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How do I refer a client to a specialist family violence service?

If you are providing a service to a client who is experiencing family violence (or who you believe to be at risk of family violence), you may need to refer them to another service who can provide specialist assistance. Before making a referral, or providing any information to another individual or agency, it’s important to get the client’s consent to share the information and explain why the information is required.

It is generally more effective, and useful to the client, to provide an assisted referral (sometimes called a ‘warm’ referral) rather than simply give them a contact number. This involves you phoning the service on the client’s behalf to establish if the referral is appropriate and to provide the client’s information so that she is spared re-telling her story. Most services have a policy of speaking to the client directly after receiving the referral to undertake their own assessment; however this should not require her to provide the same information over again. Go to our page on referring clients to specialist support for further guidance.

You can find contact details for family violence services by visiting The Lookout service directory to filter by region or service type or by downloading the DVRCV Referral Options Booklet