Welcome to the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Graduate Program. You are joining 17 other employing agencies who are participating in the program across Victoria this year.
The Program is a collaborative effort between the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing's (DFFH), Centre for Workforce Excellence (CWE), Family Violence Regional Integration Committees (represented by Family Violence Principal Strategic Advisors) and participating employing agencies.
Agencies and graduates receive dedicated support from the Learning and Development Facilitator (Dr. Deborah Western), engaged by the CWE. The Learning and Development Facilitator is responsible for overseeing the state-wide learning and development opportunities and providing dedicated support to graduates and their agencies over the course of the Program.
Family Violence Regional Integration Committees, represented by the Family Violence Principal Strategic Advisor role, also play a key role in facilitating relationships between participating agencies and supporting delivery of local area activities for graduates in their local area.
The program will provide you with the opportunity to support and develop passionate graduates within your organisation and strengthen the family violence, sexual assault and primary prevention workforces.
This webpage acts as a detailed online ‘guide’ for the Program that you can refer to over the course of the year. Graduates will also be provided with their own tailored webpage in February 2023.
Agencies and graduates receive dedicated support from the Learning and Development Facilitator (Dr Deborah Western), engaged by the CWE.
The Learning and Development Facilitator’s role is to oversee the state-wide learning and development opportunities and provide dedicated support to graduates and their agencies over the course of the Program.
The CWE and the Learning and Development Facilitator also provide a range of Program supports for both graduates and their employing agencies that can be accessed anytime.
- tailored learning and development advice that can be used to support guiding use of the graduate funding allocation
- a 1:1 progress check-in at the midway point of the Program for graduates and their supervisors
- unlimited external supervision and/or debriefing for both graduates and their supervisors
- access to a range of tailored resources, including tip sheets for supervisors
- networking opportunities, including graduate access to a dedicated, moderated Yammer networking platform.
These can be accessed by emailing the Learning and Development Facilitator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As an employing agency of a graduate, you are expected to provide day-to-day management for graduates, including:
- a comprehensive organisational orientation and induction, including ensuring that your broader organisation is aware of the Program’s objectives and participants
- regular supervision and support for a graduate, relevant to their role
- ensuring a reduced workload or caseload for the duration of the Program
- support to identify the skills and knowledge they need to obtain and support their participation in relevant learning and development activities to obtain those skills and knowledge
- enabling and encouraging graduates to attend Program activities, particularly the monthly communities of practice throughout the year
- opportunities for graduates to share their learnings from the Program with other colleagues in their agency.
All graduates should receive regular, scheduled, one on-one supervision, noting that the AASW Supervision Standards recommend new graduates with two years or less experience or those entering a new field of practice receive fortnightly, 60-minute supervision at a minimum. Organisations should ensure that supervisors have the skills, time, energy, and resources to provide regular supervision for graduates, noting that it is also important that supervisors receive their own supervision.
Other expectations as part of the Program for your agency include:
- participating in two employing agency workshops and three supervisor sessions throughout the year
- collaborating with your Family Violence Principal Strategic Advisor to identify and coordinate local area activities for graduates
- participating in project evaluation activities, which may include surveys, interviews and case study development as appropriate
- completing a report and financial acquittal by COB Friday 19 January 2024, as well as brief updates in an agreed format to share with the Program Steering Committee as requested
- letting the CWE team know as soon as possible where your agency is unable to deliver the above – for example, if your graduate withdraws
- advising the CWE team when the contact details for your employing agency or graduate change.
Graduates participating in the Program are responsible for:
- participating in and contributing to all Program activities, including preparing for all community of practice sessions
- notifying the Learning and Development Facilitator in advance if unable to attend a community of practice
- working proactively with their employing agency to determine what professional learning and development opportunities may be most beneficial for them over the course of the Program
- advising their employing agency when they will be participating in Program activities as soon as possible so that agencies can support their absence from work
- attending a mid-year check-in meeting with the Learning and Development Facilitator
- responding to requests from the Learning and Development Facilitator for information as required
- contributing to the continuous improvement of the Program by completing a brief ‘graduate report’ at the end of the year and participating in evaluation activities if possible
- connecting with other graduates through, for example, attending communities of practice and workshops, and using the Yammer network.
The program has 4 key components:
- a range of state-wide learning and development opportunities for graduates and supervisors, led by the Learning and Development Facilitator
- a $7,000 per graduate funding allocation, which is provided to your agency to support your graduate’s learning and development
- local area activities for graduates led by Family Violence Principal Strategic Advisors (on behalf of Family Violence Regional Integration Committees), with these activities agreed upon and jointly implemented by all agencies participating in your area
- dedicated wraparound supports for graduates and your agency, offered by the Learning and Development Facilitator as detailed above.
The Learning and Development Facilitator provides several state-wide learning opportunities for graduates and employing agencies over the course of the program.
Participation in the state-wide learning and development activities are expected, noting that they are intended to be supplementary to the approach you are taking in your local area and within your agency.
These activities include:
- an induction session for graduates, which provides them with an overview of the Program and how to make the best use of their year
- monthly communities of practice, which provide an opportunity to connect with other graduates at a similar stage of their careers and critically reflect on their practice
- four tailored workshops for graduates, which provide an opportunity to learn about key parts of the family violence, sexual assault and primary prevention service systems from current practitioners and act as a ‘springboard’ to accessing further training and resources
- four ‘practitioner panels’ for graduates to learn about the various roles and practice focus from practitioners currently in the family violence, sexual assault and primary prevention sectors
- a graduation session for graduates at the end of the year to celebrate their achievements and support them in their transition out of the Program
- two employing agency sessions delivered in collaboration with the CWE, which provide important updates on the Program’s progress and an opportunity to share learnings state-wide
- three workshops for graduate supervisors to connect with one another
- share ideas in relation to supervision, and to hear about the themes emerging from graduate activities.
The table below provides key dates for the state-wide learning and development activities, which will also be provided to graduates and their supervisors for their reference.
Activity Time/date Audience Employing Agency Session 1: Welcome 16 February 2023, 10am - 11.30am Employing agency representatives (Supervisors welcomed) Graduate Induction Session 22 February 2023, 10am - 12pm Graduates Supervisors' Meeting 1 6 March 2023, 2pm - 3.30pm Supervisors Workshop 1: Critical Reflection 22 or 23 March 2023, 10am - 12pm Graduates Practitioner Panel 1: Family Violence Response 29 March 2023, 10am - 11am Graduates Workshop 2: Vicarious Resilience Part 1 18 or 19 April 2023, 10am - 12pm Graduates Practitioner Panel 2: Sexual Assault 17 May 2023, 10am - 11am Graduates Supervisors' Meeting 2 8 June 2023, 10am - 11.30am Supervisors Workshop 3: Applying Theory in Practice 20 or 21 June 2023, 10am - 12pm Graduates Practitioner Panel 3: Prevention 20 July 2023, 10am - 11am Graduates Workshop 4: Vicarious Resilience Part 2 10 or 15 August 2023, 10am - 12pm Graduates Supervisors' Meeting 2 12 September 2023, 10am - 11:30am Supervisors Employing Agency Session 2: End of Program 9 November 2023, 10am - 11am Employing agency representatives (supervisors welcomed) Graduation Session 28 November 2023, 10am - 11.30am Graduates
Some of the activities are set for one date, where all graduates will attend the one option. Others may have various date options where there is a smaller number of graduates required for each group. In this instance, graduates will be allocated to a specific session and advised via email.
Please note that you may have additional dates for local area activities to be aware of, which are led by your area's Family Violence Principal Strategic Advisor.
Your agency has been provided with a $7,000 per graduate funding allocation to support their learning and development over the course of the program. This funding is designed to be responsive to agency and graduate needs and priorities.
At least 70 per cent of this graduate funding allocation should be allocated directly to supporting graduate learning and development. Examples of this include:
- participation at locally based training and professional development identified by the employing agency and/or Family Violence Regional Integration Committee and through graduate feedback
- access to health, safety and wellbeing supports (including cultural supports)
- external or additional supervision
- access to a mentor identified by your organisation
- attendance at events that directly relate to graduates’ professional learning and development.
Up to 30 per cent of this graduate funding allocation may be used for administrative support, travel and accommodation and backfill related to supporting your graduate’s learning and development needs. Examples of this include:
- backfill to cover either a) graduates on training or b) for staff supervising graduates
- travel and accommodation costs associated with your graduate’s learning and development
- organisation readiness activities such as staff supervision training, development of organisational training and/or policies etc.
This list is not exhaustive and extraordinary requests for use of this funding may be discussed with the Centre for Workforce Excellence by emailing email@example.com
Please note that this funding cannot be used to directly contribute to graduate salaries or relocation costs.
The program is intended to be flexible and determined by your local area and agency’s individual needs. The learning and development approach for the program aims to provide opportunities for graduates at a state-wide level, local area level and agency level.
In determining learning and development opportunities for graduates, your agency should refer to the Graduate Planning Resource, which can be accessed here: Graduate learning and professional development: Planning
You can also access tailored learning and development advice from the Learning and Development Advisor at any stage of the Program, which can be accessed by emailing the Learning and Development Facilitator at firstname.lastname@example.org
CWE provides an additional $3,000 (excluding GST) per graduate to the Family Violence Regional Integration Committee to support local area activities for graduates.
Taking a shared lead approach, Family Violence Principal Strategic Advisors (on behalf of their Family Violence Regional Integration Committee) will work collaboratively with participating employing agencies across all sectors in your area to determine the best use for this funding. This is to ensure that individual needs of agencies and graduates are considered.
It is expected that you engage with you Family Violence Principal Strategic Advisor around delivery of local area activities as a key component of the Program.
Examples of what this funding has been used for in previous Programs has included:
- supporting engagement of contractors to deliver a tailored training package
- engaging a mentor to work with graduates over the year
- providing resource packs for graduates, including foundational, recognised theory-based and/or practice-focused texts
- trialling a lived experience reverse-mentoring program with victim survivor advocates
- supporting graduates to participate in training sessions together as a group.
As part of the Program requirements, your agency should ensure that your graduate has a reduced workload to ensure that your graduate can participate in all program activities. For graduates in the specialist stream, this means they should have a reduced caseload. A basic recommendation is that graduates will have around 75 per cent of a normal caseload.
What this looks like might differ depending on what role your graduate has and what type of work your graduate might undertake, recognising that graduate’s workloads may increase slowly over the year as their confidence and capabilities grow.
For primary prevention stream graduates, a reduced workload simply means allowing enough time for graduates to attend and engage with Program activities.
Some examples of how this can be managed are provided below.
Lara works in a case management role with a family violence agency. Her reduced caseload is set at 75 to 80 per cent of a full caseload. This means she has a caseload of around 8 to 10 clients compared with other workers in the same role (and not in the program), who have a caseload of about 12 clients. Lara’s supervisor monitors her workload to ensure, as far as possible, that the reduced number is maintained. Lara’s reduced caseload has enabled her to attend various professional learning and development activities throughout the year. In return, Lara shares her new knowledge and resources with her agency through presentations to colleagues.
Martin works in a crisis/intake and assessment role in a large department. His reduced caseload is set at 80 per cent of a full caseload held by other workers in the same role. This allows Martin to have one less shift on the crisis phones each week and translates to a caseload of approximately 10 to 12 clients compared to other workers with a caseload of about 15. This enables him to attend professional development activities, visit and shadow workers in other agencies, and engage in additional reflective supervision.
Sanyi works in a case management role in a sexual assault agency. Her reduced caseload is set at 80 per cent of a full caseload. This takes the form of clients with less complex histories and assessments, and fewer presenting needs, than the clients with whom other practitioners work. Although Sanyi has about the same number of clients in her caseload as other workers in the same role, she spends less time, per week, on direct client work. Sanyi’s supervisor will increase the complexity of her caseload as Sanyi progresses through the program. By the time Sanyi reaches the end of the program, her caseload will be comparable to that of her colleagues.
The CWE also provides a contribution towards relocation costs of up to $1,500 (excluding GST) for eligible graduates. This is in addition to the graduate funding allocation detailed above.
The funding can be used to contribute towards relocation costs, such as (but not limited to) travel expenses, removal and storage of personal and household goods and related insurance, where graduates have relocated for the purpose of commencing in the program.
To be eligible for this contribution, graduates must be either:
- relocating more than 100km from their current place of residence to a role based in a rural or regional area
- relocating from interstate (outside Victoria) or internationally to a metro-based role.
To apply, your graduate needs to complete the new graduate details form which CWE has sent to them in their welcome email.
The payment is made to your agency directly and must be passed on in full to the graduate. No receipts or reimbursement evidence is required for this payment, although it should be indicated that the payment was received in your end of program financial acquittal.
The CWE will provide written confirmation to you and your graduate once the payment has been processed.
You will be asked to provide brief updates to CWE over the year. In most cases, this will be coordinated through your Family Violence Principal Strategic Advisor, who will provide them as part of a consolidated update to the Program Steering Committee.
You will also be asked to complete a final program activity report and financial acquittal by COB Friday 19 January 2024 for the graduate funding allocation. Reporting templates are available to access here.
The Program is being independently evaluated by Grosvenor Performance Group. Throughout the year, employing agencies and graduates will be invited to participate in surveys regarding your experiences with the Program. You may also be invited to participate in a focus group and/or case study.
Further information around evaluation activities will be provided by the CWE through the employing agency sessions.
If you have any questions, please refer to this table for who to contact.
For questions about: Please contact:
- State-wide learning and development opportunities, including monthly communities of practice
- Accessing wraparound supports, including external supervision
- Questions or concerns around graduate progress.
Dr Deborah Western, Learning and Development Facilitator
- Local area activity planning and coordination
Your Family Violence Principal Strategic Advisor
- Graduate funding allocations, including reporting requirements
- Accessing relocation contribution funding for graduates
- Program queries, feedbacks or complaints
Graduate Program team
Reviewed 06 March 2023