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Violence, Abuse and Neglect Health Redesign Program

Responsible government

  • New South Wales

Fourth Action Plan actions

  • 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.
  • Respond to sexual violence and sexual harassment
    • 14 Deliver client-centred, trauma-informed, specialised and consistent support to victims and survivors of sexual violence.
  • Improve support and service system responses
    • 16 Enable workforces to provide trauma-informed support with a focus on safety and recovery to victims and survivors of domestic, family and sexual violence.

What are we doing?

The NSW Government’s Violence, Abuse and Neglect Redesign Program will enhance the capacity of the NSW public health system to provide 24-hour trauma-informed practices and trauma-specific interventions. These interventions include integrated psychosocial, medical and forensic responses to:

  • Sexual assault
  • Domestic and family violence
  • Child physical abuse and neglect
  • Children and young people with problematic or harmful sexual behaviour.

An integrated response minimises the impact of trauma and supports patient recovery from trauma, promoting long-term health and wellbeing. An integrated response also assists interagency partners to promote safety and justice outcomes for victims and the community.

What have we achieved so far?

In 2017–18, NSW Health received an additional $10 million per year to strengthen responses to people who have experienced or are experiencing violence, abuse or neglect. This funding supports the NSW Health Violence, Abuse and Neglect Redesign Program.

A key component of the Redesign Program is development of the Integrated Prevention and Response to Violence, Abuse and Neglect (IPARVAN) Framework. IPARVAN is an overarching strategic platform that outlines the guiding principles and key priorities to strengthen NSW Health services responding to violence, abuse and neglect.

Implementation of the IPARVAN Framework is being undertaken in two overlapping phases:

  • Phase one will focus on the specific efforts required to strengthen integrated responses within local districts and networks for NSW VAN Services. It will be the focus of state-wide efforts during January 2019 to June 2020;
  • Phase two will focus on broadening integrated response for violence, abuse and neglect across the whole NSW Health system and with partner agencies. Phase two is planned from July 2020 to June 2025.

Phase one is under way and near completion (January 2019 – June 2020). Activities include:

  • Local health districts and specialty health networks are integrating NSW Health’s Violence, Abuse and Neglect services. NSW Health engaged the Agency for Clinical Innovation to support the Districts, establish a Violence, Abuse and Neglect Clinical Network, and set up local redesign projects. These projects are intended to feed into the broader District implementation of the violence, abuse and neglect services.
  • NSW Health is developing an approach for the evaluation and ongoing monitoring of the IPARVAN, which will include proposed indicators, measures and potential data sources.
  • NSW Health is developing an integrated 24-hour psychosocial, medical and forensic domestic and family violence crisis response, which will be made available in every District across NSW.
  • NSW Health released The Case for Change, which gives a summary of key findings from the research and literature.
  • The Integrated Violence, Abuse and Neglect Statistics and Research Project. The Project has developed infographics and fact sheets to help workers understand and communicate relevant violence, abuse and neglect statistics and research accurately and succinctly and to dispel myths, mistakes and misinformation about them.
  • Publication of the Responding to Sexual Assault (Adult and Child) Policy and Procedures to guide sexual assault services, and the broader health system, in responding to children, young people and adults who have experienced sexual assault.

Phase two has commenced and aims to increase NSW health system’s focus on safety and improve health outcomes for people experiencing violence, particularly women and children, and those who present with complex, overlapping health and social issues by providing:

  • a client-centred, integrated and trauma-informed service response;
  • better support for the healthcare staff who provide it; and,
  • linkages with broader health and social systems.

What is next?

Work relating to the integration of Violence, Abuse and Neglect services within local health districts will continue .This will feed into phase two (June 2020 to June 2025) of the IPARVAN Framework, that will see NSW Health integrate NSW Health’s Violence, Abuse and Neglect services with the broader health system and with interagency partners, particularly priority health areas such as mental health, drug and alcohol, maternity, child and family health, youth health and paediatrics. It will also continue work with interagency partners to update or develop policies, procedures, guidelines and protocols for joint or multi-agency responses across the spectrum of violence, abuse and neglect.

NSW Health will evaluate the IPARVAN Framework over a five to six year period, in the following stages:

  • Stage one will focus on the implementation process of the framework and short-term outcomes at 18 to 24 months post implementation.
  • Stage two will focus on the medium and longer-term outcomes associated with the framework, taking into account a range of concurrent initiatives and reforms at four to five years.
  • Stage three will focus on the economic benefit of the framework at five to six years.

NSW Health will use the analysis to help decision makers determine best value for future investment.

What difference will we make?

The Violence, Abuse and Neglect Redesign Program will enhance NSW Health services’ capacity to prevent and respond to violence, abuse and neglect.

The key objectives are to:

  • strengthen leadership, governance and accountability;
  • enhance the skills, capabilities and confidence of the NSW Health workforce;
  • expand violence, abuse and neglect services to ensure they are coordinated, integrated and comprehensive; and
  • extend the foundations for integration across the whole NSW Health system.

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