Quick Exit
Quick ExitQuick Exit

Revising Assessment Tools to Ensure Intersectionality and a Client-Centred Approach

February 14, 2023

Blueprint Project Update  February 2023

The Measures of Survivor Assessment Illustrating Complexity (MOSAIC) scale, formerly known as the ACWS IPV Acuity Scale, was co-developed over several years by ACWS members, staff and Irene Hoffart of Synergy Research Group, for use with clients residing in Second-Stage Shelters across the province. The MOSAIC scale is an assessment tool that works with information routinely collected by shelters to quantify and speak to the complexity of client’s needs from a gender-based-violence perspective.

Acuity is defined as the measurement of intensity of supports needed to address the complexity of an individual’s circumstances, indicating areas for referrals, service delivery and goal planning. The Scale incorporates acuity indicators with violence risk levels, parenting stress levels, poverty-related issues, the presence or absence of addictions, mental health problems, and/or physical health problems, and housing, financial, legal, and social support issues. The Scale has multiple intended uses: it guides service decisions and case planning, while also supporting case management. It also helps understand long term and regional trends in shelter service users and supports member advocacy.

As one of the standardized assessment tools identified for use within the Blueprint Project, the 3 Communities of Practice (CoP) have been working to revise the tool to be intersectional, less hetero-normative and more reflective of the clients accessing services from members across the province. The CoP identified several areas for revision, including the addition of pronouns and gender-neutral language, and new indicators for the number of aggressors and the history of human trafficking. Taking a more intersectional approach, the language throughout was also modified to identify the barriers clients may have when seeking employment and housing, such as discrimination, stigma, language, gender identity, accent, or medical/disability needs and when accessing healthcare, including high costs, poor experiences with mental health supports, challenges obtaining diagnosis, and accessing needed and safe medication.

Through these consultations and revisions, the CoP have worked to ensure that the revised tool will reflect the diverse experiences of clients accessing services, regardless of social location and personal identities. The Blueprint Project is working to revise and implement valid and reliable assessment tools and protocols amongst the various agencies to support the safety of those living with or fleeing domestic violence, including free training to project partner staff.

Once these revisions are complete and the communities have had an opportunity to review the tool holistically, we will be updating the Blueprint Project SharePoint App to include the revised tool for agencies to use.

Back to the Blueprint Project page.