ACT Government Domestic and Family Violence Training Strategy
- Australian Capital Territory
Fourth Action Plan actions
- Primary prevention is key
- 1 Advance gender equality and respect for women through effective primary prevention initiatives.
What are we doing?
The Training Strategy aims to improve a shared understanding and staff capabilities in responding to domestic and family violence. The ACT Government is providing $572,000 in 2021-22 to deliver the ACT Government Domestic and Family Violence Training Strategy to public service employees, to equip all staff with the capability to recognise, respond to and refer colleagues, clients or staff who are experiencing domestic and family violence. More intensive training will also be delivered through the Strategy to complement existing training received by staff in frontline roles, such as Child and Youth Protection Services case workers and sworn police officers.
What have we achieved so far?
Since November 2019, foundation e-learning and manager training has been made available to all ACT Government staff. Training provision was delayed during the 2020 and August 2021 lockdowns. Training for staff in frontline and specialised practitioner roles has also been developed, tested and begun to roll out.
An alternative face-to-face foundation training product was developed for staff with limited access to technology and other challenges for engagement with e-learning. Testing has occurred and roll out is continuing in 2021.
What is next?
- The ACT Government Domestic and Family Violence Training Strategy is a continuing strategy.
- Building capability through the Training Strategy is intended to extend beyond ACT Government employees to the non-government sector and community partners. The ACT Government will develop an approach to support the non-government sector to engage in similar training.
- The ACT Government has engaged the Gendered Violence Research Network, University of New South Wales to develop an evaluation framework for the Training Strategy.
- Canberra Health Services, as a part of the Training Strategy approach, is implementing the evidence-based Strengthening Health Responses to Family Violence model across Canberra Health Services, to strengthen organisational capability to respond to clients experiencing domestic and family violence.
- Pilot programs have also been conducted with midwives from Calvary Hospital including the use of screening questions. Feedback has been positive.
What difference will we make?
The intended outcome of the ACT Government Domestic and Family Violence Training Strategy is to achieve a shared understanding of what constitutes domestic and family violence. Beginning with the ACT public service, the Strategy will build up staff capability in how to recognise, respond to and refer those impacted by domestic and family violence.
The draft Risk Assessment and Management Framework (see Domestic and Family Violence Risk Assessment and Management Framework) has been embedded in the specific training for frontline workers. With a common language, and a shared understanding and approach to responding to and managing risk, people at risk of domestic and family violence will be provided with earlier opportunities to seek support and safety. General screening questions ensure all community members have an opportunity to seek support.
Building awareness and capability across both government and non-government sectors means more people will have the knowledge and skills to assist people experiencing domestic and family violence across our community, including colleagues, family, and friends, not just clients. The Strategy is also intended to improve understanding of the gendered nature of domestic and family violence and gender inequality as a driver of domestic and family violence. The training unpacks the concept and impacts of coercive control as a common form of domestic and family violence, reflecting national and international conversations in DFV legislation and education.