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State commits to A Woman’s Place into 2026


Editor's note: This story has been updated to include comments from the interim executive director of A Woman's Place and additional statements from PCADV.

After seeking proposals from other agencies to provide domestic violence services to Bucks County, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence said Tuesday that A Woman’s Place will continue in that role after all.

The state program will fund the Doylestown-based AWP through March 31, 2024, PCADV spokeswoman Lauren Duff said in a statement. That current contract will extend through June 30, 2024. A new two-year contract between PCADV and AWP will commence July 1, 2024.

"We are thrilled the PCADV has renewed our contract," said Jen Locker, A Woman's Place interim executive director, in an email.

Late last year, the state requested proposals from other agencies interested in taking over A Woman’s Place services, citing several problems at the nonprofit.

“AWP has a recurrent and recent history of being placed on provisional status for non-compliance,” said Duff, at the time. “Inconsistent compliance and a lack of leadership can compromise survivor safety and create an unstable work environment. It is PCADV’s obligation to ensure continuous services for survivors and to act before a situation becomes untenable.”

Duff also emphasized in November 2023 that AWP’s staff “faithfully provides services to survivors” and had not neglected its responsibilities in that regard.

Under the terms of a series of contracts, PCADV distributes crucial state and federal funding to independent domestic violence-related service providers across the state. Tuesday’s announcement settles the question of whether the coalition would cut ties with A Woman’s Place in favor of a different provider.

“PCADV is committed to supporting A Woman’s Place as they continue to provide essential, life-saving assistance to victims and survivors of domestic violence in Bucks County,” said Susan Higginbotham, CEO of PCADV said, in a statement, Tuesday.

Duff said that A Woman's Place submitted a proposal, and the coalition's review committee decided that AWP "was the best option for survivors in Bucks County."

"The RFP (Request for Proposal) process and temporary provisional status afforded an opportunity for AWP to receive additional resources, support and technical assistance from PCADV and coalition members, and we are confident in their commitment and ability to provide quality services to survivors," Duff said.

Founded in 1976, A Woman’s Place has been Bucks County’s primary domestic violence education and victim services provider. In 2022, state records show it helped more than 2,200 county residents.

Locker voiced optimism about the future of the nonprofit.

"Our board and staff are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead, and we look forward to working with PCADV, the county and other community organizations to ensure that we continue to deliver the highest quality services to domestic violence survivors in Bucks County," Locker said. "Together, we can build a community where everyone feels safe, valued and free from domestic violence."

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