By: Merle Fast MSW, RSW

Director of Quality Assurance


In 2015, the Ministry of Community and Social Services developed Violence Against Women (VAW) Emergency Shelter Standards to all VAW shelters in Ontario. The standards outline the minimum requirements for all ministry funded VAW emergency shelters, and the expectations of the ministry. They are intended to support VAW emergency shelters in providing consistent, high quality services to women and their dependents across the province.  All VAW shelter clients in Ontario can now expect to receive the same level of service, regardless of what shelter they access across the province.


The standards are divided into 6 sections:Dragonfly

  1. Access to Shelter Services
  2. Client/Resident Rights and Shelter Responsibilities
  3. Program Standards
  4. Staff and Volunteers
  5. Health and Safety
  6. Service Monitoring and Evaluation.


As Women’s Crisis Services prepared for the implementation of the new standards, we were pleased to identity that we are already in compliance with the majority of the expectations. In many instances, our policies, procedures and practices already surpass the standards.

It continues to be a guiding principle of Women’s Crisis Services to provide excellence in service delivery!