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Connecting people to the right services

The Orange Door prioritises and matches services to meet the needs of people and families as identified through screening, identification and triage; and assessment and planning.

The Orange Door connects people to services by:

  • delivering service responses to people directly (immediate crisis responses, targeted interventions and brokerage)
  • providing the entry point for family violence services, family services and perpetrator services (‘core’ services)
  • linking people to broader services and supports they require

This section of the document outlines the various service responses that people are able to access through The Orange Door, as well as the processes The Orange Door uses to connect people to these services.

The Orange Door has a role in monitoring the effectiveness of service responses and providing feedback loops at the client and system levels on outcomes and performance.

Crisis response

Summary

The Orange Door makes sure that support is provided to meet people’s immediate safety and wellbeing needs in crisis situations. The Orange Door considers the needs of the person and the family and aims to reduce risk and stabilise the crisis situation. The Orange Door does not replace existing emergency services or Child Protection.

The Orange Door coordinates the practical help needed in the short term to address immediate safety and wellbeing issues – for example, making repairs and improving security so that victims of family violence can stay safely in their homes, facilitating transport and communication, assisting with essential caring responsibilities and accessing medical treatment and care or providing essential personal items, consumables or medical supplies.

The Orange Door facilitates access to crisis accommodation for victims of family violence to ensure their safety and to help identify accommodation options for perpetrators where this helps victims to stay safely in their homes where possible.

What does this look like within The Orange Door

Immediate crisis responses are identified by practitioners at any time – at initial contact, during the assessment process or while a person is receiving a service response.

Where practitioners identify an emergency response is required (for example, where someone is (or at direct threat of being) injured or where a crime is in progress) they will contact emergency services (triple zero - 000) to provide a response.

Determining the need for a crisis response from The Orange Door is based on the following questions:

  • Is there a likely risk to the person’s wellbeing or safety that, if unaddressed, may result in harm to the person in the short term (24–48 hours)?
  • Is the person (or their caregiver) unable to take reasonable actions to reduce that risk? (this could be due to the perpetrator’s behaviour, a lack of available resources or limited capability or capacity due to disability, emotional or mental state)
  • Are there no reasonable alternatives, including a person’s natural supports (such as friends and family), who can provide the required support to reduce the risk?
  • Is there a response or action that can be implemented that could reduce or eliminate the risk?

Immediate crisis responses is guided by the following principles:

  • The response can reasonably be expected to reduce or eliminate the risk.
  • Where appropriate, the response supports and encourages the person or family’s agency and self‑management capability, and to the extent possible, discourages dependence on crisis responses.
  • The response or support is not required indefinitely; that is, it is either a ‘one-off’ intervention (for example, locks changed) or there is a plan for future service provision (for example, motel accommodation pending an assessment or application for longer term housing).
  • The response is not replacing an alternative support that should be available or used to address the risk (for example, funding medical services or supplies that are available through the publicly funded health system).
  • The response is to the level required to address the immediate issue, with additional or more extensive responses and support considered as part of further assessment at follow-up.

Immediate crisis responses are directly provided or arranged by The Orange Door during business hours. This is in response to direct contact by the person who requires the response (in person or by telephone), or where a request for immediate assistance is received (by telephone) from a professional or concerned family, friend of community member. In instances where the request is received from a third party, The Orange Door worker confirms the person’s agreement/consent for its involvement.

After-hours responses

After-hours responses continue to be delivered or coordinated by existing services. In most instances, The Orange Door follows up with the person or family who received a crisis response once the situation has been stabilised to undertake further assessment and longer term planning (usually the following day).

Where the crisis response was delivered or coordinated by an after-hours service, detail of the response is provided to The Orange Door for follow-up during business hours (subject to the person’s consent where appropriate).

Where The Orange Door or after-hours service has delivered or coordinated a crisis response for a person or family that is already engaged with a support service (for example, there is a case manager already allocated), The Orange Door confirms that it is appropriate for this support service to conduct the follow-up assessment and case plan review and request that this occurs. If The Orange Door is providing a business-hours crisis response to a victim-survivor that requires an after-hours response, they contact the statewide after-hours service to undertake a handover.

A significant element of delivering crisis responses is providing accommodation. The Orange Door provides access to crisis accommodation for people experiencing family violence through:

  • dedicated family violence refuges and accommodation
  • temporary or emergency accommodation as part of the homelessness service system
  • privately provided accommodation (for example, through private rental brokerage).

These options are both within The Orange Door area and across areas where this is necessary to maintain safety (either temporarily or permanently).

When identifying the need for crisis accommodation, practitioners also consider longer term or permanent options and access these where available and appropriate as a first response.

In the future

The Orange Door will have up-to-date access to current vacancies statewide across family violence crisis accommodation options.

There will be a standard process for determining eligibility and prioritisation so that resources are matched to people’s needs as far as possible.

The Orange Door will work with providers to develop local protocols and procedures for accessing other accommodation, including agreements with private providers as necessary. This work will include a range of housing options to try to identify stable and longer term options as a first response where possible and accommodation options that are suitable for people with specific needs (for example, women with disabilities and young people).

Determining the type of support depends on the nature of the crisis issue. Some examples include:

  • arranging for a locksmith to visit the home of a victim of family violence and replace or install improved locks or provide personal safety responses and technology (through the personal safety initiative)
  • providing public transport cards (‘mykis’) or taxi vouchers to attend a critical appointment
  • providing SIM cards or use of telephones and internet that are unable to be monitored by a perpetrator of family violence
  • providing food vouchers or parcels, including infant supplies such as nappies or formula
  • providing medical supplies, personal items or consumables
  • assisting to arrange childcare or collection/pick-up of children from school
  • assistance to access crisis welfare payments
  • booking alternative accommodation such as a motel room

Cohort

Crisis responses are available or provided for clients of The Orange Door. This includes people experiencing family violence, families where there are concerns for the wellbeing, safety and development of children, and perpetrators of family violence.

Crisis responses in relation to victims of family violence (women and children) are primarily where there are imminent risks to their safety and stability; however, the nature of the response might mean that it is provided to the person directly or to others who are helping to reduce risks (for example, lending a child car seat to an extended family member to enable them to transport a child). This may also include assisting a perpetrator of family violence to locate alternative accommodation to reduce the risk of returning to the victim’s home.

The Orange Door does not provide crisis responses to people who are not experiencing risks to safety that are related to family violence or where there are no concerns for the safety, wellbeing and development of children. In instances where The Orange Door worker identifies immediate risks to safety arising from other issues or concerns, workers either directly engage the appropriate service response for the person, or help the person to connect with the service themselves.

Workforce

Practitioners identify and assess any immediate crisis needs and arrange the appropriate supports.

In some instances, this support is provided to people by The Orange Door team directly, otherwise The Orange Door engages other services (for example, housing) or subcontracted professionals (for example, repairs, changing locks) who deliver these responses. The Orange Door practitioners are responsible for coordinating the actions and ensuring they are put in place and are effective.

Practice tools, frameworks and guidelines

Program requirements for The Orange Door brokerage available at: https://www.vic.gov.au/orange-door-practitioner-resources

Timing and duration

Crisis responses are delivered as soon as practicable.

Crisis responses are generally of an isolated and short-term nature, but followed up with ongoing assessment, support and safety planning. Following a crisis response, The Orange Door follows up with the individual or family within 24 hours or when the situation has stabilised.

Reviewed 19 January 2020

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