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Priority Area 1: Building workforce capability

Building from Strength: 10-Year Industry Plan for Family Violence Prevention and Response was launched in 2016 to lay the foundations for building a supported, valued, skilled and diverse workforce. Five years on, we reflect on key actions and achievements so far.

Tuesday 1 June 2021 4:25am

Priority Area 1 in Strengthening the Foundations, the First Rolling Action Plan 2019-22 under Building from Strength, ensures specialist family violence response and primary prevention workforces have highly developed technical skills and capabilities, and supports workplaces to foster cultures that prioritise continuous learning. 

It also focuses on ensuring that prescribed organisations are supported to follow the maturity model to align policies, procedures, practice guidance and tools to the Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management (MARAM) Framework

Key project updates

The Lookout redevelopment and website consolidation

The Lookout redevelopment and website consolidation project supports the acquittal of Action 1.6 to further develop The Lookout as a clearinghouse and ‘go to’ source for up to date policy and practice changes and advice on prevention for specialist and non-specialist workforces.

In 2018, Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV) was funded to redevelop The Lookout website, to ensure it was the ‘go to’ source for up-to-date policy and practice changes and advice on prevention for specialist and non-specialist workforces. 

As part of the funding, DVRCV developed an eLearn course, Family Violence Foundations, launched in September 2020, with Victorian professionals encouraged to enrol. This course is aligned to Action 2.5: Develop innovative education and professional development options aligned to the Responding to Family Violence Capability Framework, commencing with foundational family violence e-learning to complement face-to-face training.

Find out more about the Family Violence Foundations course.

Fast Track courses

The Fast Track program supports the acquittal of Action 1.11: Deliver the Fast Track Professional Development Program to support the rapid development of practitioners into response and prevention roles.

The Fast Track includes courses focused on response and prevention and aims to fast track the supply of knowledgeable and skilled practitioners able to take up:

  • senior level management positions within the responding to family violence specialist workforce
  • mid-level roles in the primary prevention of violence against women, across settings and sectors.

The response course commenced in March 2021 and builds the capability of individuals transitioning into, or already in, senior roles in the family violence sector. It will focus on building senior management and leadership skills to build the confidence of practitioners in advocacy, policy, supervision, organisation development, partnership development, program design and working with specific communities.

The prevention course will be offered from June 2021 and builds the capability of mid-career professionals in program design, communications, training, evaluation, population groups or even setting specific expertise.

The courses include workshops, guest experts, a workplace project and mentoring sessions.

Find out how to enrol 

The Critical Legal Issues Map Training supports the acquittal of Action 1.13: Build capability in specialist family violence workers to identify legal issues, provide legal information and make timely and appropriate referrals to lawyers and other services.

In 2019, Women’s Legal Service Victoria (WLS) was funded to deliver their Critical Legal Issues Map (CLIM) training to practitioners from specialist family violence and broader workforces that intersect with family violence, as well as The Orange Door.

Funded by the Centre for Workforce Excellence (CWE), the CLIM and accompanying training package were developed by WLS, in consultation with the specialist family violence sector, to build the capabilities and knowledge of specialist family violence practitioners to identify legal issues, provide legal information and make timely and appropriate referrals to legal services. 

To date, WLS has delivered 14 foundational sessions. A further eight advanced sessions will be delivered by July 2021, reaching 268 practitioners state-wide. Following these sessions, a formal evaluation will be undertaken by September 2021.

CWE has provided further funding to WLS to deliver 50 sessions over 18 months from July 2021, with the potential to reach a further 1500 practitioners. Of these sessions, 15 will be delivered and contextualised for The Orange Door practitioners.

Recommendation 209: Mandatory minimum qualifications

The introduction of mandatory minimum qualifications supports the acquittal of Action 1.14 to implement minimum qualifications for the specialist family violence response sector from 2020 to strengthen the deep expertise, knowledge and practice wisdom held by the specialist family violence response workforce, and to equip sector entrants with the capability they need for this specialised, complex work.

The introduction of mandatory minimum qualifications for specialist family violence practitioners was a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence, with work now underway to prepare for the 5-year transition period for the introduction of mandatory minimum qualifications from 1 July 2021.

The introduction of mandatory minimum qualifications for the specialist family violence sector is complex and challenging, but will also ensure all new specialist family violence practitioners have a consistent baseline of knowledge and skills to support the safety and wellbeing of victim survivors of family violence.

Find out more about minimum mandatory qualifications.

Sector Development Advisor – Recommendation 209

As part of the introduction of mandatory minimum qualifications, Family Safety Victoria funded Domestic Violence Victoria (DV Vic) to employ a Sector Development Advisor to:

  • provide advice to and engage with the family violence sector on the implementation of mandatory minimum qualifications for the specialist family violence workforce
  • answer questions from employers and practitioners
  • assist with gathering data to inform monitoring of the implementation approach as part of the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for Recommendation 209.

State-wide prevention workforce development program

The state-wide prevention workforce development program supports the acquittal of Action 1.8 to continue to build specialist capability in primary prevention, including through communities of practice, induction programs for new practitioners, and training for supervisors.

Domestic Violence Victoria/Domestic Violence Resource Centre (DV Vic/DVRCV) will continue to be supported to build specialist capability in primary prevention through communities of practice, induction programs for new practitioners, and training for supervisors.

This work is funded by the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) and the Centre for Workforce Excellence (CWE).

The work will build on previously funded initiatives including the Partners in Prevention project and the Free from Violence – Workforce Capability building project and bring them together under the State-wide Prevention Workforce Development Program, with the aim of expanding the reach, impact and sustainability of workforce development and sector development activities over the next 12 months.

Priority themes to guide this work include:

  • the impacts of COVID-19 on the prevention workforce and how the sector is adapting in this new context (practitioner wellbeing, working online, working from home, delivering training and workshops online)
  • the implications of the Gender Equality Act 2020 for prevention practitioners
  • increasing sector understanding and practical application of the factors that can increase frequency or severity of violence, with a particular focus on socio-economic inequality and discrimination
  • ensuring the long-term sustainability of Respectful Relationships Education in schools and higher education.
  • strengthening the interconnections between prevention and response
  • engaging men and boys and masculinities
  • supporting work with young people and multicultural communities.

Reviewed 23 June 2021

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