Supporting the specialist family violence service system
Fourth Action Plan actions
- Improve support and service system responses
- 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?
The Victorian government continues to support the specialist family violence service system to provide coordinated, best practice service responses for victim survivors experiencing family violence. This involves a range of initiatives aimed at strengthening service system capacity, improving coordination between services and strengthening service expectations to ensure victim survivors receive consistent and best practice support. These include:
- Strengthening case management and crisis responses for victim survivors of family violence through the development of case management program requirements and a new crisis responses model.
- Boosting system capacity to respond to increasing service demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, including for victim survivors who face additional discrimination or disadvantage. Expanding the provision of Family Violence Flexible Support Packages (FSPs) to support victim survivors access supports beyond the crisis period, including longer term rental and mortgage subsidies where required, along with assistance for costs associated counselling, wellbeing, education, employment, financial counselling and other services designed to assist housing stability and financial security.
- Expansion of the Personal Safety Initiative to provide access to safety and security responses so that victim survivors can remain safe in their own homes and communities.
What have we achieved so far?
The Victorian government has invested $40.2 million over two years for crisis accommodation and support for people experiencing family violence and sexual assault, including:
- $20.2 million* to help Victorian family violence and sexual assault services adapt service delivery and meet increased demand during the COVID-19 pandemic and provide help for victim survivors.
- $20 million for short-term accommodation for victim survivors who do not feel safe isolating or recovering from COVID-19 at home.
*This included flexible funding options to support victim survivors in crisis and beyond, by enabling them to access flexible, individualised support to meet their safety, accommodation, wellbeing and recovery needs.
The Victorian government is working to strengthen case management and crisis responses for victim survivors of family violence through the development of case management program requirements and a new crisis responses model.
The case management program requirements will establish service expectations for agencies funded to deliver specialist family violence services across the spectrum from crisis response and refuge to longer-term case management. The program requirements will provide a common platform for agencies delivering family violence case management, thereby strengthening responses for victim survivors.
As part of this work, the new crisis responses model aims to provide a more streamlined, timely and, where appropriate, local response for victim survivors experiencing a family violence crisis.
The 2020-21 State Budget provided a total of $100.65 million over four years to continue the delivery of family violence flexible support packages for victim survivors of family violence in 2021-21, and over 6,200 each year from 2021-22. This flexible funding can also be used by victim survivors to purchase a range of technology and security responses to improve personal safety as part of the Personal Safety Initiative (PSI) which has been rolled out statewide. PSI supports victim survivors to access appropriate and effective technology and security responses that allow them to remain safely in their own homes and communities, as part of a case management response that addresses safety and security goals and sustainably assists in managing family violence related risk.
What is next?
The case management program requirements and crisis responses model will be progressed and implemented throughout 2021.
Family Safety Victoria is developing an online portal to streamline the application, assessment, approval, and acquittal of FSPs, which will support agencies to more effectively and efficiently administer the FSP program.
Family Safety Victoria is also updating the program requirements for FSPs to ensure equitable and consistent access to flexible funding across the State.
What difference will we make?
The case management program requirements and crisis responses model will strengthen and improve responses for victim survivors experiencing family violence, by ensuring more consistent, equitable and accessible quality services across the state.
It will also provide the service sector with a set of comprehensive, universal quality criteria, and clear roles and responsibilities for crisis and case management service delivery to victim survivors. This will enhance service collaboration and coordination to ensure victim survivors are well supported.
The new crisis response model will improve the consistency, quality and continuity of support victim survivors receive during a crisis, especially where emergency accommodation is required.
Improving access to flexible funding and personal safety and security responses will contribute to National Outcome 4- ensuring 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.