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Referring clients to specialist support

Referring clients to specialist support

Referring clients to specialist support

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 that can provide specialist family violence support. Professionals in these services are skilled at undertaking comprehensive risk assessments, working with complex needs and using risk management strategies to reduce the level of risk for the victim/survivor and support them to manage their safety. 

You should always consult the person being referred before making a referral.

How to offer support

When discussing different services and family violence support with a client, approach the conversation in a way that:

  • Respects their identity and unique situation (including their culture, family structure, and level of risk)
  • Meets their specific needs
  • Acknowledges the efforts they have made to prevent or minimise harm that they or their child have experienced.
  • Is non-judgemental and leaves the door open to access services in the future

If you are working with a perpetrator of violence, see our dedicated page for advice and referral options.

For contact details and further information on services in the family violence and related sectors in Victoria download the DVRCV Referral Options Booklet or go to The Lookout service directory to filter services by region. You can find additional information about discussing family violence with clients and making referrals in our FAQs for workers.

When should I offer referral to a specialist service?

The flowchart below provides general guidance on when different referral options are appropriate.

However, it is recommended that you undertake specific training on assessing risk and appropriate referral pathways through face-to-face training or through the CRAF e-learning module

A simple guide to referring clients experiencing family violence:


(Source: CRAF manual)