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DFV specialist positions in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Wellbeing Services

Responsible government

  • Queensland

Fourth Action Plan actions

  • Support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children
    • 8 Develop innovative and alternative models for victim and perpetrator support that contribute to safe healing and sustainable behaviour change.

What are we doing?

The Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women is trialling a number of specialist domestic and family violence positions embedded within community-controlled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Wellbeing Services across the state. Family Wellbeing Services work with families who may be experiencing vulnerability, and make it easier for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in communities across Queensland to access culturally responsive support to improve their social, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing, and build their capacity to safely care for and protect their children.

Queensland has committed $2.1 million over 3.5 years to support development of the community-led action plans (see separate initiative) and trial DFV specialist positions in Family Wellbeing Services.

This initiative is an action under Queensland’s Framework for Action – Reshaping our Approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Domestic and Family Violence, released in 2019 (see separate Initiative). The framework provides a clear statement of commitment to a new way of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to address domestic and family violence, towards the vision of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities living free from violence and enabled and supported to undertake healing.

The framework sets out strategies and actions to achieve the vision, including new actions to be delivered in 2019-21. Importantly, it acknowledges the strengths within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to address domestic and family violence, and supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to determine what, when and how services and responses are needed in their communities.

What have we achieved so far?

The specialist domestic and family violence positions commenced June 2020, with all five workers now recruited and service delivery underway in each of the trial locations of Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Townsville and the Bowen region. A reference group has been formed and meets fortnightly, comprising the five Family Wellbeing Service providers, the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women, and the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak.

What is next?

The reference group will continue to meet to ensure effective ongoing co-design of the model. Immediate priorities for this group include to:

  • progress agreed initiative intent and clarify outcomes for service delivery
  • determine the best approach for reporting to ensure case studies and other reports are capturing information on achievements, in keeping with the development of an evaluation plan
  • capture learnings to inform the development of a culturally appropriate domestic and family violence framework for working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities.

What difference will we make?

A dedicated evaluation plan will be developed in 2019-20 to 2020-21 to track progress and outcomes under the framework, including for this initiative.

Anticipated outcomes of the initiative include co-designed, flexible and innovative approaches that provide wrap-around support to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities.

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