Priority Area 5: Prioritising health, safety and wellbeing

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.

Thursday, 3 June 2021 at 11:41 pm

Priority Area 5 in Strengthening the Foundations, the First Rolling Action Plan 2019-22 under Building from Strength prioritises the health, safety and wellbeing of specialist and non-specialist family violence workforces and encourages a positive and supportive work environment. Practitioners are better supported in their work when they have improved job security and employment conditions, and access to best practice supervision, peer support, opportunities for reflective practice, and health, safety and wellbeing tools.

Key project updates

Family Violence Workforce Health, Safety and Wellbeing Guide

This project acquits Action 5.1: Complete and roll out the new Family Violence Health, Safety and Wellbeing Framework a guide for specialist family violence organisations to proactively manage practitioner health and wellbeing and inform practices that are specific to the needs of specialist workforces.

The Family Violence Workforce Health, Safety and Wellbeing Guide is an online resource that helps foster inclusive, equitable and safe workplaces in the sexual assault and specialist family violence sector.

Supporting the wellbeing of the sector allows us to sustainably be of service and achieve our goal of ending family violence. It also supports staff retention, reduces absenteeism and boosts engagement.   

The guide has been developed by Dr Michelle McQuaid in collaboration with Family Safety Victoria (FSV) and the sexual assault and specialist family violence sector. It takes a trauma and violence-informed lens to reduce harmful stress and the impacts of vicarious, direct and collective trauma that is often experienced in the family violence sector as we care for the Victorian community. It complements existing health, safety and wellbeing efforts in workplaces and encourages ongoing co-creation, experimentation, and learning. 

The guide is built around five steps organisations, teams and individuals can undertake as a starting point to improve workforce health, safety and wellbeing. Contact the Centre for Workforce Excellence at for more information.

Best Practice Supervision Project

This project acquits Action 5.3: Undertake research in best practice supervision to determine agreed definitions of clinical supervision, current practices within the sector (including funding arrangements), suitable models of supervision for the specialist sector, outline best practice standards of clinical supervision including minimum requirements for workforces and provide advice regarding successful implementation.

The Best Practice Supervision Project explores best-practice supervision and communities of practice for the specialist family violence sector.

Consultations have taken place with the peak bodies to determine what supervision practices are currently being used within the family violence and sexual assault sector and the potential for minimum standards of best practice supervision. Work is currently underway to use the feedback received to develop a research paper to support recommendations for a best practice supervision model.

Work is also underway with the AASW to develop an ‘advanced supervision training course’ which will be offered as an online blended learning module to increase the capabilities and expertise of social work supervisions within the sector. On the completion of this training, it is intended that supervisors will have greater confidence in managing supervision in their workplace and will support the development of social workers coming through the sector.