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Expand the provision of Family Violence Flexible Support Packages

Recommendation:
017
Status:
Implemented

Who is leading the change

  • Family Safety Victoria

The Victorian Government expand the provision of Family Violence Flexible Support Packages. These packages should provide to victims assistance beyond the crisis period and should include longer term rental and mortgage subsidies where required, along with assistance for costs associated with securing and maintaining counselling, wellbeing, education, employment, financial counselling and other services designed to assist housing stability and financial security.

  • In September 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services allocated a one year funding boost to existing Family Violence Flexible Support Package providers and to 4 new statewide providers to improve access to support packages for people from diverse communities, including Aboriginal, CALD and LGBTI clients. This funding boost provided access to a further 5,000 packages for victim survivors of family violence across the state. This boost was continued for a further 12 months in 2017–18.

    An evaluation of Family Violence Flexible Support Packages commenced in August 2016 and concluded in September 2017. The evaluation concluded that packages have had a transformational impact in supporting thousands of victim survivors to achieve safety and recover from their experience of family violence. The findings and recommendations from the evaluation have informed a number of improvements to the program to support its ongoing success, including updates to the Family Violence Flexible Support Packages Program Requirements in August 2017.

    The 2018-19 State Budget included $40 million over 2 years to support the continued delivery of approximately 6,500 flexible support packages each year. Funding over 2 years has supported the introduction of 3 additional Aboriginal organisations as flexible support package providers to complement existing pathways and increase Aboriginal-specific support options available to Aboriginal people and families.

  • Packages assist victim survivors to access a range of flexible, tailored and practical supports such as counselling, wellbeing, education, employment, financial counselling, transport, housing stability, financial security, and other practical or material needs.

    Funding available through packages also supports access to a range of safety and security measures under the Personal Safety Initiative (such as CCTV, personal devices and property modifications), which assist victim survivors to remain safely in their own homes and communities or to relocate safely to a new property.

    Flexible support packages are provided by 22 community services organisations (CSOs) across Victoria including:

    • one CSO in each of the 17 Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) local areas
    • one Aboriginal-specific CSO in each of the 4 DHHS Operational Divisions
    • statewide cohort-specific service coverage provided by 4 CSOs

    Family Safety Victoria is developing an online portal to streamline the application, assessment, approval, and acquittal of flexible support packages, which will support agencies to more effectively and efficiently administer the FSP program. Implementation of the online portal will commence in 2019-20, with statewide use anticipated from 2020-21.

  • Implemented.

Reviewed 17 May 2020

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