Women’s Center of Montgomery County
Who We Are
- A 24-hour domestic violence hotline
- Elder abuse counseling and supportive services
- Individualized peer and group domestic violence counseling
- Telephone counseling, information and referral
- Legal advocacy
- Court and hospital accompaniment
- Emergency relocation funding for victims of domestic violence
- Education, and outreach to the community and schools
Our programs are administered by more than 150 volunteers and a paid staff of 24 full and part-time employees in our seven offices throughout Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
Maria Macaluso, Executive Director
July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023
Strategies for Achieving Our Mission
To achieve our primary organizational purpose – working to eliminate domestic violence so individuals can live safer, more stable lives and thrive – the strategies we take include:
Run an effective, accessible hotline
Provide one-on-one advocacy (Legal, Medical, Housing, Employment)
Court advocacy, court accompaniment and PFA assistance
Provide access to immigration services
Develop access to comprehensive legal representation
Develop interventions and enhance cultural sensitivity to respond to the unique safety challenges of diverse vulnerable populations
Strengthen high-quality trauma-informed services
Conduct targeted community education programs
Advocate to increase public awareness
Provide DV protocol and identification training for first responders
Provide effective interventions and services to help them find safety and stability
Promote cultural awareness, acceptance and inclusion, within our organization and community
Become supportive, effective allies in challenging the barriers and myths that isolate and frustrate individual victims and communities
In addition to affecting positive change for individuals, our goal is to create institutional change and reduce the impact of domestic violence, creating a cultural shift towards healthier, safer communities.
We are the fifth largest domestic violence service provider in PA, with the strongest trained volunteer workforce. Among our other assets are our strategic use of technology, multiple locations, reputation as a quality training provider, and our ability to provide direct service needs of a large and diverse number of victims.
Our major accomplishments include:
- 1992Medical Advocacy Project, one of three PA pilot projects, became a national prototype for suburban hospital settings.
- 2004WCMC chosen by Citizens Bank and NBC-10 to be their first Community Champion for the Mid-Atlantic Region. We designated the cash award to the creation of our Elder Abuse Project. Established in 1992 as one of the first three pilot projects funded in PA, our Medical Advocacy Project program became a national prototype for suburban hospital settings, recognized in 2007 by the GlaxoSmithKline Impact Awards committee.
- 2008WCMC was identified by the PA Commission on Crime & Delinquency (PCCD) as one of 5 victim service agencies who exemplify best practices for organizational capacity building.
- 2012Expanded medical advocacy program to promote universal screening for domestic violence through the obstetrics and pediatric healthcare providers to increase the identification and treatment of children at risk as they witness violence in their homes.
- 2013WCMC was among the first 12 programs in PA to pilot the Lethality Assessment Project, an evidenced-based program in which police officers responding to a domestic call screen victims to assess the risk of escalating violence. In the first 5 years, we received over 700 high risk referrals from police departments.
- 2013As one of 13 PA test sites, expanded police referral process to include a Lethality Assessment Tool for responding officers to assess victim safety and escalating risk, connecting the victim immediately with a counselor.
- 2014Received $25,000 award from Verizon Foundation in recognition of our middle school prevention education curriculum.
- 2015Designated by court to serve as the first responder to victims seeking an Emergency Protection order. Emergency orders address the after- hours emergency needs of victims when the courthouse is closed.
- 2016Produced PFA Court Orientation video broadcast at courthouse and on our website.
- 2017WCMC selected as recipient of the Barra Award, recognizing organizational leadership, performance and adaptability.
- 2019Awarded three-year grant to establish Alternative Safe Housing and Transitional Housing Program.
- 2020WCMC one of three finalists selected as recipients of the Impact 100 Philadelphia Award in the amount of $108,000.
- 2022Expanded our medical advocacy team to include a Birth Advocate, working with healthcare providers, doulas, midwifes, birth coaches to provide support to at-risk pregnant women.
- 2023WCMC became one of the first domestic violence programs in Pennsylvania certified to administer the Lethality Assessment Project created by the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence.