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Geelong: 03 5222 4318 Wimmera: 03 5381 1211 Sexual Assault Crisis Line (24 Hours): 1800 806 292 Safe Steps (24 Hours): 1800 015 188



Our goal is to ensure our organisation has transformational capability, and is effective and viable.

Our dedicated and resilient staff

At the end of the financial year, we employed a total of 110 staff, working across our Barwon, Wimmera, The Orange Door and outpost locations. Twenty new employees joined our organisation throughout the year.

We acknowledge and share our deep appreciation to each and every staff member throughout this year. It has been a year of change and uncertainty, and their commitment to our clients and our community, each other and our organisation has been phenomenal.

Streamlined and capable processes and systems to support our people

As our organisation continued to grow in 2019-20, so too did our systems and processes, building our capability and capacity.

This year saw the introduction of a number of new employee policies and practices, as well as the design and development of a new integrated Human Resources (HR) and payroll system. Our client processes also adapted, with the introduction of the Multi Agency Risk Assessment and Management (MARAM) Framework to guide our family violence risk assessment practice with clients.

Improving capacity and capability

We have a strong commitment to supporting our workforce capability to deliver quality services to clients and the community. To enable this, we are committed to building a positive culture within The SAFV Centre to support the performance and development of our staff that is closely aligned to our values.

For the first time, this year, we developed and launched our Performance Review and Development Framework to provide a solid platform for performance and development across our organisation that will support and strengthen staff in their roles.

This framework provides clarity around individual objectives that are linked to the organisation’s refreshed strategy as well as assist with tracking and monitoring our organisation’s performance against targets set by our funding bodies and inform future decision making that can better support individual performance.

New integrated HR and payroll system

To streamline our systems and processes and create a centralised system, this year we developed and designed an integrated HR and payroll system that aligns our payroll and HR practices including electronic records, approval workflows and forms with ease of access, along with capacity for implementing additional features including recruitment, on boarding, learning management system and performance management

This new system, which will go live in 2020-21, brings our Information Technology (IT) infrastructure in line with the growth of our organisation. This important system will also play a key role in centralising our processes while we work remotely.

Embedding reforms into client processes

The introduction of the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme in 2018, has been further embedded within our practices with practitioners highlighting the value and importance of timely and accurate information shared by Victoria Police, courts, corrections, mental health and other services to support risk assessments and safety plans with women and their children.

The introduction of the MARAM Framework has provided increased opportunities for collaboration and enhanced risk assessment processes to provide timely, safe and appropriate support for women and children experiencing family violence. We have also seen increased collaboration with Men’s services and Child Protection, allowing the family violence risk to be assessed more accurately. The assessment of risk has been further supported through the availability of Central Information Point reports within the Orange Door, providing a holistic view of perpetrators and their criminal histories.

Clients have reported that the introduction of the MARAM and the sharing of these assessments (with client consent and at the client’s request) has reduced their need to retell their story, reducing the trauma.

Through the implementation of the Child Information Sharing Scheme, there has been increased collaboration with child and family services, mental health, and drug and alcohol services. This has resulted in a notable change in the understanding of family violence and the practice of the broader service system, including corrections, justice, courts, health, youth, housing, educational and community service agencies in relation to the needs of women and children impacted by family violence. Working collaboratively across the service system provides a whole of family approach, to identify risk, ensure visibility of perpetrators, improve safety planning and thus improve women and children’s safety and wellbeing.

Client case study

Following the birth of her daughter, Claire* started to see a change in her partner. In the first few weeks, there were a number of disagreements and problems which left Claire feeling like she wasn’t bonding with her baby. Her Maternal Child Health nurse referred her to the Raphael Services, a supportive program for new parents but the abuse at home escalated. It wasn’t until Claire contacted Lifeline for support and the counsellor asked her if she was ok, did Claire see the impact her partner’s actions were having on her.

Raphael Services recommended Claire reach out to The SAFV Centre, however as Claire hadn’t experienced physical violence, she didn’t think the service was for her. Following a supportive and informative intake call, Claire was surprised to hear that she was in a high risk relationship. Her case manager was appointed and together they talked through the abuse she was experiencing, highlighting the different aspects of family violence.

Claire ended her relationship, but her partner wouldn’t leave the house. To ensure her safety in the home, Claire and her case manager put in place a number of plans including a safe word with family, a safe place to go and an exit plan that included leaving her car on the street for fast exit.

Eventually, Claire’s partner did leave and Claire continued to stay connected with The SAFV Centre, who provided support and helped to build up her confidence, while also helping Claire to predict what actions her partner would take and how to overcome these. When Claire’s ex-partner now tries to control her, she is able to see it and counteract it.

The support and understanding that Claire received from The SAFV Centre allowed Claire to see that it is perfectly ok to be herself, someone that helps others, even with things that she is not responsible for, but that she needs to set boundaries, to ensure helping others doesn’t come at a cost to her or her family.

Following case management support and counselling, Claire participated in both TACT and CMiM group programs, providing her with a greater understanding of herself, self-care tools and strategies to set boundaries.

At the end of the programs, Claire was given vouchers to use on herself and her daughter. She was able to purchase items for her home, toys for her daughter and a laptop, which has enabled Claire to study and work from home, as well as represent herself in court – an important step in reclaiming her independence.

For Claire, now having an understanding of the full impact of family violence, she sees the trauma and the toll the abuse has taken and plans to teach her daughter when she is old enough the importance of self-care and independence.

The Sexual Assault & Family Violence Centre acknowledges the traditional owners and custodians of the land we stand on. We are committed to working toward creating a community where all people indigenous and non-indigenous are safe, connected and empowered to live well. The Sexual Assault & Family Violence Centre recognises the diverse needs of our community and we ensure our services are inclusive of all children, young people and their families including those who are of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, those who identify as LGBTIQ and persons living with disability. We work collaboratively with people and partner organisations who also support our diverse client group. Interpreter and translator services are available to all our clients upon request.

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