Victoria launches family violence Industry Plan and workforce capability frameworks

Tue 13 Mar 2018

The Government in Victoria, Australia has launched a 10-year industry plan and two workforce capability frameworks on family violence and violence ...

The Government in Victoria, Australia has launched a 10-year industry plan and two workforce capability frameworks on family violence and violence against women.

The industry plan outlines the long-term vision and plan for the workforce. The capability frameworks set out the foundation knowledge and skills required. They cover prevention and response (including responses to adult and child victim/survivors, and perpetrators). The Industry Plan was a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

Building from Strength: 10-Year Industry Plan for Family Violence Prevention and Response (2017) has four focus areas:

  • "a system that works together
  • building prevention and response capability across the system
  • strengthening the specialist workforces
  • workforce health and wellbeing."

For each of these areas, the plan sets out the initiatives and actions towards achieving these goals.

For a system that works together, initiatives include establishing Support and Safety Hubs, information sharing legislation, re-development of Family Violence Risk Assessment and Management Framework, increased specialist family violence service response capacity, enhancing perpetrator accountability and establishing a Centre for Workforce Excellence and a dedicated Prevention Agency.

For building prevention and response capability across the system, two capability frameworks have been developed. These are Preventing Family Violence & Violence Against Women Capability Framework (2017) and Responding to Family Violence Capability Framework (2017). Specific efforts to build capability are focused on a number of areas including case management review, minimum standards for men’s behaviour change programs, training for child protection practitioners, education for Police, Family Violence Principal Practitioners in government agencies, Family Violence Advisor positions in alcohol and other drug and mental health services, a learning agenda for medical practitioners, hospital responses to family violence and respectful relationships in schools.

The Victorian Royal Commission recommended the Industry Plan introduce mandatory qualifications for specialist family violence providers by 31 December 2020. However, the Industry Plan notes that this timeframe does not allow enough time to address the complex issues of mandatory qualifications. Work will continue to explore this area drawing on the Qualifications sub-group of the Industry Taskforce.

For strengthening the specialist workforces the work will focus on "... building a pipeline of specialist family violence and primary prevention practitioners." Work in this area will include attraction and retention strategies, supporting enhanced pathways into the family violence roles, a focus on the Aboriginal workforce and remuneration, conditions and pathways.

For workforce health and wellbeing a number of issues were identified including vicarious trauma, fatigue, isolation, burnout, lack of access to clinical supervision and peer support, and increased risk of abuse and aggression due to the nature of the work. Work is underway to develop a Health and Wellbeing Framework for specialist family violence and primary prevention workers and research to better understand this area. Additional work will research and look to develop strategies to support workers in related sectors, including access to peer support and clinical supervision.

The plan was informed by stakeholder feedback, including a census of workforces that intersect with family violence.

Aotearoa New Zealand

In 2017, the Family Violence, Sexual Violence and Violence within Whānau: Workforce Capability Framework was launched.

Other reports on workforce development are available in the NZFVC library.

Related news

The Victorian Government has also released the First Action Plan 2018-2021 to implement the state's strategy on preventing family violence and all forms of violence against women. The plan outlines actions on prevention as well as monitoring, reporting and an outcomes framework.

Victoria Police has launched a five year vision and strategic plan to address family violence, sexual offences and child abuse. Policing Harm, Upholding the Right: Victoria Police Strategy for Family Violence, Sexual Offences and Child Abuse 2018-2023 has been designed with a recognition of the links between these crimes. The plan sets out four priorities for reform:

  • Victim Safety - Service delivery improves the safety and wellbeing of victims
  • Offence and Offender Management - Perpetrators are actively managed and held accountable
  • Child Safety is front of mind
  • Our People - A capable and safe workforce.

The Victorian National Ageing Research Institute has published the first Elder Abuse Community Action Plan for Victoria (2018). The plan outlines 10 recommendations including "Development of a conceptual framework that guides understanding of where elder abuse and family violence intersect (requiring common policy and service responses) and where they differ."

Image: Pixabay

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