Who is leading the change
- Court Services Victoria
The Melbourne Children’s Court establish family violence applicant and respondent worker positions to assist young people and families in situations where adolescents are using violence in the home.
This initiative will see the establishment of a specialised family violence response within the Children’s Court which includes:
- a Family Violence Registrar
- a Family Violence Applicant Practitioner
- a Family Violence Respondent Practitioner
- upgrades to the existing court facilities at the Melbourne Children’s Court to make them safer
In recognition of the specialist range of skills and experience needed to provide these specialist services, with an expanded focus on child protection and adolescents who use family violence, the Children’s Court approached the market via tender from the community sector to deliver these services. These specialist family violence support services will provide at-court support and assistance, as well as providing an immediate and coordinated service response, outreach and case management to applicants and respondents across all divisions of the Children’s Court including child protection matters. The service will aim to provide access and referrals to necessary support services including counselling, behavioural change programs and adolescent family violence programs.
The Children’s Court is now working with Merri Health to develop the service delivery model to provide Applicant and Respondent Practitioner services.
Additionally, the 2017-18 Budget provided funding for the Children’s Court to undertake capital works for additional office spaces for the Family Violence Registrar and Applicant and Respondent Practitioners.
The Melbourne Children’s Court Refurbishment Project was completed in April 2018. This project improves the physical environment at the Children’s Court to create a safe, secure, welcoming and calm environment for children and court users that is also conducive to collaboration and promotes court users’ engagement with community services. The funding for family violence capital works will complement the refurbishment project by creating:
- additional office accommodation for family violence support services
- safe and separate waiting areas for victims and perpetrators
The Court is currently scoping options to create a safe and separate family violence area.
Reviewed 17 May 2020