Executive summary

Context and background

The Orange Door is a new way for women, children and young people experiencing family violence, and families who need assistance with the care and wellbeing of children to access the services they need to be safe and supported. It is important to acknowledge that The Orange Door is one of many critical reforms currently underway in Victoria and that this is a time of immense change in the family violence and family and child wellbeing service systems. Other critical reforms that are currently being implemented in Victoria include the introduction of the Family Violence Information Sharing; the Child Information Sharing Scheme; Roadmap for Reform: strong families, safe children; Free from violence – Victoria’s prevention strategy; initiatives as part of Building from Strength: 10-year industry plan for family violence prevention and response; rollout of the Specialist Family Violence Courts model; and Family Violence Risk Assessment and Risk Management Framework (MARAM).

The scale of change associated with the reforms and the dynamic nature of reform implementation are important in understanding the establishment and initial operations of The Orange Door in the first four areas. The Orange Door plays a pivotal role in shifting from the existing models that have been identified by the Royal Commission into Family Violence as not meeting the needs of families and victims of family violence, towards linked up, integrated responses to family violence and children and family wellbeing concerns. To this end, the importance of The Orange Door to the overall reforms cannot be underestimated – nor can the significant change management for services, their workforces and the broader service system – required for Victoria to reach this vision.

The magnitude of Family Safety Victoria’s (FSV) task to progress a new service delivery model and establish four new integrated services, secure accommodation and contract partner agencies in 9 to 12 months, while establishing its own agency at the same time, was an enormous undertaking. We note that the Royal Commission recommended introduction of the Support and Safety Hubs by 1 July 2018 (recommendation 37), which placed pressure on FSV to establish The Orange Door areas quickly after its own establishment in July 2017.

Evaluation approach and framework

Family Safety Victoria (FSV) FSV engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting (Australia) Pty Ltd (PwC) in partnership with PwC’s Indigenous Consulting (PIC) and Australian Catholic University (ACU) to conduct an evaluation of the first four operational areas of The Orange Door in September 2018. This evaluation focuses on the establishment, operations and initial service offering of The Orange Door in Barwon, Bayside Peninsula (BPA), Mallee and North East Melbourne (NEMA) areas that commenced operations between May and July 2018. The evaluation seeks to identify key lessons and opportunities for improvements to establishment activities to support the implementation of The Orange Door in 2019 and beyond, and to inform enhancements across existing and new areas.

This evaluation is occurring at the very start of a significant change process. As such, we would anticipate the foundational building blocks underpinning change to be evolving as Victoria continues to implement the major family violence and child and family service reforms.

We were engaged to undertake a developmental approach to the evaluation to gain insights about the evolution of The Orange Door. Developmental evaluation is an evaluation approach that can support understanding of new innovations, initiatives and programs that are being implemented in complex, changing or uncertain environments. The approach facilitates real-time testing of hypotheses, rapid iterations and changes to program design, with feedback on the initiative allowing for rapid and evolving improvements to be made (even while the evaluation is still occurring). The developmental approach for this evaluation enabled early insights to inform changes to current operations rapidly and to identify improvement for future areas where The Orange Door will be rolled out.

Given the recent establishment of The Orange Door and the evolving nature of service operations while establishment processes are still ongoing, it is not possible to conduct a traditional ‘summative’ evaluation that makes conclusions about system outcomes and can answer the question ‘does the model work’? As such, a developmental evaluation approach allows the rigour of traditional methods of evaluation (such as secondary data analysis, interviews, etc) to be applied while accommodating the dynamic environment in which The Orange Door areas are evolving in terms of operations.

This evaluation, by the nature of its focus is a process evaluation. We are focused on examining a range of service infrastructure, systems, processes and procedures during their early implementation to assess if these will contribute to the success of The Orange Door. It is not an outcome evaluation, focused on the impact of The Orange Door on clients. will in time be an important focus for FSV and partner agencies to evaluate, but it is not possible to conduct a summative outcome evaluation at this time. As such, much of this report focuses on processes and systems – which may seem somewhat removed from the intent of the reforms to keep victims safe and build stronger families. However, processes and procedures in The Orange Door are the steps and tools needed in order to achieve these outcomes. At this early stage – it is important that these systems and processes are working effectively to meet the needs of clients of The Orange Door.

A developmental evaluation is by its nature, focusing attention on systems, practices and processes that are being trialled or in the early stages of implementation. We would expect to identify a range of things that are not working well, or are not fully developed yet. This evaluation, is to our knowledge, only the second developmental evaluation commissioned by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Given that FSV is itself a new agency, the commissioning of an evaluation of this type demonstrates a commitment by FSV to focus efforts on quality improvement, and when needed, to reflect on how the agency’s performance contributes to the overall success of the reforms. We believe this type of perspective, approach and willingness to learn, will serve FSV well over the coming years to guide the significant reforms the agency has responsibility for.

Underlying the work of FSV and our evaluation is a commitment to see the service system evolve to respond effectively and efficiently to families who need support, to hold perpetrators to account and to help keep women and children safe from family violence. To this end, this initial evaluation of The Orange Door needs to focus sharply on the structures and systems that are essential to be in place to facilitate long term success of The Orange Door. Key design decisions of the service model were out of scope for The Orange Door evaluation including whether the partnership model was the right approach for service delivery. The scope of the evaluation was defined by five core evaluation questions developed in collaboration with FSV:

  1. Establishment: What changes can be made to establishment approaches to improve future implementation and operations of Orange Door Sites?
  2. Alignment with intention: To what extent is the Orange Door operating as intended by the initial service offering?
  3. Client experience: To what extent is the Orange Door initial service offering contributing to improving client experience and client and system outcomes?
  4. Workforce: To what extent does the Orange Door workforce have the resources, capacity and specialist expertise to undertake the full range of functions articulated in the initial service offering?
  5. Local integration and coordination: To what extent is the Orange Door supporting service integration and coordination at the local level?

Evaluation methodology

Summary of evaluation methodology included a desktop review, focus groups with governance groups, interviews with 24 sector stakeholders, data analysis, interviews with clients, two rounds of fieldwork, desktop review of area-specific information and desktop review of guidance materials

A mixed methods approach was taken to inform this evaluation, which comprised of a range of data collection methods summarised in this figure.

Overarching evaluation findings

Overarching themes of our evaluation findings are:

  1. Given the significant time pressures and establishment context of FSV itself, establishing The Orange Door in the first four areas has been an enormous achievement. The areas for improvement are what would be expected in this stage of implementation, recognising the constraints that FSV was operating under.
  2. The commitment by FSV, partner agencies and the workforce to The Orange Door model and the concept of integrated practice has been sufficient to overcome most start-up challenges. This commitment to the vision and concept is a strong foundation for the roll out of The Orange Door across Victoria.
  3. Foundational key concepts as part of The Orange Door model have been developed and exist in a range of practice guidance and foundational documents. Next steps will need to focus on refining these further and ensuring that they are fully operationalised in practice at The Orange Door.
  4. Clearer operational guidance is needed around the processes and tools that can be standardised across The Orange Door areas as opposed to those that allow for local variation. Consistency of practices and processes within and between the areas needs to be a focus now for the areas that have been established. This may become clearer as more areas are established.
  5. The volume of change in practice posed by The Orange Door cannot be underestimated and the sequencing of implementation and culture change needs future consideration in the first 12 months before commencement of any new area.
  6. The integration of perpetrator services in The Orange Door requires focused effort to include these services in a more effective way.
  7. The Orange Door is perceived as a family violence-focused initiative by child wellbeing practitioners, and focused effort is needed to integrate child wellbeing and family violence services.
  8. Even in these early stages of operations, the Central Information Point (CIP) has been very positive for information sharing to inform risk assessment and practice at The Orange Door.
  9. Outcomes and the experience of clients was unable to be assessed with confidence in this evaluation. Further exploration of how to validate findings through client feedback is needed. We understand that involving clients in program and service planning forms part of an existing program of work by FSV. A specific exploration of how clients with intersectional characteristics are experiencing The Orange Door, including how they are referred and how The Orange Door and targeted services work together to provide a response would be useful.
  10. Data quality issues in this early stage of implementation have had an impact on service delivery and performance management within each of The Orange Door areas. Even during this evaluation, data improvements were evidenced through planned upgrades to the information technology system however a focus is needed on continued improvement in order to effectively monitor how The Orange Door is functioning to meet the needs of Victorian families.
  11. Suggested areas for future investigation include: adequacy of risk assessment and risk management for clients over time; service system interface including services referring into The Orange Door and services receiving referrals from The Orange Door; the service system’s perceived scope of The Orange Door; client experience including clients who disengage from service; and clients experiences of The Orange Door – including the intersectional experiences of clients from diverse cohorts.

Detailed evaluation findings and opportunities

It is important to realise that where evaluation findings indicate that a process or system is not working as described or intended in the foundational documents for The Orange Door, that these be viewed at this early stage as lessons in the evaluation of the reforms, rather than as ‘failures’ of The Orange Door. This is entirely consistent with usual findings from developmental approaches to evaluation of early initiatives, pilots or demonstration trials. Hence, it is not productive at this point of implementation to ‘benchmark’ The Orange Door against outcomes or achievements that would be expected only when the model is fully evolved and operational across all 17 areas.

Q1. What changes can be made to establishment approaches to improve future implementation and operations of The Orange Door sites?

A number of changes to establishment processes were identified by the evaluation, including refinements to existing and planned operations and guidance. We have identified key findings related to key lines of inquiry for our evaluation.

Condensed timeframes

Extensive foundational work was required to be completed within a compressed timeframe to operationalise The Orange Door. This evaluation found that the timeframe negatively impacted on a range of establishment and operational activities. Evidence of the impact of this compressed timeframe was still being seen at The Orange Door areas at the time of this evaluation, despite each area managing to provide the full suite of foundational services.

Change management processes

Significant change management to support the implementation of The Orange Door service model is needed by both FSV and partner organisations. Initial focus has, as would be expected, been on establishment and operational activities in a compressed timeframe and now there is a need to shift the focus to change management processes that can strategically move the workforce and sector towards the vision outlined in the statewide concept for The Orange Door.

Workforce mobilisation

The Orange Door areas are not currently at full contingency of staffing. There have been a range of challenges in recruitment of appropriately skilled staff and in retaining those staff which are being addressed by FSV and partner agencies through the development of a workforce strategy for The Orange Door. There is a significant opportunity to increase clarification and standardisation of roles and responsibilities across partner agencies.

Initial induction training was provided and the content of this induction training has already evolved in response to feedback about it needing to be tailored to specific workforce needs. Feedback from practitioners at the time of field work was that additional content on the practice model, including how perpetrator services are integrated within The Orange Door, was needed.

Foundational documents

The foundational documents[1] that provide overarching direction for Orange Door are not well understood or used by practitioners at this point in time. Further operational ‘translation’ of these documents is needed to assist the workforce to understand how to operationalise the model. There is an opportunity for FSV to lead a process to co-develop (with practitioners), practical operational procedures at Orange Door that define which functions and processes across areas require state-wide standardised processes, and which can be adapted in response to local needs. For functions that require state-wide consistency, a program of work is needed to define process and procedures and how integration is to be operationalised.

Sequencing before service commencement

Opportunities for improving sequencing before service commencement include: revising the ‘go live’ criteria including levels of staffing contingency, changing the sequencing of implementation of key roles and capabilities, providing additional time for The Orange Door workforce to embed processes and systems prior to service delivery commencing and considering the different staffing/workforce resource needs for the first six months of operation compared with ongoing needs. A range of physical infrastructure issues impacted operations and colocation of the workforce in some areas at service commencement. These have been, or continue to be addressed by FSV.

Collaboration and governance

Collaboration is central for internal information sharing to support service delivery. Despite early stage challenges with establishing these connections, information sharing across partner organisations represented in The Orange Door is already happening within each area primarily through the client record management system (CRM), CIP, colocation and multidisciplinary working arrangements and through access to employing agencies’ client record systems.

Pre-existing working relationships have accelerated collective leadership in governance arrangements. The Partnership Agreements formalise the governance for each area and include an agreed vision and direction for The Orange Door. However, the realisation of the vision and intent of the Partnership Agreements is complicated when there are numerous employing agencies involved in the partnership which may have different interests in and expectations of The Orange Door. Over time it would be expected that the partnership approach would mature and there are opportunities for FSV to accelerate this process. Refinements to partnership and service agreements may be needed after the initial implementation phase, noting that there is a 12 month review built into the agreement which is currently being progressed by FSV.

The matrix management model has been challenging to implement in the context of an innovative service model and new partnership structure very early in the implementation. As roles and responsibilities become clearer, and accountability and decision-making are defined and operationalised in each of The Orange Door areas, the matrix management model may become more effective for the workforce.

Q2. To what extent is The Orange Door operating as intended by the initial service offering?

This evaluation found that The Orange Door offers all functions required to operate and provide service to clients as outlined in the service model. As expected at this very early stage of implementation, some of these functions require refinement and/or standardisation to work effectively and efficiently for all clients. However, early feedback from some clients indicates that, as intended, some clients are experiencing ‘seamless’ services. Feedback from a number of clients also indicates that there is room to improve the knowledge and understanding of service system referrals by The Orange Door practitioners.

Feedback loop – or ‘review and monitoring function’

The Orange Door has a key role in helping to ensure that services are effective and that positive outcomes for clients are maximised.

The ‘review and monitoring’ function articulated in the service model is not yet fully operational. The service model indicates that The Orange Door will, in time, monitor case plans and client outcomes through strong feedback loops with core services and improved data and information systems to collect information about the status of referrals and interventions provided to clients. This review and monitoring function will move The Orange Door beyond being merely a ‘front-door’ for a siloed service system and will help to drive integration and more effective service delivery. While this review and monitoring function is not currently established, this was not intended to be operational in the first four areas in the establishment phase and can be expected to become fully operational over time as Orange Door rolls out across the state.

Demand for The Orange Door

A combination of high demand, staffing vacancies and a lack of clarity by The Orange Door workforce about how to operationalise appropriate screening, identification and triage processes has resulted in significant wait times for some clients in the early stages of implementation. As the model is new (and never implemented anywhere in the world to our knowledge), demand could not have been accurately predicted prior to commencement of service. This will need to be monitored to determine if this is a point in time or systemic issue.

FSV will be able to update demand projections for the next areas of The Orange Door based on learnings from this evaluation. Demand projections would also need to consider caseload and staffing noting the specialty mix across the three client streams needed and the different time/volume of resources needed of cases from different client streams (as found in this evaluation).

There are also a range of opportunities for FSV to improve the monitoring of workflow and demand. For example, FSV may consider investigating the extent to which child wellbeing cases take longer to progress through The Orange Door than family violence-related cases, or explore how data reporting from CRM can show ‘tracking’ of clients’ pathways through The Orange Door from initial contact through to case closure. This could provide insight into potential causes of demand pressures within the overall system.

Connection with the broader service system

The capacity of the system to provide tailored service responses is currently limited by The Orange Door workers’ knowledge of services in the area. It will be enhanced once the ‘review and monitoring’ function is implemented and the Hubs Leadership Group (HLG) can better understand the capacity of the service system to receive referrals from The Orange Door or action allocation of services and respond accordingly. Data limitations mean that we are unable to make firm evaluative judgements about whether the service responses are tailored to need and risk at this point in time.

Screening, triage and assessment and ‘case management’

In these early stages of the roll out, The Orange Door workers would benefit from clearer guidance on screening, triage and assessment using examples from practice. Examples could include detail of where the role of The Orange Door in screening, intake and assessment ends, and where case management begins. This needs to be considered in light of the findings that many of the (limited sample of) clients interviewed expressed a desire for greater support from The Orange Door, even after services had been allocated to them, or after they had been referred to other services. There are opportunities for FSV to prioritise its existing work plan and provide guidance to The Orange Door workforce about the interventions and active engagement and risk monitoring that is appropriate for the different situations experienced by clients (notwithstanding that each case and client is unique).

Risk assessments are undertaken

The evaluation found that risk and needs assessments appear to be undertaken (albeit sometimes inconsistently within each area of The Orange Door and/or between practitioners). Consistency in recording risk assessments requires monitoring by FSV to ensure that the quality and consistency of data recording continues to grow as service delivery and the model evolves. Validation through client feedback is required to determine if risk and needs assessments lead to responses that are tailored to the needs of the client.

The foundational work carried out by FSV and partner agencies means that practitioners have access to a range of tools to assist them to assess risk. The introduction of the MARAM is expected to improve the consistency of risk assessment and risk management at The Orange Door. The child wellbeing tools are not yet standardised across areas (nor was there a standardised tool prior to the establishment of The Orange Door).

A commitment to client-centric practice

note, the evaluation found that practitioners have a strong commitment to a client-centric approach to practice and the concept of integrated practice. Even in this early stage, practitioners report practice aspects that enable the voices of Aboriginal clients for example, to play a strong role in service choice and in determining the support provided. However, we also found that client preferences and choice appear more likely to be taken into account in relation to referral rather than assessment and planning at this early stage, and client preference and choice is more likely to be offered to adult clients of The Orange Door rather than child clients.

Q3. To what extent is The Orange Door initial service offering contributing to improving client experience and client and system outcomes?

A number of lines of inquiry were investigated to determine how The Orange Door was contributing to client and system outcomes.

Accessibility and awareness of The Orange Door

The evaluation found that the physical premises of The Orange Door have been established in locations that are visible and accessible for most clients and in close proximity to community service providers and public transport. Data limitations prevent us making evaluative judgements on whether The Orange Door is accessible and responsive to the needs of clients with diverse needs; and further investigation of this is required.

The physical space at The Orange Door appears to be broadly functional and fit for purpose and FSV has undertaken significant work on the facilities. However, some physical site specific safety concerns (primarily for the workforce that relate to security issues) remain and have been communicated to FSV during the course of this evaluation. Our understanding is that FSV continues to undertake physical safety assessments (for clients and for the workforce) at each site independently. There are safety benefits and disadvantages of each site that need to be balanced in considering how to improve safety for clients and the workforce, or in selecting a location. For example, a main street increases access for clients but also visibility of the workforce and clients.

The physical locations and branding of The Orange Door support community awareness of the role of The Orange Door. However, there is only emerging understanding of the role as an intake and assessment service (notably by those organisations who had previously referred to family violence or Child FIRST services). There is an opportunity to monitor community awareness of the role of The Orange Door over the first 12 months of operations of the first four areas to determine what, if any, clarification or awareness raising within the community might be needed.

The early implementation of The Orange Door has meant that publicly identifiable access points have not been operationalised at the time of this evaluation and will be established in line with the planned roll out.

The Orange Door within the broader service system and network

The evaluation found that in this early stage, the role of the Service System Navigator has not been sufficiently defined and understood by The Orange Door workforce to enable development of service system pathways and connections. The focus of the role will likely shift from operations to the service system once operational issues are resolved.

While information sharing within The Orange Door is occurring, there appears to be limited information shared with clients of The Orange Door at this point in time – and practitioners report being unclear about what information they are allowed to share with clients under the new legislation. This is likely to be due to practitioners being risk averse about inadvertently sharing information obtained through the family violence and child information sharing legislation.

Evolving understanding of ‘keeping perpetrators in view’

There is an evolving understanding about what it means at an operational level for The Orange Door to ‘keep perpetrators in view’. Work with perpetrators by The Orange Door is limited as it is dependent on their voluntary engagement with the service. Many potential clients do not respond to attempts by The Orange Door to contact them. This was anticipated, is common in the existing system, and is reflected in the guidance documents for The Orange Door. FSV and partner agencies could leverage the skills and experiences of Aboriginal practitioners and services who have a history of working in an integrated way to improve the capacity of the rest of the workforce to work in an integrated way to keep perpetrators in view.

Information transfer as a key to collaboration and client experience

While information sharing within The Orange Door is occurring, there appears to be limited information shared with clients of The Orange Door at this point in time – and practitioners report that they are unclear about what information can be shared with clients under the new legislation. This is likely to be due to practitioners being risk averse about inadvertently sharing information obtained through the family violence and child information sharing legislation.

CRM data on connection to services is limited and appears to be inconsistently recorded at this early stage. As such, the evaluation was unable to determine if service responses for clients are tailored based on shared information.

CIP has been effective for improving risk assessments and outcomes for clients, particularly those who were previously unknown to The Orange Door. However, there is a need for clearer operational clarity for the workforce as to when and how often CIP requests can be made.

The Orange Door workforce is collaborating on assessment and planning supported by physical colocation and personal working relationships. The collaboration is inconsistent across the areas and not yet embedded within practice, especially when working with perpetrators. Collaboration on assessment and planning is most evidently displayed by Aboriginal practitioners and aligns with their community-led approach to service provision.

Q4. To what extent does The Orange Door workforce have the resources, capacity and specialist expertise to undertake the full range of functions articulated in the initial service offering?

A number of lines of inquiry were investigated to explore the workforce’s capacity to undertake their role in The Orange Door.

A commitment to the concept of The Orange Door

The evaluation found that there is a commitment from The Orange Door workforce to develop capability in other specialisations and work in an integrated manner that improves outcomes for clients. A culture of collaboration is evolving at The Orange Door in line with the vision described in FSV’s Interim Integrated Practice Framework and tends to happen organically between individuals, and generally between certain disciplines.

A lack of understanding about how to operationalise integrated practice

Within the positive culture of collaboration however, at this point in time, there is a lack of clarity and understanding from practitioners about how to operationalise integrated practice. Despite the written guidance and documents produced about The Orange Door – concepts, framework, operational guidance, etc prior to commencement, the evaluation found that the format and volume of these documents deterred practitioners from engaging with and understanding key information to inform how they integrate services. There is a key opportunity for FSV to lead a process to co-design with practitioners across the disciplines and/or relevant state-wide stakeholders to co-produce state-wide guidance on how to operationalise integrated practice at The Orange Door. There is also the opportunity for FSV to focus on integrated practice skill development in the workforce strategy currently in development.

The ability of the current workforce at The Orange Door to work in an integrated manner is further currently impacted by:

  • Staff shortages and high demand.
  • Limited structural and formal opportunities for practitioners to learn about other disciplines and practice approaches. Time dedicated for reflective practice for teams and further professional development and training would support integrated practice.
  • Limited understanding of The Orange Door workforce about the role of the Integrated Practice Lead and the Service System Navigator.
  • Limited understanding about the role of the Advanced Family Violence Practitioner role. Although this role was established to provide guidance to all practitioners working in family violence, there is a perception that the Advanced Family Violence Practice Lead role pertains only to practice with victim survivors. As perpetrator service responses are an emerging field of practice, increased leadership in this practice area may be required to build the capacity of the family violence and child wellbeing workers to identify and respond to risk posed by perpetrators.

There is a key opportunity for FSV to provide further operational clarity around core roles. This might be through working with partner agencies to agree on standardised position descriptions for all roles (including existing areas) for all partner agencies to use as the basis for recruitment.

Q5. To what extent is The Orange Door supporting service integration and coordination at the local level?

A number of lines of inquiry were investigated to explore how The Orange Door was supporting service integration and coordination at a local level. The focus of the evaluation was on internal information transfer and sharing within The Orange Door (and did not investigate the sharing of information to external agencies beyond data on referrals in and out of The Orange Door).

Information sharing as a key mechanism for coordination

Information sharing is contributing to coordinating responses to family violence and child wellbeing within The Orange Door through key mechanisms including the CRM, use of partner agencies client databases and CIP. This evaluation did not investigate information sharing between The Orange Door and external practitioners (beyond processes for referral in and out of The Orange Door). The CRM, CIP and partner agencies client databases are core tools for coordinating and integrating services and improvements are likely to continue as planned upgrades to the CRM are made in response to feedback from practitioners. The intended extent of information sharing within The Orange Door would be strengthened, particularly in relation to duplication of effort, access to information about who clients can connect with, and a feedback loop (a review and monitoring function) with the range of services in the area and The Orange Door (to communicate the outcomes of referrals to services). Information sharing is a key foundation for collaboration, service integration and coordination of support.

Connecting clients to other services can be delayed at times. The reasons for delay may include: difficulties in obtaining information required for assessment; lack of knowledge and clarity among The Orange Door practitioners about the services available; and the lack of an established ‘review and monitoring’ function at this point in time.

Establishing processes and procedures for interfaces with external agencies

At this early stage of implementation of The Orange Door, at an operational level, the responsibility for establishing interfaces (including information sharing) with external agencies appears to be pooled between the Service System Navigator, the Hub Leadership Group (HLG), the Hub Manager and FSV, meaning no one person or group has overall accountability. This may be appropriate in the longer term, but in initial implementation stages, it would beneficial for one role/group to assume leadership.

Possible differences in service needs for child wellbeing cases

The extent and nature of assessment required in child wellbeing cases generally means that the time between initial intake, assessment and then referral to services may be longer for people experiencing child wellbeing issues than for other clients of The Orange Door. This requires further investigation to determine the cause and length of time.

A need for focus on the impact of The Orange Door on the broader service system

This evaluation did not focus on the capacity of the service system within which The Orange Door is established. This is important contextual information for determining the extent to which The Orange Door is supporting service integration and coordination at the local level. There are opportunities for FSV to monitor emerging ‘gaps’ in service capacity in the service sector to which The Orange Door refers. There is also the opportunity for The Orange Door to include a focus on aligning the new family violence risk identification and risk management framework and resources (the MARAM) with The Orange Door and local services in order to improve integration in risk assessment and risk management across the service system, and we understand this this is part of FSV’s current work plan.

Opportunities for improvement and the role of FSV as a system steward

At the foundation of The Orange Door concept is a need for collective leadership through the organisations in The Orange Door partnership – where each organisation brings their specific skills and services to the collaborative effort of The Orange Door. It is to be expected, that as the model evolves and service processes and procedures become embedded, that each HLG will move from their early focus on operational issues to a more strategic focus on how to localise the service to meet the needs of their clients. This is aligned with the concept of The Orange Door – and in time, this should be achievable.

However, at this early stage of implementation, uncertainty over how to operationalise the model combined with the pressures of establishment, means that FSV may need to play a larger role as ‘system steward’ than originally anticipated. The system and outcomes of The Orange Door will be influenced by many different stakeholders (including partner agencies) working together. In this context, FSV will need to oversee the ways in which The Orange Door is being implemented and attempt to steer the system more directly towards certain outcomes, to reinforce positive attributes of the model and to identify and correct against any process and operational issues that detract from positive client outcomes. This goes to the issue of which operational processes of The Orange Door needs statewide standardisation and which can be localised for each area.

In the early days of The Orange Door, it is advised that FSV adopt a more overt system steward role to lead The Orange Door more directly towards the outcomes we all hope The Orange Door can achieve for Victorians. With this in mind, we have identified a range of opportunities for improvements to be made, and have deliberately indicated where we believe FSV should take a leadership role in progressing these. These cover a range of different levers including management, funding, directing operations, workforce development support etc. This does not mean that FSV alone is responsible, or even that they can alone, make these improvements. Many will require collaborative efforts by the partner agencies but at this stage, FSV has a role to lead the partnerships in addressing these improvement areas. It will be through the continued collective investment of the many partner organisations who form The Orange Door, and through FSV leadership, that the vision of The Orange Door can be achieved

[1] Including the Support and Safety Hubs: Statewide concept (July 2017), Support and Safety Hubs: Service model (April 2018), Support and Safety Hubs: Service specifications (April 2018), Support and Safety Hubs: Interim operational guidelines (April 2018), Support and Safety Hubs: Interim integrated practice framework (April 2018) Support and Safety Hubs perpetrator practice guidance (April 2018)