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Edition 9

What’s been happening

Find out what's been happening, including:

Support and Safety Hubs Statewide briefing

Statewide briefing on Support and Safety Hubs

Family Safety Victoria (FSV) hosted a statewide briefing in Melbourne on Tuesday 17 October 2017 on the Support and Safety Hubs.

The briefing was an opportunity to hear from FSV Senior Executives about how Family Safety Victoria is leading the establishment of the Hubs, a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

The Victorian Government released the Support and Safety Hubs Statewide Concept in July 2017, which outlines the intent, scope, key functions and roles of the Support and Safety Hubs.

The initial roll-out of the Hubs is planned across five launch sites in Barwon, Bayside Peninsula, Inner Gippsland, Mallee and North-East Melbourne areas, building to full statewide coverage Speakers included Sue Clifford, CEO, Family Safety Victoria, Annette Lancy, Executive Director, System Policy and Reform, Family Safety Victoria and Kelly Stanton, Executive Director, Support and Safety Hubs Operations, Family Safety Victoria.

The state-wide briefing covered:

  • progress since the release of the concept
  • an overview on the model for operational delivery of the Hubs
  • taking a phased approach to implementation
  • information on local governance and engagement

We have created a new Sector and Partners page on the website to share resources related to key reform areas.


Message from the Special Minister of State at the Statewide briefing

On behalf of the Victorian Government, I would like to sincerely thank all involvement and contribution to date towards the establishment of the Support and Safety Hubs.

As you know the Support and Safety Hubs were a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence, and they remain a top priority for the Victorian Government.

We are steadfast in our determination to ensure the Hubs fundamentally change the way we support women, children and families for the better.

They will forge important connections between the community and social services to help identify needs earlier. The Hubs will be a place for all families needing support, and we will ensure they are culturally safe for Aboriginal people and people from diverse communities.

The role of the sector has been critical in shaping the Hubs concept development and I am proud of what we have collectively achieved to date.

The sector has been by our side every step of the way. In partnership, we have not limited our view, nor closed ourselves off to possibilities.

We recognise that the establishment of the Hubs, alongside other related reforms, will result in a significant change in working rhythm for some frontline workers, and we are working to support staff through this period.

As we move into this next phase, our commitment is to continue to listen to you and value your specialist expertise, alongside the lived experiences of victim survivors and families, to ensure we build the very best system to keep all Victorians safe.

Our commitment is to put people first and to end family violence once and for all.

Message from the Family Safety Victoria CEO at the Statewide briefing

The establishment of the Support and Safety Hubs represents a landmark reform.

The Hubs will fundamentally change the way that services support women, children and families experiencing family violence or needing support with the care, development and wellbeing of children.

Through the Hubs and other related reforms, we have a rare opportunity to create a future where all Victorians are safe and children grow up in environments built on gender equality and respectful relationships.

Achieving our vision means putting people at the centre of everything we do.

It’s Family Safety Victoria’s role to listen and to be guided by the lived experiences of victim survivors and other service users, as well as the specialist expertise of the family violence, family services and men’s service sectors.

Family Safety Victoria also works in full recognition that the needs of all Victorians must be met by designing for diversity and intersectionality at the outset, and that an effective future service system depends on the right to Aboriginal self-determination.

The success of these reforms is reliant on the strength of our partnership. We have a collective obligation to seize this opportunity.

A lot has already been accomplished, but this reform is part of a long-term program which will take time and a significant collective effort to achieve.

We are all committed to getting the Hubs up and running but it is also critically important we get them right. That’s why we will be taking a phased approach to implementation starting next month and scaling up over early 2018.

I feel incredibly privileged to be in this role, to create pathways to change.

The measure of our success will be a better life for more Victorians.

Family Safety Victoria is hiring

Family Safety Victoria - we are hiring

Join the Family Safety Victoria team. Recruitment is underway for a number of positions and more roles will be advertised in the coming weeks.

Family Safety Victoria’s vision is to create a future where all Victorians are safe and where children grow up in environments that are built on gender equality and respectful relationships.

For current vacancies at Family Safety Victoria, visit the Victorian Government careers website.

Find out more about Family Safety Victoria.

Family Safety Victoria consultations in regional Victoria

Consulting in Wodonga

Family Safety Victoria has hosted a series of regional consultation sessions over the past few weeks. More than 300 stakeholders attended these sessions across regional Victoria, in Ballarat, Horsham, Warrnambool, Bendigo, Wodonga and Bairnsdale.

These sessions focused on how formal and informal relationships in smaller communities impact the way family violence risk is assessed and managed.  Specific needs of workforces were explored for consideration within the redevelopment of the new Risk Assessment and Risk Management Framework.

In addition to consultation on the new Framework, an overview of work being carried out to develop the 10 year Industry Plan was provided and feedback sought on how barriers to training and professional development in regional areas can be overcome. 

An update of the work to establish Support and Safety Hubs was also provided for participants, offering an additional opportunity for stakeholders outside the five Hub launch areas to hear about the progress of Hubs design and ask questions about implications for their own areas.

What’s new

Reports and resources

New report gives insights on how to improve information sharing

The Department of Premier and Cabinet has launched a new report to inform the development of family violence policy for effective information sharing.

Applying Behavioural Insights: Improving Information Sharing in the Family Violence System, has been produced by the Victorian Government’s Behavioural Insights Unit and provides a behaviour-based perspective on how to improve the flow of information in the family violence system.

This work was commissioned in response to Recommendation 6 of the Royal Commission into Family Violence, and will support the implementation of the Family Violence Protection Amendment (Information Sharing) Act 2017.

The guidance report will inform the development of tools for effective information sharing, and shape training of frontline workers.

It was developed by interviewing family violence workers and observing them in the field and in the Magistrates’ Court to understand how they currently obtain and share information, and their blockages to information sharing.

Behavioural insights investigates how humans behave in practice rather than in theory only, to deliver better services and products. Application of behavioural insights to Victoria’s family violence reforms adds the evidence-based knowledge necessary to deliver policies and systems built on human behaviour.

Download a copy of the report.

Temporary Migration and Family Violence report

A new research report titled "Temporary Migration and Family Violence: An analysis of victimisation, vulnerability and support" was launched on 12 October, 2017 at the Monash University Law Chambers.

The report is the work of Monash University in collaboration with InTouch, Multicultural Centre against Family Violence. It draws on detailed cases of 300 women who sought the support service of InTouch over 2015-16.

Download the Temporary Migration and Family Violence report.

Voices of Hope: victim survivor co-design project released

Voices of Hope

Voices of Hope, a project that places the voices of victim survivors at the heart of family violence reform, has been released.

Voices of Hope was the first co-design project undertaken with victim survivors as part of family violence reform process.

This co-design process was led by family violence services and the Victim Survivors Advisory Council (VSAC) in order to give the government a deeper understanding of what's needed in order for people to receive the support they need and to have a better experience of the family violence service system.

The project explored the realities and values of victim survivors and developed new co-design methods, creating a set of tools for government and the service sector to assist the reform process. It was incorporated into the Victorian Government's 10 Year plan, influencing its approach, tone and content.

Find out more about Voices of Hope.

Media toolkit for reporting on family violence in Aboriginal communities released

Reporting on Aboriginal people's experiences of family violence

Family Safety Victoria, in partnership with Kalinya Communications, has released the ‘Reporting on Aboriginal people’s experiences of family violence’ media toolkit.

The toolkit is a resource for non-Aboriginal journalists and journalism students who wish to deepen their understanding of the complexities of Aboriginal family violence. It offers practical tips on how to build relationships with Aboriginal communities and services in order to create a balanced story.

Find out more about the toolkit.

Victoria trials parenting program for fathers who use violence

Ending the cycle of family violence

The Victorian Government in partnership with the Children’s Protection Society,  has begun trialling Caring Dads, an early intervention program aimed at fathers experiencing drug or alcohol abuse and who have committed, or are at risk of committing family violence. Additional funding to support the trial has also been provided by the Gandel Foundation.

The three year Caring Dads trial, which began in June 2017, runs voluntary group sessions where participants learn parenting skills and are helped to understand the impact of family violence on their children, as well as the importance of a respectful relationship with their children’s mother.

The trial will operate in three locations around the state.  Caring Dads will be managed by the Children’s Protection Society in partnership with UnitingCare ReGen in the North East Metropolitan Area. The Children’s Protection Society will support and provide clinical oversight to Anglicare who are running the program in Inner Gippsland, and to Anglicare and IPC Health who manage the program in Western Melbourne.

The trial will be fully evaluated by the University of Melbourne and runs until June 2019.

Engine room wrap-up

Victim Survivors strengthen their collective voice

Changing future experiences to work better with victim survivors

Update from VSAC member, Nicole

Victim Survivors Advisory Council (VSAC) members held our second planning day on 19 July, but this time we kicked things off a little differently by taking the time to find ways to relate to each other on a personal level that didn’t involve being a victim survivor.

This was a welcome but daunting change from the norm.  We regularly talk with people and make presentations to task forces and working groups, but never get asked personal, more human questions like, “hey, how was your weekend”, or “what do you do to chill out?”.

It was a timely reminder to ourselves that we, victim survivors, are more than just stories about our experiences.

For VSAC to strengthen its collective voice, we need to connect on our many personal levels, and so reflect our private lives onto our public lives. By doing this, VSAC can continue to make a positive impact at the heart of the family violence service reforms.

VSAC brings so much more than just the lived experience of family violence to the table; every member brings with them a deep, personal element that must be acknowledged.

At times, even we forget that we are more than just our past. As a group of passionate, driven people, we’re able to connect on a deeper level that helps think critically about what we want for VSAC in the future and to evolve our mission statement reflecting the core values of VSAC.

We wrapped up the day after many thorough debates and emerged with a clearer picture of the future direction of VSAC and ourselves as individuals.

VSAC meeting

The latest meeting was held on 17 October and was attended by Tim Cartwright, the Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor, who briefed the council on the progress of his work in tracking the execution of the Royal Commission into Family Violence's 227 recommendations. The monthly VSAC meetings are an opportunity for members to engage with each other and discuss the work being undertaken by various working groups and advisory bodies established to lead the reforms.

Find out more about the Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council.

Family Violence Steering Committee

The Family Violence Steering Committee held meetings on 13 September and 4 October 2017.

4 October 2017

The key theme of discussion was the establishment of a new government prevention agency.This conversation covered how the sectors, government and the community can work better together to challenge attitudes and achieve  behaviour change  to prevent family violence and violence against women. It was also the first meeting attended by Natalie Hutchins MP, the new Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence. The Minister paid tribute to the late Minister Fiona Richardson, and committed to continuing her work and legacy through the prevention portfolio.

It was also the first meeting attended by Natalie Hutchins MP, the new Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence. The Minister paid tribute to the late Minister Fiona Richardson, and committed to continuing her work and legacy through the prevention portfolio.

The Department of Education and Training also gave an update on Respectful Relationships program, and presentations were made by DVRCV, the Office of Prevention and Women's Equality and Our Watch.

13 September 2017

The meeting on 13 September was the first to be attended by the steering committee’s new co-chair, Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings. It was also the first meeting to be attended by the Family Safety Victoria CEO, Sue Clifford.

New terms of reference for how the committee leads discussions was the first item on the agenda with members given the opportunity to offer feedback.

The group also discussed the approach to engagement as the Support and Safety Hubs are rolled out, as well as the public consultation process for new information sharing scheme regulations and guidelines.

The Industry Taskforce

The Industry taskforce met on the 5 October. This was the first meeting to be attended by Family Safety Victoria’s CEO, Sue Clifford and the acting CEO of the Centre for Workforce Excellence.

The Taskforce discussed a detailed outline of the 10 Year Industry Plan, as well as ways to implement or embed the capability frameworks across workforces and sectors. The Taskforce also heard about the ideas developed through the co-design sprint.

Diverse Communities and Intersectionality Working Group

The Diverse Communities and Intersectionality (DCI) Working Group held meetings on 21 June, 24 August and more recently on 19 October 2017.

At its most recent meeting, members:

  • discussed the complexities around service system responses to elder abuse, and provided feedback on proposed approaches to strengthen the system
  • were informed of the development of a statewide family violence data collection framework as led by Crime Statistics Agency, and invited to participate in a small focus group
  • participated in a consultation workshop to inform the Victims of Crime Assistance Act Review which is being undertaken by the Victorian Law Reform Commission
  • were advised of the development of a Family Safety Victoria Diversity Strategy

For previous meetings, members also participated in workshops on the following reform pieces:

  • Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme and related practice guidelines, which included an update on the establishment of the Central Information Point
  • redevelopment of the family violence risk assessment and management framework and how to support service providers in preparing for implementation of the new framework
  • family violence competency frameworks that articulate the key knowledge and skills required by the family violence workforce – in both prevention and response.

Members received more detailed information about how the 2016-17 family violence budget will deliver better outcomes for people from diverse communities.

Members also participated in a consultation on the physical design of the Support and Safety Hubs and how to ensure the physical space is welcoming, safe and accessible for all.

Find out more about how family violence reforms will benefit diverse communities here.

LGBTI Taskforce's Family Violence Working Group

The LGBTI Family Violence Working Group has provided input into the following reform areas:

  • victim survivor client journey mapping
  • visioning and Hubs Statewide consultations
  • data and information sharing
  • Specialist courts
  • the Prevention Strategy, and the development of an LGBTI-specific prevention campaign
  • Victorian Equal Opportunity Human Rights Commission Guidelines for inclusive, non-discriminatory family violence and accommodation service providers, related to Recommendation 141

The LGBTI Family Violence Working Group met on 15 September 2017.

At this meeting the group were briefed by the Department of Justice and Regulation on the Victim Assistance Program, Helpline Services and pathways for male victims. They were also consulted by the Risk Management and Information Sharing Branch at Family Safety Victoria regarding sector readiness for the updated Family Violence Risk Management and Risk Assessment Framework.

The Working Group continues to assist with reform co-design and consultation processes on behalf of the LGBTI Taskforce.

The Working Group will meet again in late 2017.

Expert Advisory Committee on Perpetrator Interventions

The Expert Advisory Committee on Perpetrator Interventions met on 17 August and 28 September 2017.

At its 17 August meeting, the Committee examined the current state of community sector interventions for perpetrators of family violence, and opportunities for improvement to the system. The Committee also provided advice on the development of the Industry Plan, including transition planning for the perpetrator services sector, and the implementation of the information sharing reforms.

The Committee’s September meeting focused on perpetrator interventions for key groups, such as perpetrators from CALD communities, LGBTI communities, and perpetrators with complex needs. The Committee advised on options for improved access of initiatives, discussing both mainstream and group-specific programs. Members also advised on possible national initiatives to increase perpetrator accountability.

The Committee also agreed the outline for its interim report to Government which is expected to be finalised in December 2017.

In the loop

Rosie Batty recognised

Picture of Rosie Batty

VSAC Chair, Rosie Batty, was named Victorian state winner of the 2017 Australian Award for Excellence in Women's Leadership.

The award by Women & Leadership Australia, presented to Rosie on 20 July, recognises the contribution of an individual in elevating the visibility and importance of Australian women receiving equitable access to higher levels of leadership across all industry and all forms of organisation in 2016. Find out more about the awards and winners.

Healthy relationships campaign

Healthy relationships campaign

A social media competition that encouraged young Aboriginal women to reflect on the healthy relationships in their lives ran during NAIDOC Week. It was part of a family violence prevention strategy developed by the Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service Victoria and funded by the Victorian Government.

Watch animation.

Victorian Protecting Children Awards

VSAC member, Natasha Anderson was acknowledged for her work with young people who have experienced disadvantaged at the Victorian Protecting Children Awards on 13 September.

Natasha received the Modelling a Generous Community Award for her work with Berry Street’s Y-Change program, which advocates on behalf of young people and challenges the way we think about disadvantage.

CEO of Anglicare Victoria, Paul McDonald received the Robin Clark Leadership Award for his work supporting families and vulnerable children for nearly 40 years.

For the calendar

  • 9 November 2017 - Family Violence Steering Committee Meeting
  • 15 November 2017 - Aboriginal Partnership Forum Working Group meeting
  • 22 November 2017 - Ministerial Taskforce on Prevention of Family Violence
  • 22 November 2017 - Industry Taskforce
  • 28 November 2017 - Aboriginal Partnership Forum Working Group meeting

We want to hear from you

Do you have content to share? Send your photos, videos, key dates or any other information to share@familysafety.vic.gov.au.

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