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Career and future intentions

This chapter outlines the key motivators for working in the specialist family violence response workforce and explores the future plans/intentions of this group. This information may be useful to inform recruitment and retention strategies.

Overall, the results illustrated that the specialist family violence response workforce were highly motivated by a commitment to preventing / responding to family violence, and a desire to help others.

When asked about their future intentions, half this workforce reported that they did not have plans to leave their current role. Of the 40% who did hold such intentions, their reasons were predominantly due to career prospects and lack of advancement opportunities, stress or other negative influences on their health and wellbeing, or an end of contract.

The main motivator for working in a specialist family violence response role was reported to be a commitment to preventing and responding to family violence – with 70% citing this reason. Almost half of this workforce also indicated that they were motivated by a desire to help others (49%).

This workforce was least motivated by pay/remuneration and job security (4% each).

When asked about their employment status prior to commencing their current role in the specialist family violence response workforce, a range of responses were provided. Overall, 41% indicated that they had held a role with another organisation or agency in the sector (within Victoria), 23% had been working in a related sector, 14% in an unrelated sector, and 13% had been studying.

  • The main motivator for working in a specialist family violence response role was reported to be a commitment to preventing and responding to family violence – with 70% citing this reason. Almost half of this workforce also indicated that they were motivated by a desire to help others (49%).  This workforce was least motivated by pay / remuneration and job security (4% each). Lived experience was mentioned by 14% or respondents.
    Q69. Overall, what mainly motivates you to work in a role in family violence response?

Future intentions

  • 51% of respondents did not have plans to leave their current role at this stage, whilst 40% did have plans to leave their current role. A further 10% were unsure.1

    Of those who did intend to leave their current role, 44% were planning to leave for another role within the specialist family violence response workforce. A similar proportion (40%) were planning to leave their current role for another role outside of this workforce.

    Figure 21 illustrates the broad range of reasons that had driven respondents to consider leaving their role in the next 12 months. Although 26% cited an end of contract, other key reasons included career prospects or lack of advancement opportunities (24%- 29%); and stress / pressure or the role having a negative effect on respondents’ health and wellbeing (24%-28%). On a positive note, few cited vicarious trauma or backlash / resistance.

    Furthermore, most specialist respondents indicated that they would consider taking on a role in the primary prevention of family violence workforce in the future (81%)2, suggesting that there is an opportunity for shared resources across the specialist family violence response and primary prevention workforces.

    Although 26% cited an end of contract, other key reasons included career prospects or lack of advancement opportunities (24%- 29%); and stress / pressure or the role having a negative effect on respondents’ health and wellbeing (24%-28%).
    Q74. What are your top 3 reasons for planning to leave your current job in the time frame indicated? ‘Don’t know’ excluded
  • Results differed by some demographic cohorts, as follows:

    • Age – younger respondents (aged under 35) were more likely than their older colleagues to:
      • have plans to leave their current role (49% versus 38% of those aged 35-54, and 32% of those aged 55+); and
      • be open to a role in the primary prevention of family violence workforce (86% versus 80% of those aged 35-54, and 74% of those aged 55+).
    • Gender – females were more likely than males to indicate that they would consider a role in the primary prevention workforce (82% versus 71%).
    • Years of experience – those with fewer years’ experience in their current role were more likely than those with greater experience to be open to considering a role in the primary prevention workforce (85% of those with 4 years’ experience or less, versus 70-73% of those with 5-10 years or over 10 years’ experience in their current role).
    • Level of remoteness – those working in metropolitan locations were slightly more likely than those in regional locations to indicate that they had plans to leave their current role (44% versus 39%).
    • Organisation type – see Table 7 for details.

    Key results by organisation type are shown in Table 7.

    Table 7: Key results by organisation type

    Organisation type

    Plan to leave current role (Q71)

    Would consider a role in the primary prevention workforce (Q75)

    Overall workforce (n=1,017-1,409)* 40% 81%
    Specialist family violence victim survivor services (n=408-547) 39% 88%
    Specialist family violence perpetrator services / Men's behaviour change (n=121-183) 38% 86%
    Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (n=25-36) 33% 84%
    Alcohol or other drug services (n=28-39) 41% 82%
    Victims assistance (n=27-35) 51% 67%
    Peak body (n=33-46) 61% 94%
    Women’s health (n=22-37) 41% 64%
    Child protection (n=9-13) 38% Supressed (low sample size)
    Community health (n=74-102) 30% 80%
    Courts and court services (n=61-80) 43% 62%
    Family safety contact (n=23-36) 33% 87%
    Hospital (n=41-65) 46% 71%
    Housing / Social housing / Homelessness (n=34-50) 38% 74%
    Legal services (n=70-104) 43% 71%
    LGBTIQ services (n=14-22) 45% 64%
    Mental health services (n=26-39) 49% 85%
    Multicultural or settlement services (n=7-14) 36% Supressed (low sample size)
    Older people (including elder abuse) services (n=4-12) 33% Supressed (low sample size)
    Education and training provider (family violence) (n=23-35) 51% 70%
    Sexual assault services (n=42-69) 29% 74%
    Regional integration (n=11-14) 29% 82%

    *n= indicates the range of the sample sizes across the two key questions.

Footnotes

  1. Q71. Thinking about your future, do you have plans to leave your current role? (n=1,409)
  2. Asked only of those who did not currently hold any roles in the primary prevention of family violence workforce.

Reviewed 09 July 2021

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