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Supporting Children and Young People Affected by Domestic and Family Violence

Responsible government

  • Australian Capital Territory

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.
    • 11 Deliver policies and services to address the disproportionate impact of violence on particular groups.

What are we doing?

The Family Safety Hub and the ACT Children and Young People Commissioner partnered to listen to young people’s experience of domestic and family violence. Young people set the project priorities and advised on engagement methods.

70 young people aged 13 to 24 shared their views or personal stories of living with family violence during in-depth interviews and small group discussions. We found young people wanted to talk about domestic and family violence and the supports and services they need.

We heard that children and young people’s experiences of family violence are different to those of adults. They need different supports and services but their experience is of a system response designed by, and for, adults. The findings provide key messages for policy, system and service reform. By consulting with young people we have generated insights that will enable the ACT Government, the service sector and the community to improve support and services for children and young people affected by domestic and family violence. Key insights gained from the young people will support the ACT Government to improve services and supports to better meet their needs.

The ACT Government has provided $100,000 between 2019 and 2020 to fund the project.

What is next?

We listened to young people because we want things to change. We want the ACT to be safer for children and young people, and we want it to be easier for children and young people to get the support they need.

The Family Safety Hub has begun sharing the young people insights across government and the service sector, with the aim to encourage those who listen to make changes to their policies, services and practices.

Over 2020-21, the Family Safety Hub will lead a co-design process to find ways to provide the supports and services that young people need. The result of co-design could be a new service, a change to an existing system, updated legislation or a completely new idea. Young people shared with us their own ideas for what would make things better, and those ideas will be where we start.

The Public Advocate and Children and Young People Commissioner will monitor whether changes are being made and if organisations are being made safer for children and young people.

What difference will we make?

Children and young people who witness and experience domestic and family violence have specific needs and we know there is not enough focus on the significant impact of the trauma they experience.

The intended outcome is to co-design support and service with young people for young people. How we do this will depend on the involvement of young people. This work will develop missing supports for young people, and to include young people’s voices in policy design. All of this aims to provide a safer pathway for young people.

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