Implementation of Emergency Financial Assistance (EFA) in new regions of Quebec
Emergency Financial Assistance (EFA) is a new financial tool available to fieldworkers in the police, community organizations, health and social services, etc., who are in contact with victims of sexual violence (sexual assault, sexual harassment or sexual exploitation) or domestic violence.
EFA can be accessed when a victim needs to quickly leave a dangerous place or obtain emergency medical services, but does not have the financial means to do so, or is in a situation where there is a sense of urgency and they do not have the financial means to meet their needs. The EFA can cover the following expenses: transportation, lodging, basic living expenses and emergency medical services related to the violence suffered.
How does EFA work?
The Ministère de la Justice du Québec (MJQ) mandated the Sexual Violence Helpline (SVH) and SOS violence conjugale helpline, which are available 24/7, to receive and process requests for emergency financial assistance. This program is based on close collaboration between fieldworkers and Emergency Financial Assistance Line (EFAL) workers. The fieldworker contacts the EFAL directly to present the victim’s request and needs. The EFAL worker then confirms the victim’s eligibility, authorizes expenses and contacts and coordinates the service providers (e.g. transport, food) with the help of the fieldworker. The fieldworker remains involved until the end of the process in order to maintain contact with the victim and ensure that a safety net is put in place for them.
Since October 2021, the EFA program has been implemented in the following regions:
By the end of summer 2023, the Emergency Financial Assistance program will be extended to other regions of Quebec. There are also plans to roll out the program in Northern Quebec, and work is under way to adapt it to the realities of Nunavik and Eeyou Istchee Baie-James.
Once the service is launched in a region, virtual information sessions are offered to explain how it works to frontline workers. The schedule of upcoming information sessions will be published on the Support Service website. Stay tuned for updates!
Please disseminate information about the EFA widely within your teams and pass it on to your partners who work with victims of sexual violence.
If you work in a designated centre, don’t hesitate to contact the EFAL au 1 833 363-LAFU (5238) for more information on how to access emergency financial assistance.
You can also visit the EFA microsite at https://lafu.ca/en.
Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have by email at: email@example.com
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