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The Central Information Point

Getting the right information to the right people at the right time

The Central Information Point will allow representatives from Court Services Victoria, Victoria Police, Corrections and the Department of Health and Human Services to consolidate critical information about perpetrators of family violence into a single report for frontline workers.

The establishment of the Central Information Point will deliver one of the key recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

Helping frontline services keep families safe

Central Information Point (CIP) reports will make it easier for frontline workers to quickly access the critical information they need to assess the risk posed by a perpetrator of family violence. They will also help services keep the perpetrator in view and hold them accountable.

Making a difference: Sally’s story

Sally lives with her husband, Tim, and their seven-year-old daughter, Cheryl. They argue frequently, and Sally’s neighbours eventually call the police after hearing yet another loud confrontation.

The responding police constable, Jane, ask Sally a number of questions. Although Tim has threatened her, Sally doesn’t think he would hurt her. She also doesn’t believe rumours that Tim assaulted his previous partner.

Jane completes a report on the family violence incident, called an L17, and refers Sally and Cheryl and Tim to a Support and Safety Hub. Jane also applies for an intervention order which includes the condition that Tim cannot be at the home and issues Family Violence Safety Notice in the interim.

The L17 arrives at the Support and Safety Hub and Wendy, a worker at the Hub, meets with Sally. She is concerned that Tim’s behaviour is escalating and wants more information to assess the risk Tim poses to his family. She talks with Sally but decides she still doesn’t have enough information.

Without the Central Information Point

Wendy draws on her experience to identify possible sources of additional information. She begins to telephone the relevant agencies including police, the Magistrate’s Court and Child Protection.

It takes Wendy most of the afternoon to collect the information she needs to conduct a risk assessment. As time passes, Sally grows increasingly anxious and Cheryl becomes restless.

Wendy discusses the risk assessment with Sally, who is shocked to learn that Tim has a criminal record that reveals a history of assault, including assault with a weapon. Sally also learns that he is subject to a current intervention order, and that he has breached one in the past.

Wendy and Sally discuss options and agree that Wendy will begin arranging appointments for Sally the next day with other services that can help and will pass on relevant information.

With the Central Information Point

Wendy requests a CIP report.

While waiting for the report to arrive, she discusses options with Sally, including a range of different services that might be relevant for her. Wendy explains that she can coordinate and make appointments with any of the services.

Wendy receives the CIP report and incorporates the information it contains into the risk assessment.

She discusses her assessment with Sally, who is shocked to learn that Tim has a criminal record revealing a history of assault, including assault with a weapon. Sally also learns he is currently subject to a current intervention order taken out by his previous partner, and that he has breached one in the past.

Wendy immediately sets up an appointment with a legal service for later in the day and for counselling services in the next few days on Sally’s behalf and provides them with the relevant information.

Continuous improvement

The Central Information Point Report is being developed with direct input from the sector, including frontline workers, data system administrators and victim survivors of family violence.

Together, we are tackling a complex task; 70 systems currently contain the information needed for CIP reports, and most of these systems cannot work together and are not fit for the purpose of informing the CIP report.

During this period, information sharing in the Central Information Point will be carried out manually and reports will initially be limited. The project team will continue to work with the CIP to prototype and test improvements to manual system and expand the number of services that can request reports.