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Focus area 6: Building sector and organisational capability

Building from Strength’s vision includes a system that is flexible and dynamic and can respond to evolving community, economic and social trends. To deliver reform, organisations and sectors must be capable in planning, resourcing, delivering and responding to change. Robust governance, policies, processes and support systems will provide a foundation for the long-term success and sustainability of reform.

The priorities in this key focus area aim to build sector and organisational capability to support the management of change and delivery of reform, across specialist and nonspecialist sectors and organisations. As with focus area 1: Building workforce capability, there is a strong focus in this plan on supporting the implementation of the MARAM Framework across sectors.

Why it’s important

  • Family violence reform requires organisations and sectors to be family violence literate, gender aware and able to support their workforces to undertake a range of prevention and response roles, while operating in an agile, efficient and responsive way. 
  • All sectors must be committed to the change required to achieve the vision from Building from Strength. While specialist knowledge and expertise are at the core, the specialist sectors are not alone in preventing and responding to family violence. 
  • For the MARAM Framework to be effective across the service system, workforces must be competent and capable in all aspects of its application.

Strengthening the Foundations outcomes

  1. Organisations, sectors and government understand their role in managing change and reform and are better supported in their ability to plan, resource, deliver and respond to it, so that the whole system can support better outcomes for victim survivors, greater accountability for perpetrators and effective primary prevention.
  2. Progress has been made by organisations and sectors towards more robust governance and support systems to ensure family violence prevention and response capability and workforce sustainability. 
  3. Strong and sustainable relationships exist with key stakeholders within the settings for prevention identified by Change the Story: A shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children and Changing the Picture: preventing violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women so that sustained and meaningful prevention activity can support culture change.

Key foundational priorities to support this focus area

The focus of this plan is to support specialist and non-specialist sectors to adapt and respond to family violence reform. This includes:

  • Building capability in specialist sectors and organisations to support new ways of working, including increased awareness of the need to deliver services that are culturally safe and respond to diversity and intersectionality. 
  • Building capability in non-specialist sectors and organisations to ensure they can work to prevent and respond to family violence.


6.1 Enhance sector capability to work in outcomes-focused ways. This may include through development activities and development of architecture related to collecting, interpreting and using outcomes data and evidence in decision making and service delivery.

6.2 Undertake a survey of specialist response and prevention sector leaders to understand the sustainability needs and pressure points of the specialist sectors.

6.3 Provide change management support for the rollout of MARAM to government departments, peak or representative bodies and key funded organisations to lead, develop and deliver tailored support initiatives. Framework organisations and professionals will be supported to align their policies, procedures, practice guidance and tools and use the MARAM assessment tools and practice guides.

6.4 Deepen family violence capability in the youth alcohol and other drugs (AOD) sector, to support the complex needs of young people accessing youth AOD services, by building family violence capability through staff training, support and supervision, and support for organisational change.

6.5 Embed the capability frameworks across sectors through grants to support workforces that intersect with family violence to undertake demonstration projects for translating and embedding the family violence capability frameworks for prevention and response into sector and community-specific contexts. 

6.6 Develop and implement initiatives to build capability in workforce planning for executives and boards across the specialist sectors.

Changing culture to change practice

17 specialist and non-specialist organisations were funded in 2018-19 to support the implementation of Information Sharing in their sectors. These organisations have produced sector specific resources, case studies and policies that support this change on the ground. 

An important example of this is the work the Aboriginal Sector Grants Working Group have begun – a dialogue on how to build the capacity of their staff to have new conversations around consent so that MARAM and information sharing can be implemented in a culturally safe way. Sector Grants in 2019-20 will support a specific focus changing practice to maximise outcomes for people with lived experience through the use of MARAM.

Embedding capability across sectors

Over 2018-19, YSAS has been investigating how the Responding to Family Violence Capability Framework can be embedded into youth alcohol and other drug (AOD) practice. 

Their findings identify the highly complex nature of family violence experienced by young people, as victim survivors both at home, in their relationships, and as users of violence. The complexity is compounded by the intersection of adolescent development with other factors such as lack of adolescent-specific family violence services, diverse presentations of trauma, the vulnerability experienced by adolescents, risk of homelessness and lack of empirical evidence relating to the intersection of youth family violence and substance use. 

Reflections from the YSAS workforce identifies adolescence as a critical intervention point. This project has identified that the issues resulting from the intersection of adolescence, family violence and youth AOD are severe, and requires a unique service response. The next phase of this work is to build specialist capability across the youth AOD workforce aligned to MARAM and the capability framework, as well for the sector to consider how best to support the workforce undertaking this work.