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The Central Information Point

Collating information about a person who uses family violence into a report to assess risk. The Information Sharing reforms enable the Central Information Point to operate.

What does the Central Information Point do?

The Central Information Point (CIP) consolidates information about a perpetrator of family violence into a single report.

CIP reports are used to:

  • assess and manage the risk of a person who uses family violence
  • help services keep the person in view and hold them accountable
  • keep people safe

The CIP brings together workers and information from:

  • Court Services Victoria
  • Victoria Police
  • Corrections Victoria
  • the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing

The CIP is one of the key recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Family Violence. 

How the CIP works to inform risk

We've provided this example to help explain how the CIP works (and how it used to work) to show how things have improved.

Lisa lives with Matthew and is pregnant with their first child. They haven't been together long. Lately Matthew keeps asking Lisa where she's been. They've been having lots of arguments.

Lisa knows Matthew has 2 children. He's told Lisa that their mother will not let him see the children. 

At a routine visit the midwife asks Lisa if she feels safe at home. She admits that she doesn’t and describes Matthew's difficult behaviour. The midwife offers Lisa a referral to The Orange Door(opens in a new window) for further support. Lisa says no thanks.

That night they have another fight. Matthew’s behaviour is becoming worse and he pushes Lisa. The neighbours hear the shouting and call the police.

The police attend and complete a report on the family violence incident, called an L17. This is sent to The Orange Door.

The police understand that family violence can become worse during a pregnancy so they also issue a Family Safety Notice, which states that Matthew cannot be at the home. 

Wendy, a worker at The Orange Door receives the L17 and meets with Lisa. She talks with Lisa but decides she still doesn’t have enough information to assess the risk that Matthew poses to Lisa and their baby.

What used to happen before the CIP existed

Before the CIP, Wendy would have:

  • decided where she may be able to get information about Matthew
  • called relevant agencies, including the police - she would have had to make lots of phone calls and could take a week or more to catch busy people
  • collected the information she needs to finish a risk assessment - the information she collected would not have been a complete history and mostly cover the current situation
  • called Lisa to discuss what she found out, which was probably less comprehensive based on who Wendy could track down to talk to
  • referred Lisa to other services to get help
  • passed on information to each of these services

What happens now with the CIP

Wendy requests a CIP report. While she waits for the report, she talks with Lisa and offers a range of services that might be relevant. Wendy explains that she can help by making appointments with the services. 

Wendy receives the CIP report on the same day and includes it in the risk assessment. She calls Lisa again to share what she found out.

Lisa learns that:

  • Matthew has a criminal record and a history of assault and assault with a weapon
  • Matthew has 4 children with 2 previous partners
  • he has two current intervention orders, taken out by his two past partners, which he has breached
  • the intervention orders prevent him from seeing the children due to family violence

Wendy sets up an appointment with a legal service and counselling for later in the day. The relevant information is shared with these services, which helps them to support Lisa.

The ability to gather information quickly and share the CIP report meant that Lisa was able to receive service the same day.

How we're expanding and improving the CIP

Currently CIP reports involve manual collection of information. There are a number of systems with information needed for CIP reports. Most of these systems can't work together.

We're working on automation and improvements for all systems. We're regularly making other changes to improve the Central Information Point. 

CIP reports currently provide a service to family violence practitioners working in The Orange Door. We're working on increasing the number of services that can request CIP reports.