In this section:

Domestic and Family Violence Innovation Fund

Responsible government

  • New South Wales

Fourth Action Plan actions

  • Primary prevention is key
    • 3 Implement targeted primary prevention activities designed by, and tailored for, the specific communities they are intended to support.
    • 5 Promote healthy and safe relationships and build gender equitable values through initiatives for children and young people.
  • Respect, listen and respond to the diverse lived experience and knowledge of women and their children affected by violence
    • 11 Deliver policies and services to address the disproportionate impact of violence on particular groups.

What are we doing?

The $20 million Domestic and Family Violence Innovation Fund is a commitment under the NSW Domestic and Family Violence Blueprint for Reform 2016-2021: Safer Lives for Women, Men and Children. The Innovation Fund supports innovative early intervention, prevention and crisis solutions to domestic and family violence. Seven projects were funded through the first round of the Innovation Fund, and 13 projects in the second round. The Innovation Fund targets projects which focus on at-risk and diverse communities, including culturally and linguistically diverse communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, rural communities, refugees, and people with disability.

What have we achieved so far?

20 Innovation Fund projects have commenced over two rounds, including 14 projects focused on prevention and early intervention, and six projects focused on crisis response. Innovation Fund projects are being evaluated independently, and preliminary results have been positive, including:

  • The Black Box Parenting project is addressing a gap in professional training for parents with a history of domestic and family violence, is valued by trainee facilitators, has been over-subscribed to date and has a positive reputation.
  • Peer educators from the ReThink! Anti-violence Project have found training valuable for both themselves and other young people. Peer educators have noted they have learned more about healthy relationships and how to identify toxic behaviours as a result of their participation in the project.
  • Participants across all components of the Accountable, Respectful and Connected (ARC) Gender Relations project speak highly of the project team and the content that has been delivered to them.

From dealing with the impact of COVID-19 last year, most providers were able to adapt their service delivery to online more efficiently. However, there are still some providers who are only able to conduct their work face to face, which has made service delivery difficult in lockdown areas.

What is next?

While some projects have concluded, the NSW Government has committed $2.9 million to support the following Innovation Fund projects as they progress past June 2021. Ten (10) of these projects have been extended until 31 March 2022, which will enable the service providers to consider if their projects have significant positive outcomes to be embedded in their service delivery, seek additional funds through shared value opportunities, philanthropy, sponsorship or partnerships with the for profit sector. These projects include:

  • The Building Access for Women with Disability project, delivered by People with Disability Australia, which is to working with domestic and family violence services across NSW to improve their disability inclusion capability and practices.
  • The From the Ground Up to Equality project, delivered by Arab Council Australia, is delivering a whole-of-community prevention program, working with Arabic speaking communities to challenge specific drivers of violence.
  • The Firmer Foundations project, delivered by Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, is helping build the financial well-being of women and increasing the capacity of women to leave domestic and family violence situations.
  • The Black Box Parenting project, delivered by Grand Pacific Health, is delivering a series of workshops for clinicians to deliver specialised group workshops for parents with a history of domestic and family violence.
  • The Finding Safety project, delivered by Jesuit Refugee Service, which is delivering a suite of programs aimed at supporting refugee women to increase their understanding of domestic and family violence.
  • The Accountable, Respectful and Connected (ARC) Gender Relations project, delivered by Men and Family Centre, is engaging men to challenge and change attitudes and behaviours that support violence.
  • The Let’s Talk: mitigating the risk and responding early to elder abuse project, delivered by Relationships Australia NSW, is assisting families with conflict resolution where elderly people are involved.
  • The ReThink! Anti-violence Project, delivered by 2Connect Youth and Community, which will continue to expand a peer educator project to address the negative attitudes that underpin domestic and family violence affecting young people in culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
  • The DVproject: 2650, delivered by Wagga Women’s Health Centre, is a whole of community approach to increase knowledge and challenge attitudes and social norms related to violence and gender inequality.
  • Stronger Families, Better Communities, delivered by OzChild, is providing Functional Family Therapy for families with adolescents who are violent.

The Building Stronger Families project, delivered in partnership with Relationships Australia NSW and Settlement Services International, will be funded for a further 12 months until 30 June 2022. This project is providing targeted prevention strategies and early intervention pathways for asylum seeker and refugee communities.

Innovation Fund Round 1 project The Miranda Project/Leaving Prison, Leaving Violence delivered by the Community Restorative Centre will be funded for a further 2 years until 30 June 2023 to appoint a case worker for two years as the trial is tested in an additional area of Sydney. $60,000 will also be provided to build on the evaluation that was originally conducted in 2019 to test the new model.

All Domestic and Family Violence Innovation Fund programs will be evaluated. An independent evaluation of the second round of the Domestic and Family Violence Innovation Fund is underway and will be completed by 31 December 2021.

What difference will we make?

The projects funded under the Domestic and Family Violence Innovation Fund are diverse and will achieve different outcomes. The Innovation Fund is unique in that it responds to local need and ‘tests’ innovative projects to improve outcomes and the effectiveness of service delivery. The anticipated long-term outcomes include that individuals and communities have an increased understanding about domestic and family violence, how to address underlying causes, and how to seek assistance. The projects also aim to achieve improvements in the service system response to domestic and family violence for diverse communities.

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