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Amend the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)

Recommendation 002 - Implemented

The Victorian Government amend the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic) so that it:

  • empowers the relevant Minister or Secretary to approve a Family Violence Risk Assessment and Risk Management Framework (and roles and responsibilities, standards and practices under it) for family violence risk assessment in Victoria
  • sets out the principle that ‘prescribed organisations’ and agencies contracted by the Victorian Government to provide family violence services (if not otherwise prescribed organisations) are required to align their risk assessment policies, procedures, practices and tools with the Family Violence Risk Assessment and Risk Management Framework as approved by the relevant minister or secretary.

What we are doing

The Family Violence Risk Assessment and Risk Management Framework (the Framework) is an important mechanism for facilitating shared understanding and building consistent and high quality practice throughout the family violence system.

Consistent with Recommendation 1, work was progressed in 2017 to redevelop the Framework. Additionally, amendments to the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 have been developed, to embed the Framework in legislation. This will provide a clear authorising environment, requiring relevant organisations to align their policies and practices with the Framework, ensuring a consistent, system-wide approach to risk assessment and management.

Where we are up to

Given the importance of establishing a consistent, system-wide approach to risk assessment and management, the Royal Commission into Family Violence recommended that the Framework be embedded in legislation. A key mechanism for implementation is requiring funded organisations to align their practice to the Framework as a condition of their service agreements with the Victorian Government.
Giving effect to this recommendation, the Family Violence Protection Amendment (Information Sharing) Act 2017 received Royal Assent on 14 June 2017, establishing the Framework’s legislative scheme.

The amendments:

  • empower the responsible Minister to approve a Framework
  • require prescribed organisations and funded agencies to align with the Framework
  • require annual reporting by the relevant Minister on implementation of the Framework, and periodic review of the Framework to ensure it continues to represent evidence-based best practice.

The redeveloped Framework will define the nature of the obligation to align, and this obligation will not take effect until organisations have been  prescribed or new contract arrangements have been entered into.
Through the Framework redevelopment process, the government will work with all affected sectors to plan implementation and ensure sufficient lead times and support.

Following completion of the redevelopment, regulations and a Regulatory Impact Statement will be prepared to give effect to the legislation. The Framework’s legislative scheme is anticipated to commence on 1 July 2018.

Timeframe

Implemented.

Who is leading the change

Family Safety Victoria