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In this section:

ACT Government Response to the Domestic Violence Prevention Council Report from the Extraordinary Meeting 2018 on addressing the needs of children and young people impacted by family violence

Responsible government

  • Australian Capital Territory

Fourth Action Plan actions

  • Improve support and service system responses
    • 16 Enable workforces to provide trauma-informed support with a focus on safety and recovery to victims and survivors of domestic, family and sexual violence.
    • 17 Collaborate across services, sectors and workforces to ensure responses to women affected by domestic, family and sexual violence are coordinated, meet women’s needs, avoid women having to retell their story and promote their recovery.

What are we doing?

The ACT Government Response is a whole of government response to the Final report from the Domestic Violence Prevention Council Extraordinary Meeting addressing the needs of children and young people impacted by family violence, 2018. This report made five key recommendations on specific actions the ACT Government can take to ensure that children and young people are accorded equal status in consideration of domestic and family violence. The ACT Government accepted all of these recommendations

The ACT Government Response details the specific initiatives that will be occurring across Government that will improve the ACT’s capacity to understand and respond effectively to the needs of children and young people affected by domestic and family violence, including sexual violence. Many of these actions are due for completion within 2019-20.

What have we achieved so far?

Significant progress has been made in 2019-20, the first year of implementation of the ACT Government Response to the Domestic Violence Prevention Council Report on the Extraordinary Meeting regarding Children and Young People. The Office of the Coordinator General for Family Safety(OCGFS) continues to monitor implementation across relevant ACT Government Directorates to ensure activity is consistent with the original intent of the Domestic Violence Prevention Council and is aligned with broader domestic and family violence initiatives across the ACT Government.

Key highlights from 2019-20 include;

i) establishment of an evaluation team within Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate, to work with the OCGFS to develop an evaluation strategy for domestic and family violence policies and programs;

ii) the introduction of the ACT Intermediary Scheme for children and young people which has enabled ACT Policing to use intermediaries in police investigations 38 times. Intermediaries have proven beneficial in police interviews, assisting in eliciting information from child witnesses that would not be obtained otherwise;

iii) a comprehensive update of the ACT Government Domestic and Family Violence Training materials to ensure they include the impacts and needs of children and young people affected by domestic and family violence.

What is next?

Implementation in the second year, 2020-21 will consist of bedding down and monitoring of first year initiatives as well as the extension of several first-year achievements. Work will continue across the ACT Government, to improve the collection and use of data to inform policy and service development for children and young people experiencing vulnerability including domestic and family violence. In 2020-21 the ACT Health Directorate will develop the ACT Child Safe, Child Friendly, Child Aware Framework which seeks to drive compliance across health services in the ACT to meet the National Child Safe Standards and National Principles.

What difference will we make?

Actions undertaken against the recommendations in this Report will help develop insights and understanding into the needs of children and young people impacted by domestic and family violence. This will augment the existing family violence sector to be more responsive to the needs of children and young people impacted by this violence and ensure that responses expand and capture all members of the community.

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