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The Orange Door Network

Delivering an accessible and visible service for people experiencing family violence and children and families in need of support

We thought it was a family violence case so I took the lead; it ended up being more child support. I kept the case and worked closely with the children’s worker. We got seven services involved but because I shared information the woman only needed to tell her story once.

Specialist family violence worker

Building momentum

Family Safety Victoria is leading the statewide rollout of The Orange Door network, referred to in the Royal Commission’s recommendations as support and safety hubs.

The Orange Door network aims to be accessible, safe and welcoming, providing quick and simple access to support for:

  • adults, children and young people who are experiencing family violence
  • families who need support with the care and wellbeing of children and young people
  • perpetrators of family violence

Since opening in 2018, more than 100,000 Victorians have received help and support from The Orange Door network.

It brings together services as a partnership, so that individuals and families don’t have to go to multiple services or to retell their story multiple times to have their needs met.

The Orange Door network provides initial support to those in need. Services available through the network include:

  • risk and needs assessment
  • safety planning
  • crisis support

The network can connect people to a range of services that provide ongoing safety and wellbeing supports.

Perpetrator accountability is also a strong focus, The Orange Door network engages perpetrators and works with the system, to hold them accountable for their actions and changing their behaviour.

This video is a glimpse into the services The Orange Door network provides and coordinates.

The Door to Safety - an introduction to The Orange Door network

The Orange Door network is now operating in seven of the 17 Department of Health areas in Victoria:

  • the latest two opened in the Central Highlands and Loddon in late 2020
  • the Goulburn area is next
  • a further six areas are set to open in 2021
  • statewide coverage will be complete by 2022

Access to The Orange Door network in each local area is facilitated through the establishment of an Orange Door network primary site. Area-wide coverage is supported by two to three access points, outposted services and outreach. Telephone and email options for referrals and to access supports complete the network.

Several reviews have been conducted since The Orange Door network began operations in 2018. The outcomes of those reviews, together with operational experience, are informing our approach as we extend our operations into new areas.

A 2020 audit of The Orange Door network by the Victorian Auditor-General made nine recommendations for improvement.

Family Safety Victoria accepted all nine recommendations. Actions which address the Auditor-General’s recommendations are highlighted in the activities tables (Delivery to 2023 on this page).

Acknowledging the foundations

The Royal Commission found that collaboration between services that support people affected by family violence was difficult and inefficient. And when practitioners worked in isolation they had a limited view of the risks that victim survivors faced.

The Orange Door network is a flagship project of the Victorian Government’s family violence reform following the 2016 Royal Commission into Family Violence. It has been designed to support the Victorian Government’s wide-ranging social policy reform agenda which aims to strengthen support to children and families.

These reforms share the common objectives of achieving a service system for individuals and families that is more connected, better able to intervene before a situation reaches crisis point, and to seamlessly connect clients with the right services at the right time.

The Orange Door network enables practitioners with different specialisations to learn from and with each other, drawing on each other’s knowledge and experience. This provides an integrated assessment of risk and needs, and the ability to take a whole-of-family approach.

The Orange Door network provides cohesiveness of response to victim-survivors of family violence. The network reflects excellent collaborative practice between government agencies, police and non-government services

InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence
Engage Victoria survey response
September 2020

Progress since 2016

The key activities for The Orange Door network which have been delivered since the Royal Commission are grouped here into three areas.

  1. The Orange Door network is operating in seven areas:

    • Barwon
    • Bayside Peninsula
    • Central Highlands
    • Inner Gippsland
    • Loddon
    • Mallee
    • North East Melbourne

    In each area, The Orange Door is staffed by a team of specialist family violence, child and family, Aboriginal and perpetrator practitioners as well as management and operational support staff.

    Annual service delivery reports provide an overview of the operation of The Orange Door network in the established areas.

    Service Delivery Report 2018-2019

  2. Support is tailored to an individual's needs and circumstances and is based on completing risk assessments and safety planning. Services include: 

    Initial crisis supports

    • Address risk and needs where it is determined that immediate support is required.
    • It includes: 
      • access to emergency accommodation 
      • security modifications to home
      • assistance with practical items e.g. food, medical supplies or personal items
      • support with caring responsibilities and counselling

    Core service responses

    • specialist family violence service 
    • integrated family services 
    • perpetrator services 

    Referrals to broader services

    • legal 
    • housing 
    • health 
    • other community services

    The Client Relationship Management System used by The Orange Door network is:

    • providing a single, accessible source of information to support practitioners in taking a whole-of-family view and planning integrated service responses to better meet the specific needs of adults and children
    • ensuring that relevant information about each family member is held securely, but easily accessible to practitioners to support their risk and needs assessments and service delivery
    • continually being enhanced to improve its use, functionality and capabilities to provide better data and evidence
  3. Across the first seven operational areas of The Orange Door network, more than 300 specialist practitioners are working together across a range of disciplines, drawing on each other’s knowledge and experience and providing a more integrated approach to the assessment and management of risk.

    Specialist expertise is provided to the workers of The Orange Door network through the practice leadership roles that are part of the workforce in each area:

    • Advanced Family Violence Practice Leaders
    • Integrated Practice Leaders
    • Aboriginal Practice Leaders
    • Senior Child Protection Practitioners

    Practitioners also work collaboratively with local services, agencies and professionals to support risk assessment and management and connect people to a range of services to meet their needs.

    This video is narrated by workers at The Orange Door network who explain how collaborations are producing better outcomes for victim survivors and their families.

    Voices of workers at The Orange Door in Mallee and Barwon

    The Workforce Strategy for The Orange Door network is supporting agencies with the challenges that arise from its unique service delivery model of integrated practice in a multi-agency environment.

    Family Safety Victoria have finalised the Client Partnership Strategy which offers a vision and roadmap to embed clients as partners in all aspects of work related to The Orange Door network.

Delivery to 2023

This overview of our planned activities to 2023, includes actions in response to the VAGO audit and is grouped into five areas. Our program for the next three years will enable The Orange Door network to realise its full potential and will result in better outcomes.

An iterative learning approach will ensure that Family Safety Victoria maintains its focus on continuous improvement.

Actions in response to VAGO recommendations are indicated with an asterisk (*) in the activities tables.

  1. Seven areas in The Orange Door network are now operational. The network will be extended to the remaining 10 Department of Health areas of Victoria by 2022.

    Work is already underway in partnership with local services and communities to open in seven more areas during 2021: 

    • Goulburn
    • Inner Eastern Melbourne
    • Southern Melbourne
    • Ovens Murray
    • Wimmera South West
    • Outer Gippsland
    • Hume Moreland

    There is significant ongoing work in the remaining three areas to identify and secure suitable properties for the physical premises: 

    • Brimbank Melton
    • Western Melbourne
    • Outer Eastern Melbourne 

    Activities
    The Orange Door in Loddon commences Late 2020 FSV
    The Orange Door network Implementation Plan released 2021 FSV
    Commence operations in Goulburn, Melbourne’s South and Inner-East, Ovens Murray, Wimmera South-West, Outer Gippsland and Hume Moreland 2021 FSV
    The Orange Door network operational in all areas statewide Mid 2022 FSV
  2. Activities
    Commence implementation of the Aboriginal Inclusion Action Plan Late 2020 FSV
    The first Aboriginal Access Point established Mid 2021 FSV
    Commence cultural safety training across The Orange Door network workforce* Early 2021 FSV
  3. Planning will take place in 2020 and 2021 for transition to delivery of the full service model outlined in the statewide concept.

    Activities
    Plan developed for the transition of The Orange Door network to deliver the full statewide concept*  Late 2021 FSV
    Development of agreed and consistent service connections with legal, housing and homelessness and financial services  Late 2021

    FSV

  4. We are working towards improved reporting to help demonstrate that the integrated service model of The Orange Door network is delivering better outcomes for clients. 

    Activities
    The Orange Door network partnership performance framework finalised*   Late 2021 FSV
    Statewide Demand Management framework finalised*   Late 2021 FSV
    Data Strategy for The Orange Door network completed*   Late 2021 FSV
    Ongoing upgrades to Client Relationship Management system*  Ongoing until mid 2022  FSV

  5. We continue to analyse and evaluate The Orange Door network to identify areas for improvement and development.

    Activities
    Commence implementation of the Inclusion Action Plan Late 2020 FSV
    Refresh of induction training completed By late March 2021 FSV
    Second evaluation of The Orange Door network completed Late 2022 FSV
    Review of the Interim Integrated Practice Framework completed* Late 2021 FSV
    Consistent approach to assessment of children and young people established*  Late 2021 FSV
    Work with the sector to develop practice development support and training activities* Late 2021 FSV
    Third evaluation commences Mid 2022 FSV

Connecting The Orange Door network across the reform

The Orange Door network is a transformational component of our service system.

The network works with and is influenced by initiatives and activities across related reforms. Key connections include:

Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management (MARAM)

  • family violence framework and tools for The Orange Door network workforce

Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS) and Child Information Sharing Scheme (CISS)

  • information sharing legislation

MARAM and information sharing help identify, assess and manage family violence risk and promote child wellbeing and safety.

These enablers are critical for the assessment of perpetrator risk and risk management, which is core day-to-day business for workers in The Orange Door network.

Perpetrators who engage with The Orange Door network are supported to connect with services that work with them on behaviour change.

Reform-wide priorities

Activities to establish The Orange Door network are informed by our reform-wide priorities of intersectionality, Aboriginal self-determination and lived experience.

Intersectionality

We have designed The Orange Door network to provide inclusive, responsive and accessible services for individuals of any age, gender, ability, sex, sexuality, culture or religion.

The government’s Everybody Matters: Inclusion and Equity Statement provides guidance to the family violence system to foster inclusive, safe, responsive and accountable services.

Family Safety Victoria has developed an Inclusion Action Plan for The Orange Door network to embed inclusion, access and equity in services and policies, and to build the capacity of workers to respond to community members from diverse cohorts by applying an intersectional lens.

Intersectionality Overview

Aboriginal self-determination

The Orange Door network commits to embedding Aboriginal self-determination and works with Aboriginal communities and services with the aim of ensuring Aboriginal people receive culturally safe and appropriate service responses.

The principles of self-determination are embedded into practice by:

  • Aboriginal representation in the governance of The Orange Door network, including Hub Leadership Groups and the establishment of Aboriginal Advisory Groups in each area
  • providing a choice in Aboriginal specific or broader service responses
  • embedding cultural safety for clients and staff of The Orange Door network
  • employing Aboriginal Practice Leaders and workers in every area to provide additional support for Aboriginal clients.
  • the development of the Concept Model and co-design of the service design elements of Aboriginal Access Points which will provide an alternative service pathway for Aboriginal Victorians experiencing or using family violence
  • development of the Aboriginal Inclusion Action Plan, a three-year plan to embed inclusion, access and equity in The Orange Door network

Self-determination in implementation of The Orange Door network was overseen and supported by the Dhelk Dja Partnership Forum and its sub-working groups.

Aboriginal Self-Determination Overview

Lived experience

The lived experience of people affected by family violence and who require support with the care, development and wellbeing of children, continues to inform service design, development and planning processes for The Orange Door network.

The Client Partnership Strategy outlines a suite of actions to move towards greater client partnership, in all aspects of service design, development and delivery. This includes increasing client representation in governance, reference and advisory groups.

The Client Voice process is also gradually being introduced to capture information about the client experience of The Orange Door network to inform continuous improvement.

This image of the Client Voice Survey shows the questions a client is asked when they have had contact with The Orange Door network.

Image of the client voice survey in orange and white. The survey card is divided into four main sections. The top left corner asks about a client's most recent contact with The Orange Door. The top right corner is the
Client voice survey

A second evaluation of The Orange Door network in 2022 will seek to determine the impact and benefits of the service model for clients and gain critical insights into client experience and outcomes for victim survivors, perpetrators and families.

Lived Experience Overview

Measuring outcomes

Family Violence Outcomes Framework 

Delivering the activities for this priority area will likely have the greatest impact in achieving outcomes against the following domains:

Domains 2, 3 and 4

Domain 2, Victim survivors, vulnerable children and families are safe and supported to recover and thrive. Domain 3, Perpetrators are held accountable, connected and take responsibility for stopping their violence. Domain 4, Preventing and responding to family violence is systemic and enduring.
Domains 2, 3 and 4
Download Domains 2, 3 and 4

Royal Commission recommendations

The Victorian Government has committed to implement all 227 recommendations from the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

Of the recommendations still in progress, six relate to The Orange Door network. NOTE: The Royal Commission referred to these as Support and Safety Hubs in their report.

Reviewed 19 April 2021