Recognising and responding to early warning signs is essential to prevention. It can also stop family violence from escalating to a crisis situation.
Early response means identifying people who are at risk of experiencing or perpetrating family violence and connecting them with the right support the first time.
This means making better use of our state and local government early intervention platforms, such as:
- Maternal and Child Health services
- parenting programs
- early childhood education and care
- community health services.
We can also connect people at risk through services targeted at people with specific needs, including:
- family support
- legal assistance
- financial support
- mental health services
- drug and alcohol services.
To provide effective early intervention, we need to build the capability of staff at these services to identify and respond to family violence.
Building the workforce
We need to change how our workforces — from doctors to nurses, educators and family services — see their roles and responsibilities in early intervention. We will deliver the following to provide a more effective response to family violence.
- Train and equip staff in all parts of the social services and justice systems to recognise and respond to the early warning signs of family violence.
- Strengthen partnerships and collaboration between family services, specialist family violence services and other support services by connecting Child FIRST to the recommended Support and Safety Hubs. This will make sure families receive the services they need to prevent the escalation of violence.
- Build the capacity of key services and programs, including Maternal and Child Health services, to provide tailored support for victim survivors, vulnerable children and families.
- Resource all public hospitals across the state to implement a whole-of-hospital approach to strengthen their responses to family violence.
Since 2015, 15 health services have been funded to deliver the Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence initiative.
Specialist family violence practitioners provide expert and targeted training to hospital staff, including:
- frontline clinicians
- non-clinical staff.
Around 500 staff have been trained in 2015/16 through this initiative. Health services will continue family violence workforce training, aiming to increase the number of trained staff to over 1000 within the next 3 years.