The overarching vision for The Orange Door is that:
All people have a right to live free from violence and intimidation in any form and to grow up within a safe environment that prioritises their needs, stability, development and wellbeing.
The Orange Door has a shared responsibility to promote safety for all individuals and to provide support in meeting the needs of children and young people.
The service model for The Orange Door was developed with the following objectives in mind:
- supporting women, children and families to have a better experience of the service system and improving the way their risk and safety is managed
- responding to families where there is a concern for the wellbeing of children and act in the best interests of children to protect their right to safety, stability and development
- harnessing the strengths of government and non-government agencies to deliver The Orange Door functions
- drawing on the ability of government to support the significant system reform
- utilising the experienced and specialist workforces of local community sector organisations to deliver The Orange Door functions, including initial contact and advice, triaging, crisis responses, risk assessment and safety planning, needs assessment and service planning and allocation, as well as expert advice and capacity building
- delivering an integrated service model and effectively managing the practice and cultural change required
- ensuring The Orange Door is supported by local and collective partnerships across government and non-government agencies and within and across different service sectors
- having a delivery model that gives government and non-government agencies a stake in the success of The Orange Door, supporting collaboration, shared responsibility and mutual accountability
- having clear accountabilities, including a clear process for resolving issues
- ensuring that the transition to the new role of The Orange Door in the system is supported and appropriately phased
- support alignment to the MARAM Framework
- providing guidance to support statewide consistency in delivering services to people experiencing family violence and families in need of support with the care, development and wellbeing of children and young people
- working in partnership to ensure accessibility, responsiveness to diversity and consideration of human rights
- delivering services that meet people’s needs, responding to the issues raised by the Royal Commission into Family Violence and delivering on the vision outlined in Ending family violence: Victoria’s plan for change
Practice within The Orange Door is informed by the following principles.
Safety and wellbeing are paramount
Promote safety and wellbeing by understanding family violence as a gendered social justice issue and that children need to be protected from harm.
In practice this means:
- The safety and wellbeing of children and victim-survivors of family violence (including children) is our first priority.
- Responses to violence, including risk assessments and support for victim-survivors, must consider the gendered nature of family violence and other social contexts in which family violence manifests.
- We are proactive and vigilant in keeping perpetrators of family violence in view and managing risk to women and children, so it is no longer their responsibility to keep themselves safe.
- We recognise the safety of children and young people is an inalienable right distinct from their parents and/or guardians. Each child has unique needs that is assessed individually.
- We protect children and promote their safety, stability and development.
- The interests of non-offending parents, children and young people are in alignment. Where possible, children or young people should remain with the victim-survivor parent to support safety, stability and healing from the trauma of family violence.
- Intervention is provided as early as possible to reduce risk and mitigate the impact of cumulative harm for victim-survivors.
- Prevention efforts are supported, given the prevalence of violence is affected by gender inequality and community attitudes towards gender roles and norms within society.
- We work with victim-survivors to tailor their safety plans and broader supports (including for children) based on their individual need.
- We undertake multidisciplinary collaboration to provide rapid responses to perpetrators’ use of violence.
- We support children or young people to remain with the protective victim-survivor parent to support safety, stability and healing from the trauma of family violence.
Support agency and empowerment
Believe victim-survivors, support their agency (including as parents) and respect their needs and decisions including with children and young people as appropriate to their age and circumstances.
In practice this means:
- We believe victim-survivors, work at their pace and support their agency so they have choice and control and be transparent with decisions when there is misalignment with their child’s best interests.
- We partner with victim-survivors to assess risk and understand the dynamics of family violence in their circumstances.
- We partner with victim-survivors to develop tailored safety plans and broader supports (including for children) based on individual need.
- We support the agency of victim-survivors (including as parents), children, young people and families and respect their needs, decisions and choices from the first contact and across the continuum of service delivery.
- We engage with children and young people as appropriate to their age and circumstances to understand their experiences, identify their goals and respond to their concerns and priorities.
- We provide age-appropriate information to children and young people about their situation and the possibilities of what will occur in future.
- We update victim-survivors about any systemic responses to their cases such as outcomes from police interventions and court hearings and work to obtain services and address support needs.
- We keep victim-survivors informed about known changes to their risk and provide age-appropriate information to children and young people about their situation and the possibilities of what will occur in future. We support decision making through providing information, time, advocacy and emotional and practical support.
- We strengthen, preserve and promote positive relationships between the child and protective parent and support the child’s relationship with the perpetrator where it’s safe to do so.
Keeping perpetrators accountable to violent and abusive behaviour
Family violence is a crime that is not tolerated, with perpetrators held accountable for their use of violence in any form.
In practice this means:
- Family violence is a violation of human rights and is not tolerated. Perpetrators are held accountable for their use of violence in any form.
- We increase the safety of women and children by supporting men to stop their violent and abusive behaviours.
- We uphold non-collusive practices and hold perpetrators responsible for their use of violence.
- We challenge the attitudes, values and behaviour that underpins either the expression or narrative of violence within families.
- We send clear messages to perpetrators of all forms of family violence that their use of violence is a choice and is unacceptable.
- We participate in multi-agency collaborative practice to provide timely responses to perpetrators’ use of violence to include coordination of justice-based and social service interventions.
- We facilitate perpetrator engagement and provide opportunities for change, including assessing perpetrators’ preparedness for change and connect them to programs to stop or reduce their use of violence and improve parenting.
- We are part of a system-wide approach that collectively creates opportunities for perpetrators’ accountability including as partners and as parents.
- We support prevention and education to promote respectful relationships and gender equality within the community.
- We consider and discuss the impact of the perpetrator’s violence on family functioning and dynamics in all our assessments, planning and referrals beyond The Orange Door and we recognise the strength and resilience of victim-survivors in managing this impact.
Promote self-determination among Aboriginal people
In practice this means:
- We respect Aboriginal self-determination and the sovereignty of Aboriginal people.
- We recognise and embrace the inherent strength and diversity of Aboriginal people, families and communities across Victoria, and support family, community and cultural connections.
- We meet the needs of Aboriginal people aligned with and as described in the following section.
Be accessible and responsive to risk and needs2
In practice this means:
- We demonstrate value and respect for the diversity of children, women, men and families accessing our services.
- We draw on our professional understanding of diverse and intersectional needs to provide accessible and responsive services for everyone.
- We meet the needs of Victoria’s diverse communities guided by .
As funded services, providers of The Orange Door also operate in accordance with the broader Department of Health and Human Services values.
Reviewed 17 January 2020