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A key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence was to establish a network of Support and Safety Hubs, now known as The Orange Door network, across Victoria. The Orange Door network is an integral part of the family violence and family services systems. It provides an entry point into the continuum of services that aims to ensure there is no wrong door to access high quality, consistent and effective support for children, young people and families in communities.    

The significant work undertaken across government and the community sector, specifically our partner agencies, to build networks of safety and to connect services has been central to the successful implementation of The Orange Door network. There continues to be an enormous commitment and effort by The Orange Door network workforce and partner agencies delivering this new service model.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic response had a major impact on The Orange Door network during the first half of 2020-21 and required Family Safety Victoria (FSV) and our partners to prioritise service delivery and related critical activities to help keep people safe. Essential intake, risk and needs assessment and safety planning was increasingly delivered over the phone or virtually during physical distancing/community containment periods. Face-to-face services continued to be provided for people assessed as high risk or with high support needs where it was gauged that other means of supporting and providing a service were insufficient or unavailable. Coordination was maintained with workforces more likely to be in contact with families impacted by family violence and in need of child and family support during the pandemic, such as primary healthcare workforces.

Work to progress establishment of The Orange Door network continued throughout this period, with The Orange Door in Loddon and Central Highlands commencing operations in October 2020 and Goulburn commencing in April 2021. Beyond the reporting period of this report, a further 5 areas have since commenced with all remaining areas due to have a new site commence in 2022.

The VAGO performance audit conducted in 2019 made 9 recommendations focusing on project planning, management and governance, operational delivery, support for integrated practice, performance reporting and oversight, and continuous improvement. Several actions to implement VAGO’s recommendations commenced in 2020-21.