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Safety and support

From better identifying and effectively responding to early warning signs, to providing safety in times of crisis and supporting long-term stability and recovery, we are investing in and enhancing the ways we help those who are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, family violence.

Significant reform to the Child and Family Services sector will focus on identifying and addressing issues earlier and improving the way services work together. This work will be complemented by:

  • more diverse and accessible crisis and longer-term accommodation options
  • flexible support packages
  • greater access to therapeutic support

To ensure the response of our justice system is focused on the safety of victims and keeping perpetrators in view, we are embedding a specialist, trauma-informed response through:

  • the expansion of specialist family violence courts
  • increasing access to legal assistance

This will combine with changes to Victoria Police’s front line response through dedicated family violence investigators who are supported by targeted training.

Support and Safety Hubs

Investment: $448.1 million over 4 years

Supports Royal Commission recommendations: 10,  3738, 40, 211

Support and Safety Hubs will provide a new way for women, children and young people experiencing family violence to access coordinated support from justice, health and social services.

The Hubs will replace existing referral points for victims and perpetrators of family violence (including police L17 referral points) and children and families in need of support (ChildFIRST).

The Hubs will work in partnership with Aboriginal communities and services to support Aboriginal self-determination and ensure that culturally safe responses are available for Aboriginal people across the state.

Designing, establishing and implementing the Hubs across Victoria is large scale, transformational reform that will require sustained effort and a significant investment. Building over time, this investment will deliver:

  • statewide establishment and operation of the Hubs across all 17 Department of Health and Human Services Local Areas by 2021
  • area-based entry points to specialist family violence, family services and perpetrator responses, with the capacity to connect people to the broader service system
  • highly skilled, multi-disciplinary Hub intake teams, with expertise in working with women and children experiencing family violence, families in need of support with the care, wellbeing and development of children, and perpetrators of family violence
  • additional specialist workers including Advanced Family Violence Practitioners, Community Based Child Protection Practitioners and funding for Aboriginal organisations to provide expert input
  • multiple ways to access Hub services, including safe and accessible physical locations, outposted and outreach workers, and online and telephone platforms
  • a sophisticated client record system
  • flexible support packages for direct allocation by the Hubs
  • resources for education and awareness raising, and to support project delivery and sector to transition to the Hubs approach

In late 2016, 5 launch areas for the Hubs were announced at Barwon, Mallee, Inner Gippsland, Bayside Peninsula and North-East Melbourne.

Family Safety Victoria

Investment: $60 million over 4 years

Supports Royal Commission recommendations: 37, 193, 199

We are establishing a new family violence coordination agency called Family Safety Victoria from 1 July 2017 that will establish and oversee the Support and Safety Hubs, and services accessed through them.

The agency will also be responsible for the delivery of other key family violence service delivery reforms.