Abstract: Scenario Planning with IPV Service Providers: Exploring the Feasibility of Share Technology to Address Transportation Needs (Society for Social Work and Research 25th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Social Change)

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731P Scenario Planning with IPV Service Providers: Exploring the Feasibility of Share Technology to Address Transportation Needs

Tuesday, January 19, 2021
* noted as presenting author
Sarah Robinson, LMSW, Doctoral Candidate, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX
Rachel Voth Schrag, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX
Background: Inadequate access to transportation presents a significant barrier to economic security and safety for survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV) residing in shelter. Women experiencing IPV are more likely to report transportation challenges than non-abused women or men. Bergstrom-Lynch (2018) found that the majority of shelter residents lacked transportation of their own and relied solely on transportation provided by shelter volunteers. However, little research has been done to understand survivors’ mobility while residing in shelter, or the impact of mobility on shelter and post-shelter survivor outcomes. This study used a qualitative scenario planning methodology with shelter-based IPV service providers to gain insight into the strengths and weaknesses of two potential transportation solutions for shelter residents.

Methods: Scenario planning is a qualitative methodology used to discuss the feasibility of innovative modes of transportation with community members (see Hiltunen, 2009 and Schoemaker, 1991). Participants are presented with a scenario (ex. Imagine a car belonging to a car-share program was placed at the shelter...) and asked to discuss their opinions related to the scenario. This study used scenario planning with providers to explore the feasibility of utilizing car-share and ride-hail services at IPV shelters. Twenty providers who were at least 18 years of age, spoke English, and had worked with shelter residing survivors for at least six months were recruited to participate. Providers from both suburban and rural shelters were recruited to reveal potential differences. A semi-structured interview guide was used to conduct one-on-one interviews. Interviews were audio-recorded and professionally transcribed. Data were the analyzed using thematic analysis in Atlas.ti (v. 8.4.4).

Results: Three themes emerged during the data analysis. The first theme addressed providers’ knowledge of the share technologies, with providers being more familiar with ride-hail and less familiar with car-share technologies. The second theme was related to cost. Given their personal experience with ride-hail, providers felt the service was too costly for survivors residing at the shelter, with programs needing to be subsidized to be feasible. In addition, providers assumed that car-shares would also be too expensive and would require a cost reduction to be feasible. The final theme concerned the usage of the services. Providers felt that survivors would use a car-share because it would give them independence. However, they were unsure of how they would navigate sharing the service with clients. They also believed survivors would use ride-hail services but were unsure of how to navigate allowing pick-ups at the shelter given safety concerns related to revealing the shelter location.

Conclusions and Implications: Scenario planning is a useful research methodology to explore the feasibility of incorporating new technologies into the context of IPV services, and could be used to reduce unintended consequences of new interventions for survivors and agencies. Car-share and ride-hail programs could be a solution for transportation challenges for survivors residing in shelters. Study results can be used to advocate for the use of these services as well as funding to make these services accessible for shelters.