that more training can beprovided in areas where they lack a sense of competence. Italso asked about the length of time they have worked withbattered women and the frequency of their contact withbattered women. Information such as types of servicesprovided, age, sex, income, level of education, and type of34household helped to identify the sample and providestatistical comparisons of different groups of workers.A short questionnaire for agency administrators (seeAppendix B) provided information about individualorganizations. Administrators were asked about the types ofservices provided for battered women, the number of workersin each agency, any training given to workers on topicsrelated to battering, the desirability of having workersparticipate in train-the-trainer training, and how much timeand funding would be available for training. Bothquestionnaires included space for respondents to add anyinformation they believe to be relevant to developingtraining programs for frontline workers.Procedure Once prototype questionnaires were developed, they werepilot-tested with seven frontline workers and refined toensure that the questions, format, instructions, andanalysis procedures were clear. Testers reported that ittook 15 minutes to complete the questionnaire and theyrecommended minor changes in the wording of questions andinstructions to avoid ambiguity. They reported no objectionsto the content of the questionnaire.Three frontline workers' questionnaires and oneadministrator's questionnaire were sent to each agency.Covering letters (see Appendix C) mailed with eachquestionnaire included a statement of consent, anexplanation of the purpose and confidentiality of the35survey, and a time limit for returns to encourage promptparticipation (Fox, Crask, & Kim, 1988; Linsky, 1975). Theadministrators' questionnaires included a request fordistribution of the questionnaires among frontline workerswho work directly with battered women. Every questionnaireincluded a stamped return envelope. A brochure describingthe mandate and services of BWSS was sent with each agencypackage. Follow-up letters (see Appendix C) sent a weekafter the survey packages were mailed reminded participantsto send in their replies, and telephone calls to agenciesthat failed to reply thereafter were also made to maximizeresponses (Kanuk & Berenson, 1975).Data Analysis No returned questionnaires were rejected and allquestionnaire items were coded for SPSS-X statisticalanalysis except for items that were omitted by respondents,which were left blank and reported as missing data. Therewere no consistent patterns of missing data found prior todata analysis.However, 11 frontline workers scored questions 19 and20 on the Wife-beating is Justified Scale (Saunders et al.,1987) opposite to their responses to questions 15 to 18 onthe same scale, suggesting that they justified batteringunder those two circumstances and not under the other four.In some cases, it appeared that respondents were confusedabout how to score questions 19 and 20 because of reversescoring on those two items, i.e., a score of 1 indicated36that one disagreed with battering in those circumstances,whereas a score of 7 on the first four items indicateddisagreement. The first four questions were stated in thenegative while the last two were affirmative. Respondentswho seemed not to justify battering due to high scores onthe first four items, and who had scribbled or erased tochange their initial responses to questions 19 and 20 fromdisagreement (1) to agreement (7) with battering tocorrespond to the pattern of scoring established inquestions 15 to 18, had their scores input as the mean ofthe first four items.Preliminary analysis of the data from bothquestionnaires included descriptive statistics such asfrequencies, means, and standard deviations. Data from thefrontline workers' questionnaires were analyzed to determinethe type and frequency of workers' training needs based onthe number of hours of training they had already receivedand the levels of competence they expressed regardingdifferent areas of knowledge and skills related to theirwork with battered women. The data were also analyzed todetermine the characteristics of workers who are willing tobe trained as trainers and what conditions are necessary forthem to participate in that training. Workers' attitudestoward sex roles and wife-beating were examined as well.Reliability analysis was conducted on the three itemsmeasuring sex role attitudes and the 6-item Wife Beating isJustified Scale (Saunders et al., 1987) on the frontline37workers' questionnaire to determine the internal consistencyof the two scales before proceeding with further analyses.For this study, Cronbach's alpha was 0.82 for both scales. APearson-product moment correlation was then done to exploreassociations between workers' expressed levels of competenceand their years of experience working with battered women,sex role attitudes, age, and the number of hours of trainingthey received. To examine the relation of workers' feelingsof competence to the frequency of their work with batteredwomen, two one-way (knowledge competence X daily vs. weeklyvs. monthly work frequency, and skills competence X dailyvs. weekly vs. monthly work frequency) analyses of variance(ANOVA) were performed. Two one-way ANOVAs were also done toinvestigate the relations between workers' sex roleattitudes and education, and their sex role attitudes andincome.38ResultsFrontline Workers' Questionnaire The following results are presented according to thenine original research questions.Ouestion 1: Hours of training. Table 5 shows that ahigh percentage of workers reported receiving eight or morehours of training on counselling skills (70.3%). Other areaswhere approximately half the workers reported high levels oftraining were the effects of violence on women, the dynamicsof battering (power and control; cycle of violence), andcommunity resources. Areas where the most workers hadreceived no training were lesbian battering (61%), batteredwomen and immigration (40.7%), forced sex in marriage(35.6%), leading support groups (33.9%), and dating violence(25.4%). Lower levels of training were also reported forsuicide and cross-cultural awareness.Question 2: Knowledge and levels of competence. Theareas of knowledge in which the most workers indicated theyfelt "very competent" (see Table 6) included communityresources (61.9%), the effects of violence on battered women(45.8%), the cycle of violence (43.2%), and power andcontrol in battering relationships (39.8%). The issues onwhich the most workers rated themselves as "not competent"were lesbian battering (46.6%), battered women andimmigration (28.8%), forced sex in marriage (14.4%), anddating violence (11.9%). Less than a third felt "verycompetent" about their knowledge of legal issues such as the3940Table 5Training Received by Frontline Workers TOPICHOURS OF TRAINING a SD0 1 - 4^5 - 8 8+ MEANSCORECounselling skills 10.2 14.4 2.5 70.3 2.4 1.1Effects of violence onbattered women 8.5 25.4 11.9 51.7 2.1 1.1Power and control 12.7 23.7 11.0 50.0 2.0 1.1Cycle of violence 11.0 22.9 12.7 49.2 2.0 1.1Community resources 5.9 30.5 13.6 47.5 2.0 1.0Drug/alcohol abuse 16.9 24.6 10.2 44.9 1.9 1.2Leading support groups 33.9 11.9 5.9 44.1 1.6 1.4Criminal justice system 13.6 27.1 14.4 43.2 1.9 1.1Cross-cultural awareness 21.2 27.1 5.9 41.5 1.7 1.2Effects of violence onchildren 11.9 33.9 14.4 36.4 1.8 1.1Suicide 22.0 27.1 11.9 36.4 1.6 1.2Child custody and access 17.8 39.8 11.0 29.7 1.5 1.1Dating violence 25.4 37.3 14.4 18.6 1.3 1.1Immigration 40.7 27.1 9.3 18.6 1.1 1.2Forced sex in marriage 35.6 37.3 9.3 14.4 1.0 1.0Lesbian battering 61.0 28.0 4.2 2.5 0.5 0.7Note. Listed in rank order by percentage evaluating each item as "8+ hours".N ranges from 113 to 116 due to missing data.aCoding categories: 0 hours (0); 1-4 hours (1); 5-8 hours (2); 8+ hours (3).4 1Table 6Frontline Workers' Levels of Competence Regarding Their Knowledge of Issues Related to Working With Battered Women NotIssue^ApplicableNotCompetent Somewhat Competent^CompetentVeryaMeanScore SD% % % % % %Community resources - 2.5 2.5 13.6 19.5 61.9 4.4 1.0Effects of violenceon battered women - 2.5 5.9 13.6 32.2 45.8 4.1 1.0Cycle of violence - 4.2 1.7 20.3 28.8 43.2 4.1 1.0Power and control - 5.1 1.7 21.2 32.2 39.8 4.0 1.1Effects of violenceon children - 4.2 11.9 22.0 28.0 33.9 3.7 1.2Drug/alcohol abuse 2.5 5.9 14.4 22.0 20.3 33.1 3.5 1.4Criminal justicesystem 1.7 9.3 16.9 31.4 11.9 28.8 3.3 1.4Suicide 3.4 11.9 11.9 28.8 16.9 26.3 3.2 1.4Child custodyand access 1.7 11.0 16.1 30.5 16.9 22.9 3.2 1.3Cross-culturalawareness - 16.1 16.1 21.2 24.6 21.2 3.2 1.4Dating violence 1.7 11.9 16.1 25.4 25.4 18.6 3.2 1.3Forced sexin marriage 2.5 14.4 23.7 25.4 17.8 15.3 2.9 1.4Immigration 3.4 28.8 19.5 16.1 23.7 7.6 2.5 1.4Lesbian battering 5.1 46.6 22.0 12.7 6.8 5.9 1.9 1.3Note. Listed in rank order by percentage evaluating each item as "verycompetent".N ranges from 116 to 118 due to missing data.aCoding categories: not applicable (0); not competent (1); somewhat competent (2,3, 4); very competent (5).criminal justice system and child custody and access, andabout suicide and cross-cultural awareness.A one-way ANOVA found a significant relationship,F(2,113) = 12.2, p>.001, between mean levels of competenceregarding knowledge of issues related to working withbattered women and work frequency (i.e., daily, weekly,monthly). A Scheffe's test was used to determine whichgroups were significantly different from one another.Results indicated that workers who work with battered womendaily reported greater competence than those who work withbattered women weekly or monthly (p<.05).Table 7 shows that a significant positive correlationwas found between knowledge competence (summed score ofitems) and sex role attitudes (r=.42, p<.01), i.e., greatercompetence was associated with a more egalitarian sex roleattitude. A significant positive correlation was also foundbetween knowledge competence (summed score of items) andhours of training (r=.80, p<.01), i.e., greater competencewas associated with more hours of training. No significantcorrelation was found between levels of knowledge competenceand age or years of experience working with battered women(all rs<.08).Ouestion 2: Skills and levels of competence. Whenreporting levels of competence regarding skills (see Table8), 60.2% of the workers expressed feeling "very competent"about their ability to provide information about community42Table 7Intercorrelations Among Variables (N = 118) Variable^ 1^2^3^4^5^61. Sex roleattitude2. Knowledgecompetence^.42^-3. Skillscompetence^.52^.82^-4. Hours oftraining^.42^.80^.67^-5. Years ofexperience^-.09 -.03 -.09^.036. Age^ -.08^.08^.11^-.02^.34r, (100)=.25, p<.01, two-tailed test.4344Table 8Frontline Workers' Levels of Competence Regarding Their SkillsWhen Working With Battered WomenNotSkill^ApplicableNotCompetent Somewhat CompetentVeryCompetentMeanScoreaSD% % % % % %Information oncommunity resources - - 3.4 8.5 28.0 60.2 4.4 0.8Exploring feelings 2.5 1.7 5.1 11.0 28.8 50.8 4.1 1.2Identifyingstrengths5.1 3.4 1.7 15.3 27.1 47.5 3.9 1.3Developing asafety plan - 1.7 5.1 19.5 26.3 46.6 4.1 1.0Exploringcoping skills 6.8 2.5 3.4 13.6 30.5 43.2 3.9 1.4Building confidenceand self-esteem 5.9 2.5 4.2 13.6 30.5 42.4 3.9 1.4Talking about thebattering 5.1 4.2 3.4 16.9 30.5 39.8 3.8 1.4Discussing effectsof abuse 5.1 4.2 4.2 19.5 29.7 37.3 3.8 1.4Developing supportsystems 5.9 2.5 5.1 20.3 28.0 37.3 3.7 1.4Talking about thedynamics 5.1 5.1 4.2 22.9 27.1 35.6 3.7 1.4Facilitatingdecision-making 2.5 1.7 10.2 26.3 24.6 33.9 3.7 1.2Discussinglegal options 0.8 2.5 12.7 33.9 19.5 30.5 3.6 1.2Leading groups 22.9 10.2 13.6 14.4 16.9 22.0 2.6 1.9Planning groups 22.9 11.9 11.0 16.9 16.1 21.2 2.5 1.9Note. Listed in rank order by percentage evaluating each item as "verycompetent".N ranges from 117 to 118 due to missing data.acoding categories: not applicable (0); not competent (1); somewhat competent (2,3, 4); very competent (5).resources. Approximately half the workers felt "verycompetent" about counselling skills such as helping batteredwomen to explore their feelings (50.8%) and to identifytheir strengths and needs (47.5%). Helping a battered womandevelop a safety plan was also high among the skills inwhich workers felt "very competent" (46.6%). Of the skillsin which the fewest workers felt "very competent", planningand running support groups ranked lowest at 21.2% and 22%,respectively, but were also both rated "not applicable" totheir work by 22.9% of workers. Informing battered womenabout their legal rights and options was the next lowestrated skill, in which 30.5% of workers felt "verycompetent".Question 3. A one-way ANOVA found that there is asignificant relationship between mean levels of skillscompetence and work frequency, F(2,113) = 18.7, p>.001. Inorder to determine how the groups differed, Scheffe's testwas applied. It was found that workers who work withbattered women daily have significantly greater mean levelsof skills competence than those who work weekly or monthly,and that weekly workers' mean competence levels are alsosignificantly greater than monthly workers' (p<.05).Table 7 shows that significant positive correlations(r=.52, p<.01) were found between skills competence (summedscore of items) and sex role attitudes, i.e., greatercompetence was associated with a more egalitarian sex roleattitude, and between skills competence (summed score of45items) and hours of training (r=.67, p<.01), i.e., greatercompetence was associated with more hours of training. Nosignificant correlations were found between levels of skillscompetence and age or years of experience working withbattered women (all rs<.11).Question 4: Workers' attitudes. For the total sample,the distribution of scores on the three questions related tosex role attitudes was skewed toward the egalitarian or highend of the scale, although scores ranged from 5 to 21 (M=16.8, SD=4.5), with the highest possible score being 21. Thepotential trainers' scores were also skewed toward the non-traditional end of the scale (M=17.0, SD=4.0), but the range(8-21) was slightly smaller. Workers who were not willing totrain as trainers had a slightly lower mean score (range= 5-21, M=16.3, SD=5.0).On the Wife-beating is Justified Scale, 92.4% of thefrontline workers scored the maximum of 42 points (range=18-42, M=41.0, SD=4.1), which indicates that wife beating isnot justified under any circumstances. The potentialtrainers' scores were very similar, with 93.8% scoring 42points (M=41.2, SD=3.7), and the range was the same. Thenon-trainers' mean score was a bit lower (M=40.8, SD=4.7). Areliability analysis performed for this study on the Wife-beating is Justified Scale found high internal consistency(Cronbach's alpha = 0.82), but the high degree of skewness(-4.9) precluded further analyses with other variables.46Cronbach's alpha was also found to be 0.82 for the sexrole attitude scale, providing some justification forsumming the scale for analytic purposes in this study.Gentemann (1984) found significant relations between sexrole attitudes and education, and between attitudes andincome, which were tested for this study. A one-way (sexrole attitude X senior high, technical/ vocational, andcollege vs. university undergraduate vs. universitygraduate) ANOVA found that the relation between sex roleattitudes and levels of education was nonsignificant,F(2,110) = 1.24, p>.29. The first three education categorieswere collapsed because of their small cell sizes. Thefindings may differ from Gentemann's because of the highlevels of education of the sample. The differences found inthat study were between subjects with less than an eighthgrade education and those with high school or more.Another ANOVA (sex role attitude X <$10,000-30,000 vs.$30,001-50,000 vs. $50,001->90,000) found no meandifferences between sex role attitudes and levels of income,F(2,107) = 1.26, p>.28. The two lowest and three highestincome categories were collapsed for this analysis due tosmall cell sizes. Again, the discrepancies between thefindings of the two studies may be due to differences in theincome brackets of the samples. Gentemann compared thosewith annual incomes of less than $15,000 to those with morethan $15,000. Also, her study included women in the generalpopulation who may not be as prone to answering questions47about sex role attitudes in a socially desirable way asworkers who work with battered women may be.Question 5: Characteristics of workers willing to be trainers. Of the population surveyed, 54.2% of frontlineworkers indicated that they would be willing to be trainedas trainers to educate other people in their communities towork with battered women. Table 2 compares the demographiccharacteristics of potential trainers and those who were notwilling to become trainers. A visual inspection of the datasuggests that the potential trainers did not differ a greatdeal from non-trainers regarding sex and education. However,trainers were less likely to be part of a couple withchildren and more likely to be single than non-trainers.Their mean age was 38.7 years (SD=8.2) versus 40.2 (SD=6.9)for non-trainers. Although the mean income ($30,001-50,000)was the same for both groups, 20% more of the trainersreported incomes of $10,001-30,000 than non-trainers.Table 3 shows that potential trainers were more likelyto provide telephone counselling, legal advocacy, andsupport group facilitation than non-trainers, but only halfas many trainers provided health care. More trainers workedwith battered women on a daily or weekly basis than non-trainers. Few volunteers and no casual workers wanted tobecome trainers. Trainers reported having fewer years ofexperience working with battered women, the mean being 1-3years versus 7-9 for non-trainers.48A greater percentage of potential trainers indicatedthat they had been in a battering relationship (62.5%) andthat they had witnessed or experienced abuse in childhood(64.1%) than did non-trainers (38.5% and 50%, respectively).Trainers' scores on sex role attitudes (M=17.0, SD=4.1) andthe Wife-beating is Justified Scale (M=41.2, SD=3.7) werevery close to those of non-trainers (M=16.3, SD=5.0; M=40.8,SD=4.7, respectively).In a visual inspection to compare levels of competencebetween potential trainers and non-trainers, they seem todiffer noticeably only regarding legal issues. It appearsthat more trainers than non-trainers had received more thaneight hours of training (see Tables D-1 and E-1) on legalissues such as the criminal justice system and child custodyand access and more potential trainers felt "very competent"in their legal knowledge (see Tables D-2 and E-2) and skills(See Tables D-3 and E-3). However, trainers had receivedless training and fewer felt "very competent" about theirknowledge regarding suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, andcross-cultural awareness than non-trainers. More trainersthan non-trainers felt "somewhat competent" and "verycompetent" developing a safety plan with a battered woman,and planning and leading support groups.Question 6: Conditions of training. As shown in Table9, more than half of the potential trainers (53.1%)indicated that funding for transportation would be"essential" if travel were necessary to attend training.4950Table 9Conditions of Training for Potential Trainers by Level ofImportance bNot^Not^Somewhat^ Very^ MeanCondition Applicable Important Important Important Important Essential Score SD% % % % % %Travel paid 1.6 3.1 3.1 21.9 15.6 53.1 4.1 1.2In region - 3.1 1.6 25.0 20.3 48.4 4.1 1.0In community 1.6 4.7 7.8 20.3 21.9 42.2 3.9 1.3No costa- 6.3 6.3 34.4 15.6 35.9 3.7 1.2Weekdays 14.1 26.6 18.8 12.5 18.8 9.4 2.5 1.8Weekends 15.6 34.4 7.8 10.9 7.8 12.5 2.0 1.0Evenings 23.4 39.1 6.3 7.8 4.7 9.4 1.5 1.6Child care 43.8 31.1 1.6 6.3 7.8 9.4 1.1 1.6Note. Listed in rank order by percentage evaluating each item as "essential".n ranges from 57 to 63 due to missing data.a .Listed in this order due to higher percentage evaluated as "very important".bCoding categories: not applicable (0); not important (1); somewhat important(2); important (3); very important (4); essential (5).Given that result, it is not surprising that many alsoconsidered it "essential" to receive training in theirregion (48.4%) or community (42.2%), and to have trainingprovided at no cost to themselves (35.9%). The scheduling oftraining on weekdays was considered to be "very important"and "essential" to more workers than weekends or evenings.The provision of childcare was rated "not applicable" by43.8% of the potential trainers even though almost half areparents.Administrators' Questionnaire The data from the administrators' questionnairesprovided information about the agencies surveyed regardingthe kind of training on battering given to workers in thelast two years and the agencies' willingness to pay forfurther training and to sponsor workers to train as trainersfor other frontline workers in their communities.Ouestion 7: Types of training. The three trainingprograms listed on the questionnaire were chosen becausethey were designed specifically to train workers who provideservices to battered women. The Duluth Domestic AbuseIntervention Training had been sponsored by 28.3% of theagencies for their workers, 18.9% of the agencies sentworkers to the Justice Institute Stopping Violence AgainstWomen Counsellor Training program, and 15.1% provided BWSStraining. Justice Institute training courses were thelongest, ranging from 16 to 120 hours (M=70.3). The Duluthtraining ranged from 6 to 24 hours (M=13.5) among those51agencies that sponsored it, and one worker did 152 hours ofmen's group co-facilitation using the Duluth model. The BWSStraining ranged from 12 to 30 hours (M=18), except for oneworker who took the 150 -hour peer counsellor/support groupleader training.Other types of training were cited by 49.1% ofadministrators, ranging from one hour to a maximum of 480hours for a sexual abuse counsellor training course (M=61hours), and included conferences, workshops, and in-housetraining seminars with local experts on family violence, aswell as training on related issues such as drug and alcoholabuse and sexual abuse. One agency sponsored a 245-hour 7-module family violence training program, but did not specifyits source.Twenty-two out of 53 administrators (41.5%) reportedhaving sponsored no training specifically on battering inthe last two years. These included 5 provincial socialservices agencies, 4 mental health, 2 hospitals, 2 churches,2 legal services, 2 women's centres, 1 alcohol and drug, 1family and child, 1 victim assistance, 1 police and nativeliaison, and even 1 transition house. Half the agenciesclaimed to have no training budget and eight had verylimited funding for professional development. Legal andsocial services agencies had no local control over funds fortraining. Other agencies had to get board approval.Ouestion 8: Funding for training. In response to aquestion asking administrators how much their agencies would52be willing to pay for training on battering, 40% indicatedthat they would sponsor 2 to 60 hours (M=16.8) for theirworkers at a cost of $50 per hour of group training (thecurrent rate for BWSS training). However, 60% of theadministrators were either unwilling or unable to pay (34%)or did not say how much they would spend on training (26%).Some administrators wrote that they had no local controlover training budgets or that they wanted to know more abouta training program before committing funds.Question 9: Training trainers. The majority of theadministrators (77.4%) indicated that they would be willingto have workers in their agencies train as trainers to doeducation work with other frontline workers in theircommunities, if that training were available at no cost. The12 agencies that did not favour this training were 3hospitals, 2 social services, 2 legal services, 1 victimassistance program, 1 alcohol and drug program, 1 women'scentre, 1 family violence program, and 1 multiculturalagency. One administrator claimed workers had little timeavailable, and another wanted to evaluate the train-the-trainer program first.53DiscussionThe data from the two questionnaires supported theneed for further training on issues related to batteringamong workers who provide services to battered women.Written comments from both groups of respondents alsoindicated that they would like to receive further training.Among the workers surveyed for the BWSS training needsassessment, the individual areas of knowledge and skills inwhich workers received the most training appeared to bewhere they also felt the most competent in their work withbattered women, and they felt less competent where they hadreceived less training. This observation was supported whena positive correlation was found between the number of hoursof training received in all areas, and feelings ofcompetence in skills and knowledge related to working withbattered women.Other studies provide support for the finding thatworkers feel more competent after training (Boulanger etal., 1988; Rinfret-Raynor & Paquet-Deehy, 1988). This makessense in the context of Bandura's theory of self-efficacy(1977) if training includes modelling of skills, practice,and encouragement. Therefore, training programs that devotemore time to topics in which workers perceive a lack ofcompetence may help to increase their feelings of competencein those areas. Further research that controls for otherfactors that may influence competence is required to confirmthese findings.54What other factors could be included in trainingprograms to increase workers' feelings of competence? Intheir study of workers who provide services to batteredwomen, Lavoie, Jacob, and Martin (1988) found that knowledgeof resources and legal options for battered women, workingfrequently with battered women, an anti-violence attitude,and the perceived support of supervisors contributed to asense of competence. In this study, over 60% of workers felt"very competent" in their knowledge of community resourcesand their skills in providing information about them, andalmost half had received more than eight hours of trainingon that topic. Therefore, for those workers, furthertraining on that topic may not be necessary. However,information on providing referrals to community resourcesfor battered women should be included in basic trainingprograms to promote feelings of competence.Knowledge of the criminal justice system and childcustody and access, and discussing legal issues were areaswhere most workers felt they lacked competence. Bowker's(1988) survey regarding the effectiveness of servicessuggested that legal information is important to helpbattered women leave violent situations. Therefore, trainingprograms should emphasize legal knowledge and skills to helpworkers inform battered women about their legal rights andoptions. Potential trainers had more training and felt morecompetent about legal matters than non-trainers, which would55be an advantage if they were to provide training thatfosters feelings of competence.Another variable related to competence was thefrequency of working with battered women. As suggested byBandura's theory of self-efficacy (1977), this study foundthat daily or weekly, as opposed to monthly, contact waspositively correlated with levels of competence. Trainingprograms cannot increase work frequency, but offeringongoing training might enhance feelings of competence byproviding workers with updated information and opportunitiesto practice their skills on a regular basis.The scores on workers' attitudes suggested that theyfavour egalitarian sex roles and that they do not believethat wife battering is justified under any circumstances.These results are encouraging, given the results of thestudy that found that there is a significant relationshipbetween non-traditional sex role attitudes and favourableattitudes toward battered women (Lavoie, Martin, &Valiquette, 1988). Furthermore, other research has shownthat there is a positive relationship between traditionalsex role preferences and greater approval and tolerance ofmarital violence (Finn, 1986; Gentemann, 1984; Greenblatt,1985; Lavoie, Jacob, & Martin, 1988). This study also foundmoderate positive correlations between competence regardingskills and knowledge and sex role attitudes, supporting alink between feelings of competence and favourable attitudestoward battered women. Therefore, it would be important to56encourage workers to critically examine and discuss theirpersonal attitudes and beliefs about sex roles and batteringin training programs in order to foster positive attitudestoward battered women and feelings of competence.The final variable found by Lavoie, Jacob, and Martin(1988) to be related to competence among workers was theperceived support of supervisors in the workplace. Thisstudy found that 40% of the administrators reported thattheir agencies had not sponsored training on batteringrecently and the majority were unable or unwilling to payfor training, although they were willing to have workerstrain as trainers. This suggests that there is littlefinancial support available for training, and in some cases,little moral support for it. One transition houseadministrator claimed that the shelter's board did not valueongoing staff training, so no money was forthcoming to fundit. Overall, written comments by administrators showed thatthey wanted more training for their workers, but it may bethat they either do not have the money or the power to makedecisions about paying for it.As well as getting the support of supervisors to obtaintraining, workers require support afterward. The study byBoulanger, Giroux, and Sabourin (1988) on a training programfor workers providing services to battered women recommendedthat trainers should offer follow-up supervision in theworkplace after training to assess the impact of trainingand respond to individual needs of workers. This was not57addressed directly in the questionnaires, butadministrators' written comments suggested that follow-upswould be desirable, and focus group participants concurred.58PART II: FOCUS GROUPSMethodA focus group is a group interview with 6 to 12participants led by a moderator that explores a topic bymeans of open-ended questions intended to stimulatediscussion among participants (Morgan, 1988). As an adjunctto survey data, it provides further insights intorespondents' thinking because group interaction can generateideas and individual points of view that are not accessiblewith a written survey (Stewart & Shamdasani, 1990). Thefocus group format also promotes communication amongdifferent agencies and workers, which is one of the aims ofthe interdisciplinary approach to domestic violencedescribed by Kinnon (1988) and implemented by the seven wifeassault coordination committees in B.C."The most common purpose of a focus group interview isfor an in-depth exploration of a topic about which little isknown" (Stewart & Shamdasani, 1990, p. 102). BWSS wanted toknow if the needs of aboriginal and other cultural minorityworkers differed from those of the mainstream, and if so,how those needs could be addressed in training programs. Theagency was concerned that language and cultural differencesmay have prevented some of those workers from responding tothe written questionnaires. Therefore, two focus groups, onein Vancouver and one in Williams Lake, were conducted tocomplement the information provided by the questionnairesand to provide a forum for native workers from small59communities and workers from cultural minorities to expresstheir training needs. Participants would be asked to discusswhat issues they believe should be addressed in trainingfrontline native workers and other cultural minority workerswho provide services to battered women and how that trainingshould be delivered.Sample The wife assault coordinators in Williams Lake andVancouver were consulted to help select agencies whoseworkers would be suitable for focus group participation. Thecriteria for selection included being a native worker(Williams Lake) or a worker from a cultural minority group(Lower Mainland) with experience working with batteredwomen. Those communities were chosen because Williams Lakeand its environs has a high native population and the LowerMainland has several multicultural and culture-specificagencies that serve immigrant and visible minority women. Iexplained to the administrators of the agencies that wererecommended the nature of the research and then contactedthe workers whom they suggested might be interested inparticipating. Then I contacted potential participants toexplain the purpose of the focus group and to invite them toexpress their training needs in a small group discussion.These groups are too small to be representative of theentire populations of native and cultural minority workerswho provide services to battered women in the province, butthe results of the two focus groups do provide some insight60into the training needs of native workers in isolatedcommunities and the needs of urban workers from culturalminorities.Native workers' focus group. Sixteen workersparticipated in the Williams Lake focus group, some of whomtravelled up to two hours from reserves and outlyingcommunities to attend the discussion held in a meeting roomof the local hospital. Thirteen were native women and 3 werenon-native women who work with native people in the area offamily violence. They represented 3 Indian bands, 3 tribalcouncils, a women's shelter, and a native friendshipsociety. The group included 3 social workers, 1 communityhealth worker, 1 traditional native counsellor, 1 Indianband manager, 2 family support workers, 1 child care worker,1 sexual abuse support group leader, 1 drug and alcoholcounsellor, 1 family violence counsellor, 1 women's sheltercoordinator, 1 outreach worker, 1 executive director of anative friendship society, and 1 former family violenceworker. A written submission of training needs was sent by anative victim assistance worker who was unable to attend.Her list of topics included crisis counselling,codependency, anger management, counselling children, andwomen's rights in the justice system.The workers' training experience regarding violenceagainst women included workshops, family violence componentsof native education programs, and sexual abuse and sexualassault training. The length of training ranged from none to6112 weeks. Their experience working with battered womenranged from less than 1 year to 12 years.Cultural minority workers' focus group. This focusgroup, conducted at the BWSS office in Vancouver, broughttogether 8 workers who reflect the multicultural diversityof the province from 5 agencies serving immigrant andvisible minority women in the Lower Mainland. The workerswere members of 6 cultural minority groups: Argentinean,Chinese, Ghanaian, Iranian, Filipino, and Vietnamese. Sevenof the participants were women. There were 4 familycounsellors, 1 immigrant women's support group leader, 1child support worker, 1 trainer of volunteer workers, and 1immigrant services program supervisor. Their length ofexperience working with battered women ranged from less than1 year to 17 years. The training they had received to workwith battered women included workshops, conferences, andextensive family violence programs, and the length oftraining experience ranged from none to 90 hours.Procedure The 2 two-hour focus groups were designed and carriedout according to the methods outlined by Morgan (1988) andStewart and Shamdasani (1990). First, an interview guide ofquestions for the focus groups was prepared in consultationwith BWSS (see Appendix F). The questions were designed tobe open-ended and as broad as possible to elicit a widerange of ideas and opinions on the training experiences andneeds of workers from cultural minorities. The same62interview guide was adapted for use with both the native andcultural minority focus groups. Then questions were pilot-tested with seven workers at BWSS who were either members ofcultural minorities or had experience working with nativeand/or other cultural minority workers. They providedfeedback on the cultural sensitivity, content, clarity,relevance, and order of the questions, and the interviewguide was revised as necessary.There were 10 open-ended questions, beginning withgeneral requests for information about workers' trainingresources and experiences and moving to more specificquestions about the desired content and process of trainingfor native or cultural minority workers. They were alsoasked about what they thought should be included in trainingprograms for mainstream workers who provide services tobattered native or cultural minority women. At the end ofboth discussions participants were invited to add anyfurther comments they might have about their training needsor about their cultural groups.At the beginning of each focus group, I introducedmyself as the moderator and as a graduate student researcherconducting the training needs assessment for BWSS. I thenintroduced the clerical assistant. The group members wereinformed about the purpose of the BWSS training needsassessment, the format and rules of the group discussion (nointerruptions, one person speaks at a time, andparticipation is voluntary), and about the confidentiality63of their remarks. Each participant signed a consent form(see Appendix F) permitting audiotaping and the use of theircomments for research purposes, including the graduatestudent's master's thesis. The clerical assistant took notesand audiotaped the discussion.To begin the discussion, group members were invited tointroduce themselves briefly by giving their names, thetypes of work they do with battered women and the agenciesthey work for, and any relevant information they chose toshare. I then asked questions from the interview guide,sometimes deviating from the established sequence in orderto follow the direction of the group's ideas. Probes andparaphrasing were used to prompt further discussion and toclarify meanings. However, I was careful to be nonjudgmentaland not to impose my own views in order to stimulate a widerange of ideas and opinions. The group moderator's task isto facilitate the smooth flow of the discussion, to ensurethat everyone has an opportunity to speak and to focusdiscussion on training needs, but to otherwise minimize herinvolvement in the group.At the end of each focus group, I invited finalcomments or questions, thanked everyone for theirparticipation, and told them that they would receive summaryreports upon completion of the BWSS training needsassessment. Copies of the consent forms were mailed toparticipants.64Data Analysis The notes taken by the clerical assistant during eachfocus group and my notes written immediately following wereused as the basis for data analysis. I went through eachtranscript to code responses that corresponded to each ofthe focus group questions. Then I looked for ideas that wererelevant to training, categorized the coded responses, andrecorded the frequency of similar responses under each ofthe following categories: training resources, barriers totraining, positive training experiences, negative trainingexperiences, elements to be included in training programs,and training delivery. Those categories arose from mydecision to organize the data in a way that would providepractical information for trainers developing andimplementing training programs. Although all the informationgiven by participants was valuable and relevant tobattering, responses that did not relate directly totraining were omitted from the results reported here,including workers' personal experiences of battering andcase studies of battered women with whom participants hadworked.65ResultsNative Workers' Focus GroupResources for training. There is no trainingspecifically geared for workers who provide services tobattered women in Williams Lake. Workers must travel toother communities or attend workshops locally when agenciessponsor training programs with trainers brought in fromelsewhere.Barriers to training. The most frequently mentionedbarrier to receiving training is the stress and expense ofhaving to travel. Even if training is available in WilliamsLake, workers living on outlying reserves find it difficultto leave their homes and families in order to get training.Lack of funding for training is also a major problem. Theyalso want to know more about the training programs availablein order to determine if they are appropriate or relevant totheir needs. One worker mentioned language as a barrierbecause trainers do not speak native languages.Positive training experiences. When discussing trainingprograms in which they had participated, workers said thatexperiential, hands-on training exercises were useful. Itwas helpful to have people who have experienced batteringcome in and talk about it and workers also appreciatedsharing their own experiences. One worker said she likedhaving professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, and police,brought in to discuss what battered women and their familiescan expect when they go through the medical and criminal66justice systems, for example. Other successful elements offamily violence training included gaining self-awareness,exploring feelings, post-training support from thefacilitator, discussing the cycle of violence, and learningabout the family systems approach to counselling. One workersaid she felt most comfortable doing training on thereserve.Negative training experiences. The most frequentlymentioned negative elements of training were the lack ofnative trainers and the lack of emphasis on native issues.Workers stated that theory learned in training did nottranslate well into practice on the reserve. One negativecomment on training formats was that it took longer to takein information from a classroom lecture than fromparticipatory experiential techniques. One worker found theradical feminist approach too political in her trainingprogram.Elements to be included in training programs. Workersfrequently mentioned the need for education in nativecultural awareness, such as traditional healing,spirituality, and parenting. They emphasized the importanceof a holistic approach that includes the entire family andcommunity in dealing with family violence. (One workerobjected to the term "battered women", preferring the moreinclusive "family violence".) Other issues they would liketo see covered in training programs are basic counsellingskills, workshop planning, awareness of community resources,67sexual abuse, alcoholism, suicide prevention, and theeffects of the residential school experience on aboriginalpeople.Training delivery. Workers said that they would like tohave training delivered in their communities, preferably bynative trainers who can speak aboriginal languages. Theywould like to have some training provided by local elders,traditional healers, and other native people in thecommunity who have experience in dealing with battering, andwho can share their knowledge of First Nations culture(e.g., the use of the medicine wheel, the sweat lodge, andsymbolism in healing). If travel were necessary, they wouldlike to have funds available for transportation andchildcare. They would prefer limited structure and aninformal atmosphere, e.g., sitting in a circle on the floor,with the use of interactive and experiential methods such asrole plays, visualizations, art, brainstorming, anddiscussion about personal experiences, problems, and ethicalissues related to battering. They suggested that trainingshould be standardized and consistent across the province,but once trainees have the basic tools, they should be ableto adapt training programs to the needs of theircommunities.Cultural Minority Workers' Focus GroupTraining resources. Workers said that there were manyworkshops and conferences on battering available in the68Lower Mainland. However, some workers had had no trainingspecifically on that issue.Barriers to training. A lack of time was the mostfrequently mentioned barrier to training. Workers said theywere very busy and one participant noted that some executivedirectors of agencies are reluctant to give workers time offfor training on battering because they do not believe it isrelevant to their work. Another participant added that someworkers, too, do not think that training is necessary eventhough they deal with battered women. Time required fortravel to training sites was also considered a barrier. Iftraining took place on evenings and weekends, women found itdifficult to arrange childcare.Positive training experiences. Workers stated thatparticipatory theatre and role plays were the most usefultechniques they had encountered in training programs. Whenthey acted out the part of a battered woman, they felt moreempathy and understanding for her position. Small groupdiscussions, visual aids, and a workshop on legal issueswere also mentioned as positive experiences.Negative training experiences. One participant dislikedthe repetition of basic information such as the dynamics ofbattering in every workshop. Although one worker thoughtrole plays of group sessions were somewhat helpful, shefound that they did not adequately reflect the reality ofworking with groups in which "real" people were not ascooperative as trainees. Another participant did not like69having a follow-up to training too soon afterward, as shewanted time to practice what she had learned before comingback to discuss it.Elements to be included in training. Most participantswanted to know how to recognize the limits of theirexpertise in working with battered women, and how and whereto refer clients for services they did not feel competent toprovide. They wanted advocacy skills that would help themdeal with professionals in the medical and judicial systemsand they wanted more legal information. They also neededconcrete and practical techniques for working with batteredwomen one-to-one and in groups. The workers stronglysupported the idea of having a six-month follow-up, or"second stage" training program, in which they could talkabout problems they had encountered when implementing whatthey had learned in the initial training and strengthentheir skills.Participants discussed the need for gender and culturalsensitivity training. Suggested topics to be included werecultural differences in values, taboos, emotionalexpressiveness, concepts of marriage, and gender roles. Oneworker said that cultural stereotypes should be criticallyexamined.Training delivery. In order to instill culturalsensitivity, participants believed that training programsshould include trainees from a variety of ethnic backgroundsand agencies so that they could share their knowledge of70their own cultures with each other. When discussing how theywould like to receive training, most workers agreed that ahalf day per week over several weeks would be best in orderto minimize interference with their work schedules, althoughone woman preferred a full day if she had to travel a longdistance. Evenings and weekends were least preferred due todifficulties arranging childcare. Other workers wanted moredetails about the content of training programs ahead of timeso they could make informed decisions about attending, andone person suggested that basic, intermediate, and advancedprograms should be offered to avoid repeatedly receiving thesame information in workshops on battering. Finally, oneparticipant mentioned that she wanted more information onthe availability of funding for training.71DiscussionIt was clear from the discussion that these nativeworkers were eager to receive further training in issuesrelated to battering, but funding limitations and travelbarriers were difficult to overcome. They wanted training intheir communities, provided by trainers who are aware ofnative culture and traditions and who train in a culturallysensitive way. This requires a holistic approach to workingwith battered women that recognizes the importance of familyand community, and does not deal with the battered woman inisolation. They also expressed the need for the coordinationof services for battered women and networking among workersfrom different agencies.The cultural minority focus group participantsdemonstrated their desire to share their knowledge withother workers, and suggested that "mainstream" and minorityworkers from different agencies could use training as aforum to talk about their cultural differences in order tofoster mutual understanding and sensitivity to the needs ofbattered women from cultural minorities. This supports theresearch on interdisciplinary approaches to family violence(B.C. Task Force, 1992; Davis, 1984; Kinnon, 1988a, 1988b;London Coordinating Committee, 1989; Pence & Shepard, 1988)that recommends joint training for workers to shareinformation.Although they made some suggestions about the processand content of training that would be applicable to all72programs for workers who provide services to battered women,the focus groups pointed out the need to consult traineesprior to developing and delivering training programs inorder to meet the needs of specific groups and communities.73ConclusionsThe purpose of this study was to determine the trainingneeds of workers who provide services to battered women inBritish Columbia and to identify those workers who would beinterested in being trained to train other workers in thefield. Training needs were identified by determining theareas in which respondents reported feeling the leastcompetent and received the least training. Written commentsfrom workers and administrators, and focus group datasupplemented the questionnaire results.The questionnaires provided data from a broad range ofworkers and administrators in several communities, while thefocus group interviews provided a deeper understanding ofthe needs of two specific groups of workers. Thequantitative and qualitative research methods werecomplementary, each giving a different perspective on thetraining needs of the workers surveyed. I acknowledge thevalue of the more objective quantitative approach of thequestionnaires that permits one to establish relationshipsbetween variables and generalize from the statisticalresults. However, being a counsellor, I found the focusgroup interviews more rewarding because I was able to delvemore deeply into workers' needs and enrich the numericaldata by adding a human context.The questionnaire results showed that the respondentsreceived the most training in, and felt the most competentabout their knowledge of community resources, the effects of74violence on battered women, and power and control and thecycle of violence in battering relationships. They hadreceived the least training in, and felt the least competentabout their knowledge of lesbian battering, immigration andbattered women, forced sex in marriage, and dating violence.Other issues related to working with battered women thatwere in the middle range in terms of training and competencewere drug and alcohol abuse, suicide, and the effects ofwitnessing violence on children.Regarding their skills in working with battered women,the majority of the workers reported getting the mosttraining on counselling skills and feeling the mostcompetent doing crisis counselling such as givinginformation on community resources, exploring and validatingfeelings, identifying a woman's strengths and needs, anddeveloping a plan with a battered woman to help increase hersafety. Workers indicated feeling slightly lower levels ofcompetence using their skills in ongoing counselling, whichmay be as a result of seeing more women in crisis. They feltlow levels of competence discussing battered women's legalrights and options, and this area was identified by workers'and administrators' written comments as an area where moretraining is required. Few workers felt very competentplanning and running support groups, but only about aquarter of all workers were support group facilitators.Lloyd, Cate, and Conger (1983) and the B.C. Task Force(1992) recommended that all training programs for family75violence workers include training on the nature and dynamicsof battering. Questionnaire and focus group data indicatedthat some workers received the greatest amount of trainingon counselling skills and the dynamics of battering, and didnot wish to attend programs that repeated the same basicinformation, although they wanted to know more about otherissues related to battering. Other workers felt they neededbasic skills and information. To address each group's needs,different levels of training (e.g., basic, intermediate, andadvanced) could be made available to workers. Or a basicstandardized program could be designed with optional unitson a variety of topics such as lesbian battering, drug andalcohol abuse, or group facilitation, which could be addeddepending on the needs of trainees.Although responses to questions on attitudes suggestedthat the respondents were favourably disposed towardbattered women, workers and administrators wrote thatnegative attitudes among service providers in theircommunities should be addressed through training and publiceducation. The B.C. Task Force report (1992) and research byLloyd, Cate, and Conger (1983) on the training needs ofworkers who provide services to battered women supportedfocus group participants' suggestions about fosteringawareness of personal beliefs about sex roles and batteringin training programs. In light of those recommendations,this study's findings that sex role attitudes are correlatedwith hours of training and feelings of competence, and other76research that related attitudes to competence and positiveattitudes toward battered women (Finn, 1986; Gentemann,1984; Greenblatt, 1985; Lavoie, Jacob, & Martin, 1988;Lavoie, Martin, & Valiquette, 1988), the inclusion ofcritical discussion of sex role attitudes in trainingprograms seems warranted. However, more research is requiredto determine how training affects attitudes.Both focus groups emphasized the need for culturalsensitivity in training programs and made suggestions as tohow that could be implemented. This need was supported bythe lower levels of competence in cross-cultural andimmigration issues reported by questionnaire respondents.The Task Force report (1992) and a parallel report on familyviolence in aboriginal communities (Frank, 1992) alsorecommended that training programs promote sensitivity tothe needs of cultural minorities and discussion aboutracism.Comments from administrators and focus groupparticipants suggested follow-ups to training to giveworkers the opportunity to talk about difficultiesencountered while putting training theory into practice.This idea is supported by a study on a domestic violencetraining program (Boulanger, Giroux, & Sabourin, 1988) thatfound that supervision following training is desirable toevaluate the effectiveness of the program and to respond toindividual needs.77More than half of the respondents who were frontlineworkers indicated an interest in becoming trainers in theircommunities and more than three quarters of theadministrators favoured having workers within their agenciestrain as trainers if it were available at no cost to theagencies. Therefore, it seems likely that training programsfor trainers would attract participants, but agencies mayrequire funding to sponsor such training. Workers who wishedto train as trainers tended to have fewer years ofexperience working with battered women, and were more likelyto provide legal advocacy and feel very competent abouttheir legal knowledge and group facilitation skills thanother workers. One can only speculate about the reasons forthese differences and further investigation would berequired to explain them. The disparity in years ofexperience is surprising, as one might expect that moreexperienced workers would wish to pass on their accumulatedknowledge. However, newer workers may bring freshinspiration and enthusiasm to the work that they wish toshare. Confidence in their ability to plan and lead groupsmay partly explain why those workers are willing to trainother workers. They were also more likely to haveexperienced battering and childhood abuse, which may alsoaccount for their commitment to educating other workers onissues related to battering.When asked about the conditions required for workers toparticipate in training, questionnaire and focus group78participants indicated that they prefer to receive traininglocally to avoid the stress and expense of travel, and iftravel were necessary, they would require funding for it.Weekdays were suggested as the best time for workers toattend training, although an administrator noted that amajor cost is paying relief workers while regular staffattend training. Overall, it is clear that in order fortraining to be accessible to all workers, financial supportmust be provided for it.Despite the need for training indicated by thequestionnaire and focus group participants, over 40% of theadministrators reported that their agencies had provided notraining specifically on battering in the last two years.This is surprising because those agencies are members oflocal committees that coordinate services for batteredwomen. The agencies that were least likely to providetraining were primarily government-funded social services,hospitals, and mental health services. A lack of funding forprofessional development may be a factor in this deficiency,as only 40% of the administrators were willing or able tofinance such training. The frontline workers and the focusgroup participants also reported a lack of funds fortraining. However, remarks by focus group members andwritten comments from questionnaire respondents suggestedthat some agencies place a low priority on training forworking with battered women, despite written comments fromadministrators that such training is desirable. Financial79support may encourage agencies to sponsor training, butadministrators and boards may first need to be convincedthat training workers who provide services to battered womenis necessary and will benefit agencies, workers, and theirclients.Therefore, the assessment of training needs throughconsultation with workers and administrators should be anongoing process. Wife assault coordination committees ineach community could create education sub-committees thatwould explore training needs and provide joint training forworkers from member agencies so they can share informationand work together to solve problems, as suggested by theB.C. Task Force (1992) and Davis (1984). The sub-committeecould also do public education in schools and communityorganizations to promote prevention and intervention in wifeassault. This interdisciplinary approach to training hasbeen successfully adopted in London, Ontario (LondonCoordinating Committee, 1989). The communities surveyed inthis training needs assessment could follow that example anduse the committees they have already established to activelypromote a consistent community response to battering andbattered women through standardized training that is adaptedto meet workers' needs.Limitations The results of the training needs assessment cannot begeneralized beyond the agencies that responded to thequestionnaires in the seven communities surveyed or the8081workers in the two focus groups. The questionnaire responserate for agency administrators was 62%, a rate that issufficient to give confidence in the results derived fromthe data. However, the response rate for frontline workerswas only 45% and the characteristics of nonrespondents areunknown because only administrators were contacted withfollow-up telephone calls. Administrators were responsiblefor distributing questionnnaires to workers within theiragencies, and workers returned them anonymously, so it wasimpossible to contact nonrespondents directly to find outwhy they did not respond. It is possible that the results ofthe frontline workers' questionnaires could have beenaltered by data from nonrespondents. Therefore, thoseresults must be interpreted with caution. An additionallimitation is that the job titles of this heterogeneoussample are unknown.Another limitation is that the questionnaire data weresubjective, based on the participants' self-reports ratherthan on objective assessments of the amount and types oftraining received and work performance. Qualitative datafrom the focus groups was intended to complement thequantitative data and explore the needs of specific groupsin depth. Further research using objective methods wouldhelp to verify the results of this study. Workers were alsosurveyed at only one point in time. Therefore, ongoingassessments are recommended to respond to changes in82individual and group training needs.Finally, battered women receiving services were notconsulted about their needs. However, more than half of theworkers had experienced battering themselves, and wouldtherefore have insight into the needs of battered women andlikely a personal commitment to helping them. Moreover, thisstudy was guided by a feminist perspective.Implications Recommendations for training (see Appendix G) werepresented in a report on the training needs assessmentsubmitted to BWSS and the Ministry of Women's Equality. As aresult of the assessment, BWSS will apply to the ministryfor funding to develop and implement province-wide train-the-trainer programs that will meet the needs of traineesand the workers they subsequently train within theircommunities.The results of the study are primarily descriptive, andcontribute to the limited fund of knowledge about workersproviding services to battered women. The frontline workers'questionnaire also contributed to theory regarding attitudesand competence. By finding a positive correlation between anegalitarian sex role attitude and feelings of competenceamong workers, the study extended the findings of Lavoie,Jacob, and Martin (1988) who identified positiverelationships between traditional sex role attitudes andtolerance for marital violence, and between anti-violence83attitudes and competence. Furthermore, an egalitarian sexrole attitude has been linked to positive attitudes towardwomen who are victims of violence (Lavoie, Martin, &Valiquette, 1988). Consequently, training programs forworkers providing services to battered women should includecritical discussions about sex role socialization and itscontribution to battering, and about personal beliefs aboutgender roles and battering to promote favourable attitudestoward clients.Suggestions for Further ResearchThe following recommendations for future research arebased on the data and the limitations of the study:1. The development of a reliable instrument to assesstraining needs tested on a larger sample of workers whoprovide services to battered women would help to support andgeneralize the findings of this study.2. Pre-training and post-training testing of trainees anda control group of workers regarding sex role attitudes, thejustification of battering, and competence would determinewhether training on attitudes is related to feelings ofcompetence.3.^Further research with a larger sample that includesmore workers with lower levels of income and education isnecessary to determine whether Gentemann's (1984) findingsabout the link between sex role attitudes and income andeducation hold for this population.844. To verify the finding that workers' levels ofcompetence are affected by knowledge of community resourcesand legal options (Lavoie, Jacob, & Martin, 1988), the pre-training and post-training competence levels of workers froma training program that includes information on those topicscould be compared to the competence levels of matchedtrainees from a program that does not.5. Using competency analysis (Rummler, 1987) to compareexperts' objective performance assessments with trainees'subjective assessments of competence before and aftertraining would test Bandura's (1982, 1984) theory ofperceived self-efficacy.6. Evaluations of post-training follow-up support fromtrainers and/or supervisors in the workplace at differenttime intervals would provide more evidence for the findingsof Lavoie, Jacob, and Martin (1988) that such support haspositive effects on workers' levels of competence.7. Low response rates from some of the communitiessurveyed and respondents' written comments suggested thatsome wife assault coordination committees in the provincesuffer from a lack of involvement by member agencies. Itwould be useful to explore what factors motivate agencies toparticipate actively in the interdisciplinary approach, andwhether a high level of involvement increases agencies'likelihood of providing training for workers.ReferencesBandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Towards a unifying theoryof behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84, 191-215.Bandura, A. (1982). Self-efficacy mechanism in human agency.American Psychologist, 37, 122-147.Bandura, A. (1984). Recycling misconceptions of perceivedself-efficacy. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 8, 231-255.Battered Women's Support Services (1988). [History of theorganization]. Unpublished report.Battered Women's Support Services (1991). [Missionstatement]. Unpublished document.Battered Women's Support Services (1992). Education speaks,workshops and media from December 1, 1991 to November 1,1992. Making Waves, 4(4), p. 2.Bergman, B. (1991, November 11). Women in fear. Maclean's,pp. 26-30.Boulanger, S., Giroux, T., & Sabourin, M. (1988). Apprendre'A intervenir aupres des femmes violentees. Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health, 7(2), 89-102.Bowker, L.H. (1988). 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(pp. 217-247).New York: McGraw-Hill.Saunders, D.G., Lynch, A.B., Grayson, M., & Linz, D. (1987).The inventory of beliefs about wife beating: Theconstruction and initial validation of a measure ofbeliefs and attitudes. Violence and Victims, 2(1), 39-57.Smith, M., & Self, G. (1981). Feminists and traditionalists:An attitudinal comparison. Sex Roles, 7, 183-188.Stewart, D.W., & Shamdasani, P.N. (1990). Focus groups: Theory and practice. Newbury Park: Sage.Stringer-Moore, D., Pepitone-Arreola-Rockwell, F., & Roz6e-Koker, P. (1984). Beliefs about and experiences withbattering: Women and men in two populations. Sex Roles,11(3/4), 269-276.Walker, L.E. (1979). The battered woman. New York: Harper &Row.York, R.O. (1982). Human service planning: Concepts, tools, and methods. Chapel Hill, NC: University of NorthCarolina Press.88Appendix AFrontline Workers' Questionnaire8990BATTERED WOMEN'S SUPPORT SERVICESPROVINCIAL SURVEYFRONTLINE WORKERS' QUESTIONNAIREPLEASE TARE A FEW MINUTES TO ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS.Thank you very much for your co-operation. Please return this questionnaire in the envelopeprovided by April 2, 1993. A summary of the results of the BWSS training needsassessment will be sent to your agency when it is completed.1.^What service(s) do you provide for battered women? (Check all that apply). 00.01,40ti,upport group faellitation2. How often do you work with battered women? (Please check one boxonly).Dail^ a3. In what capacity do you most often work with battered women?(Please check one box only).4.^How many years have you been working with battered women?9 15.^Circle the number of hours of training (workshops, seminars, or other types ofinstruction) you have received on each of the following topics related to workingwith battered women.HoursCounselling skills 0 1-4 5-8 8 +Leading support groups 0 1-4 5-8 8+Power and control inbattering relationships 0 1-4 5-8 8+Cycle of violence inbattering relationships 0 1-4 5-8 8+Effects of violence onbattered women 0 1 -4 5-8 8 +Effects of violence on childrenwho witness battering 0 1-4 5-8 8+Violence in datingrelationships 0 1-4 5-8 8 +Battering in lesbianrelationships 0 1-4 5-8 8+Child custody and access 0 1-4 5-8 8 +Criminal justice system 0 1-4 5-8 8+Suicide 0 1-4 5-8 8 +Drug and alcohol abuse 0 1-4 5-8 8+Forced sex in marriage 0 1-4 5-8 8+Cross-cultural awareness 0 1-4 5-8 8+Immigration and batteredwomen 0 1-4 5-8 8+Community resources forbattered women 0 1-4 5-8 8+Other (specify) 0 1-4 5-8 8+9 26.^Circle the number that indicates how competent you feel about your level ofknowledge when dealing with the following issues in your work with batteredwomen. Circle number 0 if an issue is not applicable to your work.NotCompetentPower and control in batteringSomewhatCompetentVeryCompetentNotApplicablerelationships 1 2 3 4 5 0Cycle of violence in batteringrelationships 1 2 3 4 5 0Effects of violence onbattered women 1 2 3 4 5 0Effects of violence on childrenwho witness battering 1 2 3 4 5 0Violence in datingrelationships 1 2 3 4 5 0Battering in lesbianrelationships 1 2 3 4 5 0Child custody and access 1 2 3 4 5 0Criminal justice system 1 2 3 4 5 0Suicide 1 2 3 4 5 0Drug and alcohol abuse 1 2 3 4 5 0Forced sex in marriage 1 2 3 4 5 0Cross-cultural awareness 1 2 3 4 5 0Immigration and batteredwomen 1 2 3 4 5 0Community resources forbattered women 1 2 3 4 5 0Other (specify) 1 2 3 4 5 09 37.^Circle the number that indicates how competent you feel about your level of skillswhen working with battered women in the following areas. Circle number 0 if askill is not applicable to your work.Crisis counsellingCompetentNot SomewhatCompetentVeryCompetentNotApplicableExploring and validatingfeelings 1 2 3 4 5 0Developing a plan to increaseher safety 1 2 3 4 5 0Giving information aboutcommunity resources 1 2 3 4 5 0Giving information aboutlegal rights and options 1 2 3 4 5 0Facilitating the decision-makingprocess regarding staying orleaving a battering situation 1 2 3 4 5 0Post-crisis/ongoing counsellingTalking about her batteringexperience 1 2 3 4 5 0Identifying strengths andneeds 1 2 3 4 5 0Building confidence andself-esteem 1 2 3 4 5 0Exploring her coping andsurvival skills 1 2 3 4 5 0Developing supportsystems 1 2 3 4 5 0Promoting understanding aboutthe effects of the abuse 1 2 3 4 5 0Sharing knowledge about thedynamics of the batteringrelationship 1 2 3 4 5 0Leading support groupsPlanning group sessions 1 2 3 4 5 0Facilitating the group process 1 2 3 4 5 0YES••s^9 48. BWSS plans to train trainers to do education work with workers who provideservices to battered women throughout the province. Would you be interested inbeing trained to provide this education service in your region?9. If you answered YES to question 8, circle the number that indicates howimportant each of the following conditions would be for you to be able toparticipate in a trainers' training program. If you answered NO, please go on toquestion 10.NotImportantTraining provided at no costSomewhatImportant EssentialNotApplicableto trainee 1 2 3 4 5 0Training in your region 1 2 3 4 5 0Training in your community 1 2 3 4 5 0Funding provided for travel iftraining outside your community 1 2 3 4 5 0Weekends only 1 2 3 4 5 0Weekdays only 1 2 3 4 5 0Evenings only 1 2 3 4 5 0Childcare available 1 2 3 4 5 0Other (specify) 1 2 3 4 5 0Attitudes, beliefs, and life experiences are important components of training. Pleaseanswer the following questions as honestly as possible. AU your answers are confidential.10.^Have you ever been in a battering (physically, emotionally and/or sexually abusive)relationship as an adult?YES9511.^Did you witness or experience physical, sexual and/or emotional abuseas a child? YESCircle the number that indicates the degree to which you agree or disagree with thefollowing statements:12. I identify myself as a feminist.13. I use the title "Ms." for women.14. Even when women lie totheir husbands they donot deserve to get a beating.15. A sexually unfaithful wifedeserves to be beaten.20.^Sometimes it is OK for aman to beat his wife.StronglyDisagreeMildlyDisagreeMildlyAgreeStronglyAgree1 2 3 4 5 6 71 2 3 4 5 6 71 2 3 4 5 6 71 2 3 4 5 6 71 2 3 4 5 6 71 2 3 4 5 6 71 2 3 4 5 6 71 2 3 4 5 6 71 2 3 4 5 6 716. Women are oppressed inour society.17. A husband has no right tobeat his wife even if shebreaks agreements she hasmade with him.18. Even when a wife's behaviourchallenges her husband'smanhood, he's not justifiedin beating her.19. A wife doesn't deserve abeating even if she keepsreminding her husbandof his weak points.Junior high school••^.^... .^ .96The following information is needed to help with the statistical analyses of the data. Thisinformation will allow comparisons among different groups of workers and comparisonswith similar workers in other agencies. All your answers are confidential.21.^What is your sex?22. What is your age?23. What is the highest level of education you have completed? (Pleasecheck one box only).24.^Which of the following best describes your household? (Please checkone box only). Couple with childrenFrenchIttlisnChinesePortuguesePolish9725. Approximately, what was the total income that you and members ofyour household received during the past 12 months? (Please check onebox only).Less than $10,000 10,001 • i4S70,000810,001 . 830 000 0„001 .to 890;00$30 001 to 50 00 90,000 ar moil26. In what languages are you able to provide these services? (Pleasecheck all that apply).27.^Please add any information that you think might be helpful to us indeveloping training programs for workers like you who provide servicesto battered women.If you have any questions about this questionnaire, or the trainingneeds assessment, please contact Morita Morrow at Battered Women'sSupport Services in Vancouver at telephone number 687-1868 or faxnumber 687-1864.Appendix BAdministrator's Questionnaire98hil4  ^Ctther(spec4t*)99BATTERED WOMEN'S SUPPORT SERVICESPROVINCIAL SURVEYADMINISTRATOR'S QUESTIONNAIREPLEASE TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS.Thank you very much for your co-operation. Please return this questionnaire in theenvelope provided by April 2, 1993. A summary of the results of the BWSStraining needs assessment will be sent to your agency when it is completed.1. What is the name of your agency?2. What service(s) does your agency provide for battered women? (Please check allthat apply).°man%macnesefolkkrietnama: :DXJustice Institute Stopping Violence Against WomenCounsellor Training ProgramDuluth Domestic Abuse Intervention TrainingBattered Women's Support Services TrainingOther (describe)None10 03.^In what languages are you able to provide these services? (Please check all thatapply).4. How many workers in your agency provide direct services to battered women?(Please fill in numbers for all categories).5. What training (workshops, seminars, or other types of instruction) on batteringhas your agency sponsored or provided for your workers in the last 2 years?(Check all that apply).1016. Current training costs are $50.00 per hour or $300.00 per day for a group of up to20 workers. How many hours or days would your agency be willing to pay for suchtraining?HOURS^ DAYS7. Battered Women's Support Services (BWSS) of Vancouver plans to developgovernment funded programs to train trainers in different regions of BritishColumbia to do education work with workers who provide services to batteredwomen. If such a training program were available at no cost, would you beinterested in having workers in your agency become trainers in your community?8. How is your agency funded? (Check all that apply).9. Please add any further information that you think might be helpful to us indeveloping training programs for workers who provide services to batteredwomen.If you have any questions about this questionnaire, or the training needsassessment, please contact Ilifoititablorrow latifittiteerldWomen's Support Services /inl/Vancouvemt telephone number 687-1868 1 ofax number 687-1864.Appendix CCovering and Follow-up Letters102DearBattered Women's Support Services (BWSS), in cooperation with agraduate student researcher from the Department of CounsellingPsychology at the University of British Columbia, is conducting atraining needs assessment of workers who provide services forbattered women across the province. The results of the study willbe used by BWSS to develop a train the trainer program to beimplemented throughout B.C. and the study will also be used for thestudent's mater's thesis. Your agency was chosen from a listsubmitted to BWSS by the Wife Assault Coordinator in your region.Part of this needs assessment includes an anonymous questionnairethat you will find enclosed with this letter. Your participationis voluntary and you may choose not to answer any question, but Iencourage you to complete the survey as fully as possible so thatyour needs can be taken into account for the BWSS training program.If you complete this questionnaire, it will be assumed that youhave consented to have the information you have given to be usedfor research purposes. Your refusal or withdrawal fromparticipation in this survey would be without prejudice. Pleasetake a few minutes to answer some questions about what kind oftraining, if any, you would like to receive in regards to batteredwomen.A postage paid envelope is included for your to return thequestionnaire to me at BWSS by (date). The questionnaire data willbe seen only by me, my thesis advisor, and a clerical assistant.Your participation is very much appreciated and your agency willreceive a summary of the results of the study when it is completedin (date). Thank you for your cooperation.If you require any further information about the questionnaire orthe needs assessment, please contact me at BWSS (ph. 687-1868) ormy thesis advisor, Dr. Bonnie Long, at the Department ofCounselling Psychology at UBC (ph. 822-4756).Sincerely yours,Marita MorrowGraduate Student103104DearBattered Women's Support Services (BWSS), in cooperation with agraduate student researcher from the Department of CounsellingPsychology at the University of British Columbia, is conducting atraining needs assessment of workers who provide services forbattered women across the province. The results of the study willbe used by BWSS to develop a train the trainer program to beimplemented throughout B.C. and the study will also be used forthe student's master's thesis. Your agency was chosen from a listsubmitted to BWSS by the Wife Assault Coordinator in your region.You will find enclosed three frontline workers' questionnairesand an administrator's questionnaire. Please distribute theworkers' questionnaires to three people who work directly withbattered women in your agency. Instructions and a stamped returnenvelope are included with each anonymous questionnaire so thatthe workers can complete and return them independently. I inviteyou to complete a frontline workers' questionnaire if you providedirect services to battered women also.Part of this needs assessment includes an administrator'squestionnaire that you will find enclosed with this letter. Yourparticipation is voluntary and you may choose not to answer anyquestion, but I encourage you to complete the survey as fully aspossible so that your agency's needs can be taken into accountfor the BWSS training program. If you complete thisquestionnaire, it will be assumed that you have consented to havethe information you have given to be used for research purposes.Your refusal or withdrawal from participation in this surveywould be without prejudice. Please take a few minutes to answersome questions about your agency so that we can meet your needswhen developing training programs for workers who provideservices to battered women.A postage paid envelope is included for you to return thequestionnaire to me at BWSS. The questionnaire data will be seenonly by me, my thesis advisor, and a clerical assistant. Yourparticipation is very much appreciated and your agency willreceive a summary of the results of the study when it iscompleted. Thank you for your cooperation.If you require any further information about the questionnaire orthe needs assessment, please contact me at BWSS (ph. 687-1868 orfax 687-1864) or my thesis advisor, Dr. Bonnie Long, at theDepartment of Counselling Psychology at UBC (ph. 822-4756).Sincerely yours,Marita MorrowGraduate StudentOuestionnaire Follow-up LetterDearA training needs assessment package containingquestionnaires to be completed anonymously by frontlineworkers and administrators at agencies that provideservices to battered women across British Columbia wassent to you recently from Battered Women's SupportServices (BWSS) in Vancouver. We would like to remindyou that your participation in this training needsassessment is very important to us in developingtraining programs that will help you and frontlineworkers in your agency to work as effectively aspossible with battered women in your community. Pleasetake a few minutes to fill out and return yourquestionnaire as soon as possible and to remind thosefrontline workers to whom you distributedquestionnaires to do so as well.If you did not receive a package, or require furtherinformation about the questionnaires or the BWSStraining needs assessment, please contact me at BWSS inVancouver (telephone 687-1868 or fax 687-1864) or mythesis advisor, Dr. Bonnie Long, at the Department ofCounselling Psychology at UBC (telephone 822-4756).If you and workers in your agency have already returnedyour completed questionnaires, please disregard thisletter and accept our thanks for your participation inthe BWSS training needs assessment. A summary of theresults will be sent to your agency when the assessmentis completed.Sincerely yours,Marita MorrowGraduate Student105Appendix DTables D-1, D-2, D-3106Table D-1Training Received by Potential Trainers TopicHOURS OF TRAINING a SD0 1 - 4 5 - 8 8+ MEANSCORE% % % %Counselling skills 7.8 14.1 4.7 73.4 2.4 1.0Criminal justice system 14.1 20.3 14.1 51.6 2.0 1.1Effects of violence onbattered women 9.4 23.4 17.2 48.4 2.1 1.1Cycle of violence 10.9 20.3 17.2 46.9 2.0 1.1Power and control 12.5 21.9 17.2 46.9 2.0 1.1Community resources 6.3 34.4 14.1 45.3 2.0 1.0Leading support groups 31.3 12.5 7.8 45.3 1.7 1.3Drug/alcohol abuse 18.8 26.6 10.9 40.6 1.8 1.2Cross-cultural awareness 23.4 29.7 4.7 39.1 1.6 1.2Effects of violence onchildren 9.4 39.1 12.5 35.9 1.8 1.1Child custody and access 18.8 35.9 9.4 35.9 1.6 1.2Suicide 21.9 29.7 10.9 34.4 1.6 1.2Immigration 45.3 25.0 7.8 18.8 1.0 1.2Dating violence 32.8 32.8 15.6 15.6 1.1 1.1Forced sex in marriage 40.6 35.9 7.8 1.5 0.9 1.0Lesbian battering 67.2 26.6 1.6 - 0.3 0.5Note. Listed in rank order by percentage evaluating each item as "8+ hours".n ranges from 61 to 64 due to missing data.aCoding categories: 0 hours (0); 1-4 hours (1); 5-8 hours (2); 8+ hours (3).107108Table D-2Potential Trainers' Levels of Competence Regarding Their Knowledgeof Issues Related to Working With Battered Women aNot^Not^ Very^MeanIssue^Applicable Competent^Somewhat Competent^Competent Score^SD%^%^%^%^%^%Community resources -^1.6^1.6^10.9^26.6^59.4^4.4^0.9Effects of violenceon battered women^-^3.1^3.1^10.9^37.5^45.3^4.2^1.0Cycle of violence^-^3.1^-^21.9^28.1^45.3^4.1^1.0Power and control^-^4.7^-^21.9^31.3^42.2^4.1^1.0Criminal justicesystem^1.6^9.4^15.6^28.1^9.4^35.9^3.4^1.4Effects of violenceon children^-^6.3^10.9^21.9^29.7^31.3^3.7^1.2Drug/alcohol abuse 1.6^7.8^14.1^26.6^18.8^29.7^3.4^1.3Child custodyand access^1.6^14.1^17.2^18.8^20.3^28.1^3.3^1.5Suicide 6.3^14.1^9.4^29.7^17.2^21.9^3.0^1.5Dating violence^-^14.1^20.3^18.8^31.3^14.1^3.1^1.3Cross-culturalawareness^-^20.3^17.2^17.2^29.7^14.1^3.0^1.4Forced sexin marriage^3.1^17.2^21.9^21.9^25.0^9.4^2.8^1.3Immigration^4.7^32.8^17.2^10.9^26.6^6.3^2.4^1.5Lesbian battering^7.8^50.0^23.4^6.3^6.3^4.7^1.7^1.2Note. Listed in rank order by percentage evaluating each item as "verycompetent".n ranges from 63 to 64 due to missing data.aCoding categories: not applicable (0); not competent (1); somewhat competent (2,3, 4); very competent (5).109Table D-3Potential Trainers' Levels of Competence Regarding Their Skills When Working With Battered Women Not^Not^ Very^MeanaSkill^Applicable Competent^Somewhat Competent^Competent Score^SDInformation oncommunity resources - - 1.6 3.1 31.3 64.4 4.6 0.6Exploring feelings 3.1 3.1 - 9.4 32.8 51.6 4.2 1.2Developing asafety plan - 1.6 4.7 15.6 26.6 50.0 4.2 1.0Identifyingstrengths 6.3 1.6 - 12.5 32.8 46.9 4.0 1.3Exploringcoping skills 7.8 3.1 - 10.9 40.6 37.5 3.9 1.4Talking about thebattering 6.3 3.1 1.6 17.2 34.4 37.5 3.8 1.4Building confidenceand self-esteem 7.8 1.6 1.6 12.5 39.1 35.9 3.8 1.4Discussinglegal options - 3.1 12.5 28.1 21.9 34.4 3.7 1.2Facilitatingdecision-making 4.7 1.6 7.8 26.6 23.4 34.4 3.7 1.3Discussing effectsof abuse 6.3 4.7 1.6 18.8 35.9 32.8 3.7 1.4Talking about thedynamics 6.3 4.7 3.1 21.9 32.8 31.3 3.6 1.4Developing supportsystems 6.3 3.1 3.1 18.8 39.1 29.7 3.7 1.3Leading groups 21.9 6.3 14.1 15.6 26.6 15.6 2.7 1.8Planning groups 21.9 7.8 10.9 18.8 26.6 14.1 2.6 1.8Note. Listed in rank order by percentage evaluating each item as "verycompetent".n ranges from 63 to 64 due to missing data.aCoding categories: not applicable (0); not competent (1); somewhat competent (2,3, 4); very competent (5).Appendix ETables E-1, E-2, E-3110Table E -1Training Received by Non-Trainers TopicHOURS OF TRAINING a SD0 1 - 4 5 - 8 8+MEANSCORECounselling skills 13.5 15.4 - 65.4 2.2 1.2Effects of violence onbattered women 7.7 28.8 5.8 53.8 2.1 1.1Cycle of violence 11.5 26.9 5.8 51.9 2.0 1.1Power and Control 13.5 26.9 3.8 51.9 2.0 1.2Community resources 5.8 26.9 11.5 50.0 2.2 1.1Drug/alcohol abuse 15.4 21.2 9.6 50.0 2.0 1.2Cross-cultural awareness 19.2 25.0 7.7 42.3 1.8 1.3Leading support groups 38.5 11.5 3.8 40.4 1.5 1.4Suicide 23.1 23.1 13.5 38.5 1.7 1.2Effects of violence onchildren 15.4 28.8 15.4 36.5 1.8 1.1Criminal justice system 13.5 36.5 11.5 34.6 1.7 1.1Child custody and access 17.3 44.2 11.5 23.1 1.4 1.1Dating violence 17.3 42.3 13.5 21.2 1.4 1.0Immigration 36.5 30.8 9.6 17.3 1.1 1.2Forced sex in marriage 30.8 38.5 11.5 15.4 1.1 1.0Lesbian battering 55.8 28.8 5.8 5.8 0.6 0.9Note. Listed in rank order by percentage evaluating each item as "8+ hours".n ranges from 49 to 54 due to missing data.aCoding categories: 0 hours (0); 1-4 hours (1); 5-8 hours (2); 8+ hours (3).111112Table E -2Non-Trainers' Levels of Competence Regarding Their Knowledge ofIssues Related to Working With Battered Women NotIssue^ApplicableNotCompetent Somewhat CompetentVeryCompetentaMeanScore SD% % % % % %community resources - 3.8 3.8 17.3 9.6 65.4 4.3 1.1Effects of violenceon battered women - 1.9 9.6 17.3 25.0 46.2 4.0 1.1Cycle of violence - 5.8 3.8 19.2 30.8 38.5 3.9 1.1Drug/alcohol abuse 3.8 3.8 13.5 17.3 21.2 38.5 3.7 1.4Power and control - 5.8 3.8 21.2 32.7 36.5 3.9 1.1Effects of violenceon children - 1.9 13.5 21.2 26.9 36.5 3.8 1.1Suicide - 9.6 15.4 26.9 17.3 30.8 3.4 1.3Cross-culturalawareness - 11.5 15.4 26.9 19.2 26.9 3.3 13Dating violence 3.8 9.6 11.5 32.7 19.2 23.1 3.2 1.4Criminal justicesystem 1.9 9.6 19.2 32.7 15.4 21.2 3.1 13Forced sexin marriage 1.9 11.5 26.9 30.8 7.7 21.2 2.9 1.4Child custodyand access 1.9 7.7 13.5 44.2 13.5 17.3 3.1 12Immigration 1.9 25.0 23.1 23.1 17.3 9.6 2.6 1.3Lesbian battering 1.9 44.2 19.2 21.2 5.8 7.7 2.1 1.3Note. Listed in rank order by percentage evaluating each item as "verycompetent".n ranges from 51 to 54 due to missing data.acoding categories: not applicable (0); not competent (1); somewhat competent (2,3, 4); very competent (5).113Table E -3Non-Trainers' Levels of Competence Regarding Their Skills WhenWorking With Battered WomenaNotSkill^ApplicableNotCompetent Somewhat CompetentVeryCompetentMeanScore SDInformation oncommunity resources - - 5.8 15.4 23.1 55.8 4.3 0.9Exploring feelings 1.9 - 11.5 13.5 23.1 50.0 4.1 1.2Building confidenceand self-esteem 3.8 3.8 7.7 15.4 21.2 48.1 3.9 1.4Identifyingstrengths 3.8 5.8 3.8 19.2 19.2 48.1 3.9 1.4Exploringcoping skills 5.8 1.9 7.7 17.3 19.2 48.1 3.9 1.4Developing supportsystems 5.8 1.9 7.7 21.2 15.4 46.2 3.8 1.5Talking about thebattering 3.8 5.8 5.8 17.3 25.0 42.3 3.8 1.4Discussing effectsof abuse 3.8 3.8 7.7 21.2 21.2 42.3 3.8 1.4Developing asafety plan - 1.9 5.8 25.0 26.9 40.4 4.0 1.0Talking about thedynamics 3.8 5.8 5.8 25.0 19.2 40.4 3.7 1.4Facilitatingdecision-making - 1.9 13.5 26.9 25.0 32.7 3.7 1.1Leading groups 25.0 15.4 13.5 13.5 3.8 28.8 2.4 2.0Planning groups 25.0 17.3 11.5 15.4 1.9 28.8 2.4 2.0Discussinglegal options 1.9 1.9 13.5 40.4 17.3 25.0 3.4 1.2Note. Listed in rank order by percentage evaluating each item as "verycompetent".n ranges from 51 to 54 due to missing data.aCoding categories: not applicable (0); not competent (1); somewhat competent (2,3, 4); very competent (5).Appendix FFocus Group Questions andStatement of Consent114115BWSS Training Needs Assessment ofWorkers Providing Services to Battered WomenFocus Group QuestionsIntroductions: -name-type of work and organization-length of time working with battered women-any relevant personal information1. What kinds of resources are available to you for training?2. What training, if any, have you had regarding your work withbattered women?3. What was that training experience like for you?4. If you could change your training experience in any way,what would you change?5. How has your training affected your work with batteredwomen?6. What issues do you think should be included in trainingprograms for (native or cultural minority) workers who workwith battered women?7. How should training be delivered to (native or culturalminority) workers?8. What issues should be addressed in training programs formain stream workers who provide services to (native orcultural minority) women?9. What do you think mainstream workers should know about yourculture and community and women within them who are batteredin order to serve them effectively?10. What else would you like us to know about your trainingneeds?116Province-wide Training Needs Assessment ofWorkers Providing Services for Battered WomenBattered Women's Support Services (BWSS), in cooperationwith a graduate student researcher from the Department ofCounselling Psychology at the University of British Columbia, isconducting a training needs assessment of workers who provideservices for battered women across British Columbia. The resultsof the study will be used by BWSS to develop a train the trainerprogram to be implemented throughout the province and will beused for the student's master's thesis. Your agency was selectedfrom a list submitted by the Wife Assault Coordinator in yourregion.Focus groups will be conducted as part of this research togenerate ideas and individual points of view that cannot beobtained by a written survey. Your participation will involve twohours of your time in a small group with other workers whoprovide services to battered women. The discussion will bemoderated by the student researcher who will ask you to focus onwhat you perceive to be your needs in terms of training in thearea of battered women. The proceedings will be audiotaped andthe tapes will be erased once the study is complete.Confidentiality will be maintained by identifying speakers bycode numbers and no names will be used in the final report of theneeds assessment. Only the graduate student, her thesis advisor,and a clerical assistant will have access to the data.If you have any questions about this study or yourparticipation in it, please call me at BWSS (ph. 687-1868) or mythesis advisor, Dr. Bonnie Long, at the Department of CounsellingPsychology at UBC (ph. 822-4756). Please sign the statement ofconsent below to indicate your understanding and agreement withthe conditions of your participation in the focus group.Thank you for your cooperation.Marita MorrowGraduate StudentStatement of ConsentI understand that I am voluntarily participating in a focusgroup to discuss my training needs in working with batteredwomen. The discussion will be recorded on audiotape. These tapeswill be used for the purposes of the BWSS training needsassessment only. I understand that any such recorded materialwill remain confidential to the graduate student moderator, herthesis advisor, and a clerical assistant. The tape will be erasedupon completion of the study. I understand that I may refuse toparticipate or withdraw from the focus group at any time withoutprejudice.I acknowledge that I have received a copy of this statement.Signature^ DateAppendix GRecommendations117118RecommendationsRecommendation 1: Provide training on working with batteredwomen for workers in all governmental and non-governmentalagencies that provide services to battered women in BritishColumbia.Recommendation 2: Develop and implement a train-the-trainerprogram so that workers can be trained to train otherworkers in their communities who provide services tobattered women.Recommendation 3: Provide funding for training and offerprograms locally in order to make training accessible to allworkers.Recommendation 4: Promote awareness of, and sensitivity toworkers' personal attitudes toward battered women and womenin general through training programs by:(i) encouraging discussion about attitudes and beliefs aboutsex roles, battering, and personal experiences of abuse;(ii) incorporating empathy-building experiential exercisessuch as role plays of battering situations; and(iii) inviting guest speakers to training sessions todiscuss personal experiences of battering.Recommendation 5: Promote awareness of, and sensitivity tocultural differences among workers and the women they serveby:(i) including participants from a variety of culturalbackgrounds in training programs;119(ii) encouraging discussion among trainees about theircultural values, beliefs, and customs;(iii) bringing in guest speakers from different culturalgroups to talk about their values, beliefs, and customs; and(iv) where appropriate, adapting the delivery of trainingprograms to the learning styles of different culturalgroups.Recommendation 6: Develop and implement different levels oftraining programs (e.g., basic, intermediate, and advanced)for workers with different training needs.Recommendation 7: Consult workers before training isdelivered so that training programs can be tailored to meettheir needs, and provide information about the content oftraining programs so that workers can make informeddecisions about receiving training.Recommendation 8: Provide a 6-month follow-up to trainingprograms so that workers can discuss problems or issues thatarose while implementing skills learned in the initialtraining.


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