Central Highlands Integrated Family Violence Committee

The Central Highlands Integrated Family Violence Committee (CHIFVC) provides leadership, advocacy and specialist expertise to strengthen, integrate and improve the family violence system. CHIFVC aims to end family violence across Victoria’s Central Highlands.

2022-2023 was another big year for CHIFVC, with some significant achievements and exciting events! We extend our thanks to our wonderful members, who go above and beyond in supporting and enabling our work.

MARAM Alignment Support
With organisations tasked with aligning to the Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management (MARAM) Framework, CHIFVC has continued to provide a range of supports, including MARAM Collaborative Practice Training, a MARAM Alignment Community of Practice (CoP) and briefings for senior leadership. We’ve also delivered Introduction to Family Violence training to key education providers in the region.

Safer Pathways Mutual Mentoring Group
The Mutual Mentoring Group, facilitated by our Workforce Development Officer, facilitates a safer pathway to services for people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds who have experienced family violence.

It strengthens communication, enabling the sharing of information and expertise, and enhances collaboration between multicultural services and family violence services. Eight sessions were run this year, with an average of nine representatives attending each session.

Learning Management System (LMS)
The CHIFVC LMS hosts nine modules, focused on providing information on how family violence affects specific, often marginalised communities. The topics covered include:

  • elder abuse prevention and awareness
  • safer pathways for migrant and refugee women
  • understanding and responding to intimate partner sexual violence
  • a host of relevant legal matters for family violence practitioners and their clients.

CHIFVC thanks the following organisations for their work on the modules:

  • Ballarat Community Health
  • Women’s Health Grampians
  • Ballarat Centre Against Sexual Assault
  • Peninsula Community Legal Centre

The Workforces Working Group continues to brainstorm modules for the platform.

Family violence and disability
As part of the Designing Disability-Responsive Intake Processes Project, CHIFVC met with Service User Input Groups, made up of victim-survivors with disability. These groups assisted with drafting an intake process that aims to address the barriers for people with a disability in accessing family violence services.

CHIFVC has in-principle support to trial the intake process in the Central Highlands, and will finalise the project in late 2023. CHIFVC extends a huge thank you to the members of our Service User Input Groups for their work.

CHIFVC was successful in tendering for the Family Violence and Disability Practice Lead for Central Highlands. We look forward to continuing to increase the accessibility of the family violence system, and support practitioners in identifying and responding to family violence that involves people with disability.

Central Highlands Motel Coordination Project The use of hotels and motels is a core element of the delivery of family violence services.

The Motel Coordination Project for the Central Highlands worked to:

  • support a more co-ordinated approach to the use of motels for family violence emergency accommodation
  • develop strategies to manage key risks and challenges related to identifying appropriate motel options
  • develop systems, information and resources to support safe and appropriate motel placements

The project began by mapping the use of motel/hotels in the region, facilitating workshops with local organisations to collect data, and creating an action plan that supported the project aims.

As the project unfolded, a range of resources were developed:

  1. a range of tools to support greater alignment to safe-at-home policy priorities, intended to reduce homelessness amongst victim-survivors of family violence
  2. area-based arrangements designed to reduce the likelihood of perpetrators and victim-survivors being unintentionally housed in the same hotels or motels
  3. guidance to improve risk mitigation when sourcing emergency accommodation for clients.

CHIFVC Compass
CHIFVC delivered the inaugural family violence service system induction and orientation event called CHIFVC Compass. Designed to support new recruits to the Specialist Family Violence Services in Central Highlands, it offers attendees an improved understanding of the local service system, and of the difference that MARAM makes to their service delivery. The ‘Who’s Who in the Zoo’ session, run in an ‘agency speed-dating’ format, gives new workers a rapid-fire briefing on Central Highlands programs, as well as networking opportunities with their representatives.

It is intended that this event will be run every six months to support those entering the services system. We thank all of those involved for sharing their expertise and experience we couldn’t have done it without the support of CHIFVC members.

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