red and yellow watercolour background for Black Country Women's Aid women's justice services

Women’s Justice Services

BCWA’s specialist Women’s Justice Services work with women who may find it harder to access services than others.


This includes the Mariposa Project for women who are on probation or leaving prison, and the New Chance project for women who have been arrested. We also have the Willow Project, which supports women who are homeless or at risk of being homeless in the Black Country.

an image of staff working in the mariposa project space for BCWA Women’s Justice Services

The Mariposa Project

Mariposa is a specialist project for women who have offended in Sandwell, Dudley and Birmingham. We run four programmes designed to help women improve their lives and avoid offending in the future. To be part of this project your Probation Practitioner will need to refer you.

To start with we meet to discuss what programmes you need to complete as part of your order and what will work best for you. Programmes are normally completed in a group but can be done on a one to one if needed. You will attend your programme at one of our women only centres in Sandwell, Dudley, or Birmingham.

Mariposa is commissioned by Staffordshire and West Midlands Community Rehabilitation Company and our partners Fry Housing Trust, Brighter Futures and Changing Lives provide similar services across the West Midlands and Staffordshire (links below).

“They helped me to regain my confidence and rebuild my life.”

Mariposa Programmes


This programme looks at: self-esteem and confidence; optimism; building supportive relationships; dealing with problems; communication and assertiveness; and aspirations.

Healthy Emotions

This programme looks at wellbeing and emotional health, and aims to help identify and take control of emotions and mood.

Healthy Relationships

This programme focuses on relationships, what is and isn’t healthy, and building supportive relationships in the future.

Enhance Programme

To assess individual needs in order to establish levels of support and services available to assist with these needs and to breakdown initial barriers to engagement. This programme

“I’m a lot more confident in myself and my ability to think rationally and make things happen, I’m not angry and feel peaceful most of the time.”

The Mariposa Programme service requires a referral.

Referrals can only be made by CRC (Community Rehabilitation Company) or NPS (National Probation Service) staff. If you are CRC or NPS staff please find the referral form on Delius.

New Chance space for BCWA Women’s Justice Services

New Chance

New Chance is a specialist project for women in Sandwell and Dudley who have been arrested and who the Police think might need some support. New Chance recently received a commendation at the Howard League Community Awards.

We offer practical and emotional help based on what you need. To start with we will discuss with you what you want to focus on and how we can help you, and create a plan from there.

We are here to support you to overcome difficulties and move forward in your life. It doesn’t matter what your problems are, we are here to help. New Chance is based at our women only centres in Sandwell and Dudley.

“She [New Chance worker] has given good advice and I’ve taken that advice on board and will keep using it…I’ll have more confidence in myself and do more things for me.”

The New Chance service requires a referral

Referrals can only be made by the police. For police staff looking to make a referral please see here.

Women with Complex Needs

Here at Black Country Women’s Aid we understand that for some women, traditional services catering to one need at a time are not enough. We know that some women face a complexity of issues, such as offending, abuse, substance misuse, and mental health, which makes it harder for them to access the services they need. This can create a revolving door effect, with women being referred into lots of services but engaging with none. Research from Agenda reveals one in 20 women have experienced extensive physical and sexual violence as both a child and an adult. These women face very high rates of additional issues:

  • More than half have a common mental health condition
  • One in three have attempted suicide
  • One in five have been homeless
  • One in three have an alcohol problem

For some of these women abuse, violence, and disadvantage combine meaning they have very complex, overlapping needs. Many end up in very difficult situations, for example there are:

  • Approximately 11,000 women in hostels
  • Nearly 7000 women sent to prison each year
  • 80,000 women involved in prostitution

We exist to support and empower women who experience abuse wherever and however they present, and so have developed this specialist service to best meet their needs. Evidence shows that female only, trauma informed, holistic services which place the client at the heart of the support offered is what works for this client group, and this is what we are striving to provide through our various projects. We are members of Agenda, Women Breakout and Clinks.

Women’s Justice Service Resources

Birmingham Mariposa Leaflet

Information on our Mariposa Project for women from Birmingham

Sandwell Mariposa Leaflet

Information on our Mariposa Project for women from Sandwell

Dudley Mariposa Leaflet

Information on our Mariposa Project for women from Dudley

Dudley New Chance Leaflet

Information on our New Chance Project for women from Dudley

New Chance Referral Form

Referral form for the use of West Midlands Police personnel to refer women who need support

Sandwell New Chance Leaflet

Information on our New Chance Project for women from Sandwell

The Willow Project leaflet

A leaflet with more information about our outreach and support service for homeless women

Need more information? Contact us today.

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