Who is leading the change
Department of Health and Human Services, Family Safety Victoria
The Victorian Government increase investment in programs to ensure that people who have been affected by family violence have timely access to group-based or individual counselling for as long as they need. The counselling should be delivered by practitioners with appropriate training.
Funding has been increased for counselling and other therapeutic responses to women and children impacted by family violence. Also being trialled and evaluated are more evidence-based therapeutic interventions across the state to improve the responses available to support people to recover from their experience of family violence.
The 2016/17 State Budget provided significant funding to support this recommendation, including:
- $33.9 million over 2 years to enhance therapeutic interventions for victim survivors of family violence, including children, and
- $40 million for Safe at Home Flexible Support Packages (which can be used to support access to counselling services)
Both of these investments are designed to provide victim survivors with timely and flexible access to counselling and other support services.
In November 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services undertook sector-wide consultation across Victoria to inform how this recommendation is implemented, and to identify existing best practice therapeutic responses for responding to victims of family violence.
On 31 January 2017, submissions were called to trial evidence-based, innovative therapeutic interventions for victims of family violence. On 17 May 2017, the Minister for Families and Children announced the 26 successful pilot projects, including 4 projects specifically for Aboriginal families with experiences of family violence. The full list of projects is available at the Department of Health and Human Services website.
The 2017–18 State Budget provides $100.1 million over 4 years and $30 million ongoing for counselling and therapeutic support for victims of family violence and sexual assault.
The 2018-19 State Budget provided additional funding for approximately 6,500 flexible support packages per year over 2 years, as well as funding to support for the Wyndham Multidisciplinary Centre, to open from mid-2018, and additional support for victims of sexual abuse. In addition, adolescent family violence services will provide more families with access to therapeutic intervention to help stop violence in the home.
In January 2019, the Minister for Prevention of Family Violence announced $21.2 million in ongoing funding to establish a statewide platform for the delivery of therapeutic interventions for victim survivors of family violence. The findings and recommendations from the evaluation of the 26 demonstration projects informed the design of the new services. In August 2019, service providers including 9 Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations were confirmed across Victoria.
While this recommendation has been implemented, opportunities will continue to be identified to improve access to group-based or individual counselling for victim survivors for as long as they need.