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ACT Government Domestic and Family Violence Training Strategy

Responsible government

  • 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 will provide $2.831M between 2019-20 and 2022-23 to deliver the ACT Government Domestic and Family Violence Training Strategy to public service employees. More intensive training will also be delivered through the Strategy to complement existing training received by 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 delivered to all ACT Government Directorates with a forced break for COVID and training for staff in both frontline and specialised practitioner roles has been developed, tested and will begin roll out early 2021.

An alternative face to face foundation training product was developed for staff with limited access to technology and low literacy levels challenges for engagement with e-learning. Testing has occurred and roll out will continue throughout 2021 with staff from Transport, Environment, Education and Justice and Community Safety.

In early 2020, in response to COVID-19, the Managers face-to-face training was revised to include online, and blended approaches to delivery. Directorates will begin or continue training their staff in 2021.

What is next?

  • The ACT Government Domestic and Family Violence Training Strategy is a continuing strategy.
  • The build of 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.
  • ACT Government will collaborate with the alcohol and other drug sector to deliver the ACT Government Domestic and Family Violence Training Strategy to the sector.
  • 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.
  • 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 how to recognise, respond and refer those impacted by domestic and family violence.

The draft Common 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 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 clientsThe Strategy is also intended to improve understanding of the gendered nature of domestic and family violence and gender inequality as a necessary driver for domestic and family violence to occur. The training importantly unpacks the concept and impacts of coercive control as a common form of domestic and family violence rather than just physical violence, reflecting national and international conversations in DFV legislation and education.

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