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A unified and enduring response

A mother using a smartphone with her son.

It’s reassuring to know that someone has considered all the things I hadn’t thought of or wasn’t aware of.

— Victim survivor

Our response to family violence in the past has been fragmented and piecemeal. Victim survivors still have to manage risk themselves, while perpetrators aren't effectively engaged with the system.

Transforming our approach will mean creating a unified response across the system.

  • Information sharing: creating an environment where information is shared between agencies to keep victim survivors safe.
  • Building workforce capability: building the capacity and capability of workforces across the system to identify and respond to family violence.
  • A new approach to funding: changing the way we deliver funding to services so they are more coordinated and flexible.
  • System governance: creating new governance entities to achieve enduring system reform across portfolios.
  • Building our knowledge base: developing an evidence base from which decisions can be made.

Information sharing

Sharing information can help keep victim survivors safe, hold perpetrators to account and provide a better response to family violence.

However, current privacy laws make the process complex.

The Coronial Inquest into the death of Luke Batty recommended we remove barriers to information sharing. The Royal Commission agreed and proposed new laws that would allow greater information sharing.

For more, read: Information sharing

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Building workforce capability

Our reforms will only be as effective as the people delivering them.

Our new ways of working require an effective, well-supported, multidisciplinary workforce. This workforce will need to reflect the diversity of the Victorian community and provide services that are inclusive and accessible.

To achieve these goals, we are developing a 10 Year Industry Plan to be released by December 2017.

This will create a system-wide approach to workforce planning and development in the specialist family violence sector.

For more, read: Building workforce capability

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A new approach to funding services

If we want to make a real difference, we need to fundamentally change how we approach funding.

Short-term funding arrangements slow down innovation and evaluation. They also throw staff retention into doubt. They force individuals to seek support from many different services at the same time.

Current funding arrangements are also complicated, making it difficult to navigate for both services providers and the people seeking support.

Our new approach will provide simpler and more flexible funding for organisations. This will allow them to focus their spending on where it’s needed and on what works. It also means people receive effective, coordinated support that provides as much choice as possible.

We will also provide dedicated funding for consistent evaluation. We will track the achievement of outcomes and understand what works, which will drive future service design and delivery.

System governance

To achieve our vision, we will need to make changes to system governance and architecture. This will include greater coordination in the way services are designed, funded, delivered and coordinated.

These changes will help us to avoid unnecessary complexity, duplication, service gaps and inconsistent practices. New system governance will include:

  • a Gender Equality Commissioner
  • the Prevention Agency
  • the Coordination Agency
  • the Centre for Workforce Excellence
  • the Victorian Centre for Data Insights.

We will also establish:

  • a system Oversight Monitor will provide system-wide performance monitoring and oversight of the family violence and social service system
  • a Family Violence Parliamentary Committee to oversee systemic improvements in family violence policy.

Building our knowledge base

Detailed data is essential to effective reforms. Our new approach will rely on better data collection and evaluation of our funded family violence services. We need to build on an evidence base for:

  • what’s working
  • what needs to be adjusted
  • how we can direct resources to the responses that make a difference.

We are building our capacity for data collection and analysis to support innovative and responsive family violence services. This includes:

  • identifying where the evidence base needs to be developed
  • where can make better use of existing data
  • how we can best make this evidence available to decision-makers.

Victorian Centre for Data Insights

A whole-of-government Centre for Data Insights will support departments and agencies to improve the way they collect information. It will:

  • lead the effective use of data for decision-making in Victoria
  • support the Coordination Agency to gain a better understanding about how to tailor support to the needs of clients.