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Support women with disability through the Local Support Coordinator

Responsible government

  • Tasmania

Fourth Action Plan actions

  • Respect, listen and respond to the diverse lived experience and knowledge of women and their children affected by violence
    • 10 Implement community-led and tailored initiatives to address the unique experiences and needs of communities affected by multiple forms of discrimination or inequality.

What are we doing?

The Local Support Coordinator (delivered by Safe Choices) provides practical support, information and advice for women with disability. The position was established to respond to community needs and acknowledging that women with disability experience significantly higher levels of all forms of violence by a greater number of perpetrators.

What have we achieved so far?

Safe Homes, Families, Communities commenced implementation on 1 July 2019.

The case workers offer post-crisis case coordination, integrated case management and flexible support to clients and connect them to other services. The service is tailored to meet the client’s needs through an initial intake assessment and the development of an individualised client support plan and may engage the client through assertive casework if the client disengages, or if there is prolonged update of the service following a referral.

Safe Choices developed No Excuse for Abuse, an online training package to assist frontline workers who work with or support women with disabilities to recognise family violence. The package includes a resource manual, a practical training guide and a simplified brochure with audio recording (accessible through an app) for all clients. The training guide provides national context but is tailored toward Tasmanian legislation and service delivery for family violence. The training package is promoted through specialist and mainstreams services and is a valuable resource to upskill frontline workers.

In 2019-20 the Australian Government confirmed funding for the Local Support Coordinator role to 30 June 2022.

What is next?

A review in 2019-20 of the Local Support Coordinator measure identified some areas for improvement. Through this action, the Tasmanian Government is committed to this response and recovery measure and will work with Safe Choices and the Australian Government Department of Social Services to consider ways that the Local Support Coordinator activities can be enhanced.

What difference will we make?

Compared to their peers, women with disability experience significantly higher levels of all forms of violence by a greater number of perpetrators. Their experiences of violence last over a longer period and result in more severe injuries. Acknowledging the vulnerability of women with disability experiencing violence, the intended outcomes of this action include:

  • Increased ability of all Tasmanians to access family violence services; and
  • Increased ability for women with disability to access family violence services.

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