Who is leading the change
- Family Safety Victoria
The Victorian Government fund Seniors Rights Victoria, InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence and Women with Disabilities Victoria to:
- provide training to equip specialist family violence service providers and providers of universal services to recognise and provide appropriate services to older Victorians, people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities and people with disabilities who experience family violence
- build partnerships with and provide advice to specialist family violence service providers and providers of universal services to enable them to respond effectively to the needs of people in these communities
Government has committed to a range of comprehensive initiatives to address the needs of older Victorians, people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD communities and people with disabilities who experience family violence.
Funding has been provided to inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence (inTouch) to become a specialist body to strengthen the responsiveness of the broader family violence service system and universal services to meet the needs of CALD communities through the provision of training, networking, advocacy and the provision of expert knowledge.
To recognise and provide appropriate services to older Victorians, an innovated model of care for responding to suspected elder abuse is being trialled. We are funding the Bouverie Centre to develop and deliver workforce training in elder abuse response, using a client-centred and family-inclusive approach; and funding St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne to partner with the Bouverie Centre to build evidence-based approaches into the delivery of effective responses to address suspected elder abuse. We are funding Seniors Rights Victoria to provide advice to the Bouverie Centre in the development and delivery of the training, and to build partnerships with local agencies through prevention networks to address elder abuse.
Women with Disabilities Victoria was allocated one-off funding for 2016-17 and further funding in 2017-18 to commence a response to Recommendation 139. Funding will assist the organisation to continue initiatives that build partnerships and provide training to the family violence and universal workforces on the intersections of gender and disabilities and between the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the family violence service system.
In addition to the $2.25m in funding to inTouch from the 2016/17 State Budget, in 2018-19, the Department of Premier and Cabinet through the Multicultural Affairs Portfolio committed a further $1.95 million over 3 years in sustained funding to inTouch to continue to build the responsiveness of the family violence sector, mainstream and universal services to the needs of culturally diverse communities including through training and the development of partnerships. Through this funding, inTouch will also build the capacity of multicultural, ethno-specific and faith-based organisations to recognise family violence and respond and refer appropriately to disclosures of family violence, as well as play a leadership role in informing family violence policies and reforms on issues affecting Victorians of culturally and religiously diverse backgrounds.
From late 2016, inTouch has undergone significant structural changes to reflect its specialist role in the sector. In this time, inTouch has undertaken a number of activities, including the design and development of three training modules for staff and workers from the specialist family violence sector, universal and mainstream services and ethno-specific organisations. These modules have been delivered to staff across Victoria through a public training calendar. Associated resources have also been developed and are available on the website.
inTouch also runs a Multicultural Community of Practice to support information sharing, training and consultation for specialist family violence organisations, mainstream and multicultural organisations, including settlement services.
inTouch has also worked closely with the Department of Health and Human Services in relation in responding to Recommendation 29 and contributed to the development of a Child Protection e-learning module on family violence in multicultural communities. inTouch has partnered with and provided training to multicultural organisations and ethno-specific organisations through government-funded projects. Through its leadership and advocacy, inTouch has also raised the profile of dowry abuse as a particular form of family violence affecting many in the migrant and refugee communities in Australia.
An evaluation has been funded which will more fully articulate the impacts and outcomes of the funding to inTouch.
In mid-2019, Family Safety Victoria funded inTouch to commence a short time-limited project to engage with the 5 operational The Orange Door sites to strengthen and improve family violence responses for people from multicultural communities, and to increase The Orange Door workforce’s capacity to better support this community group.
Through consultation with the Elder Abuse Advisory Group, an innovative integrated model of care for responding to suspected elder abuse is being trialled at 5 Victorian health services. The model involves:
- workforce training for health service staff and community agency partners
- elder abuse prevention and response liaison officers
- counselling and mediation services (including financial counselling)
- a local elder abuse prevention network in each trial catchment area for organisations to work collectively on key objectives such as primary prevention and awareness raising
Funding was provided in 2016-17 to the Bouverie Centre to develop and deliver workforce training in elder abuse response, using a client-centred and family-inclusive approach. St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne received funding to partner with the Bouverie Centre to build evidence-based approaches into the delivery of effective responses to addressing suspected elder abuse, and Seniors Rights Victoria received funding to provide advice to the Bouverie Centre in the development and delivery of the training.
Training commenced in the 5 participating health services and their community agency partners from January 2018. An external evaluator has been engaged to evaluate the integrated model of care to determine its effectiveness.
Funds were provided to Seniors Rights Victoria in 2016-17 and 2017-18 to build partnerships with local agencies through prevention networks to address elder abuse (refer to Recommendation 142 for further details on these prevention networks).
Relationships are also being strengthened between elder abuse services and local The Orange Door sites to ensure that older people experiencing family violence are better supported.
People with Disabilities
Building on funding provided to Women with Disabilities Victoria (WDV) in 2016-18, WDV received funding in 2018 through a Department of Health and Human Services National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) Information, Linkages and Capacity (ILC) Building project grant. The project has focused on Industry Plan Tier 1 workforces and encompassed Tier 2 workforces with a key role to play in Victoria’s family violence reforms. The project leveraged the significant relationships and partnerships developed to date by the organisation. In addition, foundational work undertaken to date by WDV in developing and positioning workforce development strategies within current Victorian family violence reforms including the Family Violence Industry Development Plan have been strengthened.
WDV have achieved a great deal in relation to this recommendation. In particular, they have strengthened collaborative relationships across a range of workforce tiers, built momentum and gained traction for the positioning of this vital piece of work. The project produced a mapping and consultation report for the Victorian Government in June 2018, outlining findings of a desktop review and consultation with 28 organisations (including state and local government bodies, family violence services, community sector peak bodies, safeguarding bodies and training and education providers) on:
- available training on family violence and disability
- how disability was addressed in general family violence training
- how family violence was addressed in key disability safeguarding and abuse training
The project has used the findings to:
- make a significant contribution to a range of workforce initiatives across the specialist family violence and universal services to date
- develop resources and training to support workforce capacity development in all four workforce tiers that intersect with family violence
- support other organisations to bring a gender and disability lens to family violence workforce initiatives and a gender and family violence lens to disability safeguarding and abuse training
WDV have been allocated further funding through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Workforce Development Steering Committee, which will continue some of the elements of the project and further support the implementation of this Recommendation. Given the context of the NDIS roll out, there will be an increased priority focus on the NDIS interface, and within the context of working with people with disabilities. This will create flexible and tailored learning and development strategies and resources to increase the capacity of specialist family violence and sexual assault services workers, including The Orange Door staff, disability workforce and the intersecting mainstream workforces (e.g. health and housing).
The project will be piloted in one Department of Health and Human Services area in which The Orange Door has been established and will be inclusive of key family violence statewide organisations to strengthen integrated practice to effectively support people with disabilities accessing family violence support services. A suite of resources will also be developed through this project that will focus on building competency in working with people with disabilities and the NDIS interface, including practice guidance. Strengthening the relationship between family violence specialist services and disability services will be part of the approach.
In addition, Family Safety Victoria provided funding in 2018-19 to pilot a new Statewide Disability Inclusion Advisor position at Domestic Violence Victoria in partnership with WDV to improve the inclusion of people with a disability in family violence services and build the capacity of the family violence sector in responding to people with disabilities.
Reviewed 17 May 2020