Who is leading the change
- Family Safety Victoria
The Department of Health and Human Services review the contractual arrangements (including funding levels) for crisis supported accommodation to remove barriers for particular groups, such as women with no income and women and children with disabilities.
The Specialist Family Violence Service Model (program requirements) will include the minimum requirements for supporting clients in crisis accommodation. This will include support for victim survivors with diverse needs, including those with disabilities and women with no income. The program requirements will form part of the contractual arrangement for specialist family violence service providers, including for refuge and crisis accommodation.
This recommendation is linked with Recommendation 15 which recommended phasing out the communal refuge model and replacing it with accommodation that promotes safety and is accessible to people experiencing barriers to service access. When the redevelopment program is completed there will be 19 new core and cluster refuge facilities (including 2 Aboriginal refuges) all built with disability access to the highest levels of the relevant design specifications. The Core and Cluster facilities will increase the number of accessible refuge beds state-wide. The first four new refuges opened in late 2019.
Reviewing funding levels for family violence supported crisis accommodation is occurring in line with the roll-out of the core and cluster capital works program (Recommendation 15) given refuge capacity will increase by approximately 50 households across the state requiring additional operational funding to provide adequate service delivery to victim-survivors in the new core and cluster refuges.
The redeveloped facilities will provide opportunities for crisis accommodation service providers to enhance traditional service provision to clients. It will support clients in private, independent units allowing for increased autonomy and independence. In addition, it will allow greater scope for service providers to bring other services on site in the new built environment, promoting better service integration. Sourcing suitable land for the project and planning delays has affected the commencement of capital works.
The specialist family violence case management review was completed in May 2019 with the outcomes of the review informing the development of the Specialist Family Violence Service model outlining new program requirements which will be completed by mid-2021. The program requirements aim to enhance the quality and consistency of case practice across the state. They will include a focus on meeting the needs of victim survivors who have historically experienced barriers to services and will be applicable to providers of refuge and crisis supported accommodation. The program requirements will set out expectations that agencies respond to people who experience barriers, including women and children with disabilities and victim survivors on temporary visas as part of their core business.
The program requirements will form part of the contractual arrangement for service providers, including refuge and crisis accommodation providers.
Family Safety Victoria is also working in partnership with Multicultural Affairs to strengthen service provision to victim survivors from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. This work, including feedback from key agencies supporting multicultural communities will be incorporated into the program requirements.
On 23 May 2019, the 2019-20 State Budget provided $23.9 million over four years and $4.8 million ongoing for Family Violence Refuge and Crisis Case Management Responses, which includes:
- support for 24-hour operations at recently redeveloped refuges
- women on temporary visas without income who need refuge accommodation
- victim survivors from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
The 2020-21 State Budget provided $18 million over two years provides operational funding to enable the redeveloped refuges to operate at full capacity.
Forecast implementation date: 31 December 2020.
Reviewed 06 January 2021