Building from strength
Fourth Action Plan actions
- Support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children
- 7 Build the workforce capability to ensure delivery of high quality, holistic, trauma-informed and culturally safe supports that respond to the complex needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children.
- 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?
Building from Strength – 10-Year Industry Plan for Family Violence Prevention and Response was released in 2017 and sets out the Victorian Government’s long-term vision for the workforces that intersect with family violence. It articulates a plan to build and strengthen specialist and universal workforces to ensure they can assess and manage family violence risk in a way appropriate to their role, are skilled to prevent family violence, and can meet the diverse needs of all Victorians. The plan also highlights the importance of ensuring that the specialist family violence workforce is supported to feel valued and safe, with career pathways and employment conditions that reflect the complexity and skill inherent in their work.
The Victorian Government committed $94.5 million in 2017-18 for Building from Strength.
What have we achieved so far?
- Commencement of the Family Violence Multi Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework (MARAM) in 2018, with workforces prescribed under regulations, now required to align their policies and procedures to the MARAM. A range of foundational guidance, tools and organisational support has been developed to support implementation. This has included the release of victim-focused MARAM Practice Guides in 2019 outlining guidance and risk assessment tools for professionals with roles and responsibilities to identify, assess and manage risk across the service system. In 2018, the Victorian Government commenced the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVIS Scheme), with a phased approach across specialist and mainstream services. This included development of Ministerial Guidelines supporting authorised professionals in prescribed services and organisations to share risk-relevant information prioritising victim survivor safety and perpetrator accountability. Information sharing is a responsibility under MARAM and the FVIS Scheme also allows perpetrator information to be shared with a victim survivor to assist their own safety planning. A two-year independent review of the FVIS, as required under legislation, was tabled in the Victorian Parliament in August 2020, indicating that the implementation of the FVIS Scheme has been broadly successful.
- Release of Responding to Family Violence Capability Framework and Preventing Family Violence and Violence against Women Capability Framework in 2017, articulating the skills and knowledge required for a broad range of workforces to appropriately prevent and respond to family violence, and articulating levels of specialist capability.
- Release of Strengthening Foundations, First Rolling Action Plan for Building from Strength 2019-2022 in November 2019.
- Completed the second Victorian Census of Workforces that Intersect with Family Violence in 2019, to build an evidence base to inform workforce and sector planning and development.
- Development of the first accredited vocational education and training (VET) courses that deliver family violence response knowledge and skills in alignment with the MARAM Framework, with delivery of the first course for universal workforces commencing in 2020 and a second course commencing delivery in early 2021.
- Commencement of professional development in family violence response and prevention for VET trainers and assessors to support training sector readiness to deliver new family violence training.
- Provided Leadership Intensives to over 200 sector leaders, to support them to lead in an environment of unprecedented reform.
- Delivery of the Fast Track pilot to support the development of family violence specialist sector leadership development, with subsequent support for a further two years funded to implement the Fast Track program.
- Increased sector capacity to host student placements, through the Enhanced Pathways to Family Violence Work program (now in its third year), to support a pipeline into the specialist family violence sector and increased family violence literacy across community services.
- Development of a foundational family violence eLearn initiatives, through the Domestic Violence Resource Centre, to support existing and future workforces to grow foundational knowledge in family violence response.
- Commenced the development of Intersectionality Capability Building resources, to increase workers’ capability to support all Victorians.
- Continuation of the Aboriginal Workforce Development Initiative, to support Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to undertake workforce planning and development for family violence and related community services and strengthen the cultural safety of mainstream organisations.
- Established the Orange Door workforce in Barwon, Bayside Peninsula, Inner Gippsland, Mallee and North East Melbourne, Central Highlands and Loddon (with Goulburn anticipated to commence in April 2021). This includes provision of foundational training to prepare staff to work within multidisciplinary teams and deliver integrated service responses.
What is next?
The first Rolling Action Plan (RAP) – Strengthening the Foundations: First Rolling Action Plan 2019-22 was released in November 2019. It was developed with the sector and focuses on building strong foundations for ongoing, sustainable workforce development. It outlines the foundational initiatives needed to:
- build the necessary workforce capability across specialist family violence prevention and response, and the broader community services, health, justice and education sectors – particularly to support the implementation of the MARAM Framework;
- recruit and retain specialist family violence prevention and response workforces and ensure that these workforces are supported, valued, skilled and diverse; and
- build organisational and sector capability to support the sustainability of family violence system reform.
What difference will we make?
This initiative will contribute to the National Outcomes that Indigenous communities are strengthened, and services meet the needs of women and their children experiencing violence.
The Victorian Family Violence Outcomes Framework was published in Ending Family Violence: Victoria’s Plan for Change, which outlined Victoria’s priorities in preventing and responding to family violence, why they matter, and what constitutes success. The Victorian Family Violence Outcomes Framework is a whole of Government framework and is intended to ensure Victorian family violence reform efforts are focused on the actions that make a difference. The Victorian Government is progressing development of the framework, including through indicators and measures. In time, measurement and monitoring of Victorian family violence outcomes may also support reporting for the National Plan.
Building from Strength identified four key priorities. The first Rolling Action Plan identifies seven key focus areas to achieve these priorities and identifies ten-year outcomes for each.
A measurement and evaluation framework will be developed to align with the detailed indicators and measures currently being developed for Victoria’s Family Violence Outcomes Framework.