Information and referral was one of the first services instituted. The range of problems facing women in the county immediately became apparent including: family violence; discrimination in the workplace; discrimination in housing; rape and sexual assault; poverty; and a lack of childcare. Over two decades, the role of the Office for Women in the county has grown to include Public Policy and Advocacy, Education and Research, and Direct Services.

Direct Service
The Office for Women most often acts as an entry point into Westchester's system of services. Women and men call us when they do not know where to turn for help for someone they care about, often themselves. They also call us because of our neutral connotation: we do not serve a particular socioeconomic group nor provide mental health services.

Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., we are available to everyone. Calls come in from all parts of the county and from persons of all ages, backgrounds, and situations. By calling the Helpline, callers access the services offered not only by the Office for Women, but the array of services available in the area. We also provide information on rights and how to protect or assert them.

Hispanic Outreach Program: The Office for Women offers domestic violence advocacy, outreach and education to Spanish-speaking women.

Operation Talent Bank: The Office for Women operates a job-finding program that includes job search skills and strategies.

Public Education and Research
Information is power. Information enables people to make informed decisions about their personal lives, their interpersonal relationships, their jobs and careers, their finances--indeed, all aspects of their lives. We also believe we are empowered when we make conscious choices from a range of options. So, as our lives become more complex, the need for information becomes greater.

Accurate and comprehensive information is therefore a top priority of the Office for Women. We provide information through:

  • Responses to specific inquiries from the community
  • Printed materials
  • Educational programs, such as workshops and conferences
  • Specialized training
  • Speaker's Bureau
  • Participation on interdisciplinary committees and councils
  • Research reports

Public Policy and Advocacy
As the range of women's roles has expanded, society has recognized women's rights in the performance of political, social, and economic roles. Women's greater participation in society has also compelled both public and private sectors to address the needs of women and families.

Underlying these changes is the necessity to voice these concerns and advocate for needed changes. Through our Public Policy and Advocacy Division, we seek to:  

  • Influence public policy and its implementation on all levels of government;
  • Advocate for needed changes in all sectors of society.

Aside from our efforts as an individual agency, we also seek to bring about change through:  

  • Forming coalitions on the local level, such as the Westchester Coalition of Family Violence Agencies (now the NYS Coalition Against Domestic Violence);
  • Participating on state-level and national entities.