What immediate support does The Orange Door provide to individuals and families?

As a key entry point into the service system, The Orange Door assesses and manages risk, develops safety plans, coordinates allocations and referrals to services outside The Orange Door, and provides crisis responses where needed.

In the first year of implementing The Orange Door, the focus was on establishing the critical functions and service networks that would enable practitioners to properly assess people’s risk, identify their needs, and connect them with the right services. Information about the risk assessments and service connections made by The Orange Door in 2018-19 has been provided earlier in the report.

We feel empowered to work together to support clients. - practitioner in The Orange Door

What immediate supports does The Orange Door provide for individuals and families?

Brokerage funds are available to individuals and families accessing services through The Orange Door. The brokerage provides quick and flexible support early in the service delivery system. In consultation with the individual, the brokerage is prioritised based on an assessment of need, anticipated outcomes and positive impact on a person’s safety, stability and development.

Sue’s story: using brokerage funds to address immediate safety needs

Sue*, a young transgender woman, was experiencing violence from her intimate partner. She sought help from The Orange Door to leave her relationship due to safety concerns. Her partner had exhibited increasingly controlling behaviour such as withholding her hormone medication and restricting access to female clothes. Using brokerage funds, the practitioner helped Sue to enter a refuge due to the imminent threat posed by her partner and supported her to purchase clothing that better aligned with her identity. The Orange Door practitioner also contacted w/respect, a specialist LGBTQI family violence service, to identify how to best support Sue’s specific needs.

*Not her real name

Figure 10 shows the percentage of brokerage used to provide immediate support to individuals and families during the first year of implementation.

Figure 10. Percentage brokerage spend by category

Figure 10 describes the percentage of brokerage that was spent on different items. The largest proportion of brokerage (44%) was spent on accommodation, followed by 23.9% spent on safety and security and 10.2% on food.

A significant amount of brokerage is provided to address the wellbeing of children (Figure 11).

Figure 11. Percentage of brokerage spend for child wellbeing

Figure 11 describes the percentage of brokerage that was spent on addressing child wellbeing in each Orange Door area.

  • In Barwon, 56.9% of brokerage was spent on child wellbeing,
  • In Bayside Peninsula, 54.3% of brokerage was spent on child wellbeing,
  • in Inner Gippsland 56.6% of brokerage was spent on child wellbeing,
  • in Mallee 59.2% of brokerage was spent on child wellbeing,
  • in North East Melbourne, 36.8% of brokerage was spent on child wellbeing.

Brokerage may also be provided to perpetrators, to reduce the risk or enhance the safety of victim survivors and families through purchasing products or services that engage perpetrators to stabilise and link them into programs to address their use of violence. This could include offering taxi vouchers to enable perpetrators to attend behaviour change programs or supporting perpetrators into alternative accommodation so that their families can remain safely in the home.

In addition to brokerage support, The Orange Door was also able to assist people with crisis responses and short-term interventions 4,313 times.

The Orange Door practitioners provide immediate support for people in crisis. This includes responding to emotional distress or physical harm. Short-term interventions are tailored to the unique circumstances of the individual or family and are determined through triage and assessment. These interventions may include providing information and practical support to access financial, legal or housing support and helping individuals and families to understand their situation and know what to expect next.

Future service enhancements to The Orange Door will strengthen the targeted interventions provided to people needing immediate or short-term support.