Even if the core work of your organisation is not in responding to family violence, many users of your service may have this as an underlying issue. For example, there are high rates of victim/survivors accessing housing and homelessness support.
This is not to say that you need to become an expert in family violence, but you do need to understand the signs of family violence and how to respond within the scope of your role. This may involve identifying indicators of family violence, undertaking a risk assessment and, if appropriate, referring your client to specialist family violence services.
Meeting your organisation’s expectations
It is important to know what is expected from you in the organisation you work for and then make sure you have the training and support to carry that out. Knowing your policies and procedures and having a conversation with your supervisors will help you to know what your role is if/when you identify family violence.
For example, some services will have a policy that high-risk victim/survivors will be referred to an internal specialist or the supervisor of that service. It’s important for you to know ahead of time how to follow that process so you feel confident and can keep your client and yourself feeling safe.
Training and support
To build your foundational knowledge of responding to family violence, the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria has developed a free online learning package due to be launched in these coming weeks. To stay updated and be the first to know when the package launches, you can register your interest here.
Other useful resources: