Historically women’s family violence outreach services have been funded to provide case management support to women and child protection services have focused on protecting children. This model tended to ignore the reality that assaults against children largely occur in the context of family violence, where women have limited ability to protect their children. Increasingly, children’s rights advocates stress the need for children to have individualised case management services complemented by services that strengthen women’s ability to protect their children.
While WHW are not funded to provide case management support to children, we do include children within a family case plan, including work with schools, supporting children to access counselling services and liaising with child protection. However, we were keen to explore how we could enhance our focus on children.
In a 6 month pilot program WHW employed a children’s case worker for 3 days a week to tackle areas of concern specific to children, including the negative consequences of family violence on the mother-child bond. While other case workers benefited from this pilot it is clear that an ongoing specialist children’s worker would be invaluable.
Article printed on 23 October 2012 in Maribyrnong Weekly
THE task of reducing family violence in Melbourne’s west has received the welcome boost of a $600,000 state government grant.
Women’s Health West (WHW) will use the funding to roll out a United: Working Together to Prevent Violence Against Women in the West program to tackle factors causing men to commit violence against women.
The program will build on partnerships with local government, ISIS Primary Care, Djerriwarrh Community Health Service, Western Region Health Centre, and Doutta Galla Community Health Service.
16 October 2012 | Star Williamstown, Altona, Laverton
Women’s Health West CEO welcomed a new State Government plan to tackle family violence. Last week Premier Ted Baillieu launched the $7.9 million plan to address domestic violence against women and children. Mr Baillieu said the proposal would raise community awareness to change attitudes and behaviours which have allowed such violence to occur.
Women’s Health West welcomes the release of Victoria’s Action Plan to Address Violence Against Women and Children
This plan correctly places equal weight on preventing violence from happening, holding perpetrators to account, and supporting women and children who experience violence.
The whole-of-government commitment outlined in the plan, coupled with shared community responsibility, is essential for achieving the vision for women and children to live free from violence in Victoria.
Key aspects include getting tougher on perpetrators and preventing re-offending, along with engaging organisations and communities to promote gender equity and stop violence. It is the mutually reinforcing nature of the actions outlined that will have the greatest impact.
5 October 2012: ‘This plan correctly places equal weight on preventing violence from happening, holding perpetrators to account, and supporting women and children who experience violence’, WHAV Convenor Dr Robyn Gregory said.
‘The whole-of-government commitment outlined in the plan, coupled with shared community responsibility, is essential for achieving the vision for women and children to live free from violence in Victoria.’