This report presents a brief summary of the findings from the Family Safety Victoria 2019-20 Census of Workforces that Intersect with Family Violence. For more detailed results per workforce, including a detailed methodology and survey approach, please see the following reports:

Background and research objectives

In July 2019, Family Safety Victoria (FSV) commissioned ORIMA Research to design and deliver the 2019-20 Census of Workforces that Intersect with Family Violence in Victoria. The overarching aim of the 2019-20 Census was to assist in deepening the Victorian Government’s understanding of a range of issues in the context of reforms recommended by the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

Three target audiences (workforces) were identified for the Census, as detailed in Table 1. This report presents the key topline findings across the three audiences. It should be noted that not all questions and sections were asked of each workforce. Request the full questionnaire by emailing the Centre for Workforce Excellence at

Table 1: Target audiences for the census (workforces)
Workforce Definition
Specialist family violence response
  • Those who work directly with victim survivors, perpetrators or cases of family violence as a family violence response specialist; or
  • Those who work directly with family violence response specialists as a manager, supervisor / trainer; or in a capacity building, policy or practice development role.
Example roles for each workforce are included in the full questionnaire which can be requested by emailing the Centre for Workforce Excellence at
Primary prevention of family violence Those who work to prevent family violence through systemic / organisational / community-level initiatives
Broader workforce that intersects with family violence
  • Those who are sometimes in contact with victim survivors or perpetrators of family violence and required to deal with the impacts of family violence, despite this not being a significant focus of their role.
  • This includes all types of workforces who work with women, families and children (or the broader community) as part of their day-to-day role even though it is not directly related to family violence.
  • This audience is reported on at an aggregate level within this report, plus by workforce sub-groups as relevant.

Project development

Questionnaire development and sector consultation

The questionnaire (request a copy by emailing the Centre for Workforce Excellence at ) was developed by ORIMA Research and the FSV project team, with content informed by the previous Census.

Research approvals

Ethics approval was granted for this project by the ORIMA Research Human Research Ethics Committee on Thursday 31 October 2019 (Approval Number: 0112019). Research approvals were also granted by the Victoria Police Research Committee and the Victorian Department of Education and Training Research in Victorian Government Schools and Early Childhood settings committee.

Survey fieldwork

The survey was conducted between Monday 18 November 2019 and Friday 28 February 2020. A small extension was also granted for certain workforces until Friday 13 March 2020.

Survey dissemination

As there is no central or reliable record of contact details for all individuals employed in this sector ORIMA Research and the FSV project team relied on sector, departmental, and organisational (or similar) representatives to assist in a controlled dissemination of a generic Census survey link.

Response rate

A total of 5,021 responses were received for the Census across the 3 workforces (see Table 2). In advance of fieldwork, the FSV project team undertook an extensive data collection exercise to estimate the population size for each of the relevant workforces for this project. These figures were used to monitor response rates and are the basis for response rate figures below.

Table 2: Response rate breakdown (based on population estimates)
Workforce Population size (approx) Number of responses Response rate
Specialist family violence response 2,491 1,575 63%
Primary prevention of family violence 352 517 147%1

Broader workforces that intersect with family violence 222,070 2,929 1%

Statistical precision and presentation of results

Statistical precision

As this survey was an attempted census of workforces that intersect with family violence (i.e. all those in scope for the survey were assumed to have been invited to participate, via either a personalised or generic survey link), the survey results are not subject to sampling error.

However, the survey is subject to potential non-sampling error, including coverage error and non-response error. Unlike sampling error, non-sampling error is generally not mathematically measurable. ORIMA Research uses several strategies to address sources of non-sampling error to the extent possible, including careful questionnaire construction and data processing quality control.

Presentation of results

Percentages in this report are based on the total number of valid responses made to the particular question being reported on. Results presented as percentages throughout the report may not add up to 100% due to rounding, or where participants were able to select more than one response. Suppression rules have been implemented throughout this report whereby groups of individuals with fewer than 10 respondents have not been reported on to protect respondent confidentiality.

All results are self-reported by respondents and have not been verified against any secondary data.


  1. The number of survey responses received for the primary prevention workforce was greater than the estimated population (147%). This may be due to several reasons, including the fact that population figures that were used to calculate response rates are estimates of the true population size. For more details please see the Survey findings report – Primary Prevention workforce.