Page 3352 - Week 09 - Thursday, 24 August 2017

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I can confirm that the service delivery for this innovative program commenced in April this year, with case management group work and support programs for male participants and their families. A residential component commenced in early May. Early feedback has been very positive.

These are early days for the program, and it stands alongside only a couple of programs like it. We are looking closely at it to monitor its future success.

MS CHEYNE: Minister, what are the difficulties and challenges for new models such as this one?

MS BERRY: Room4change is a unique program that builds on a similar project in Western Australia. Challenges are always present for new and innovative programs like this one but as much as there is caution, there is a strong desire to create real change in our community to make our community even safer. It is a first in the ACT because the pilot works not only with perpetrators but also with their families to provide holistic tailored support.

I should also say that in the first three months of the program it has already supported 21 men. Five of these men are being accommodated in the residential component and are participating in the 20-week behaviour program and six men who are not residing in house are participating in the 20-week program. Twelve families are receiving case management support.

Given that the nature of the program means that we are working closely with perpetrators, it can present difficulties and challenges. The DVCS reports that the approach has been positively received and is providing a great opportunity to understand the complexities of domestic violence in our community.

Although there have been some early difficulties with referrals, the DVCS has used this as an opportunity to refer men to more appropriate support services. Housing ACT is working in close partnership with DVCS to deliver the programs through a phased implementation approach. Room4change will continue to be phased in over the next year, before reaching full service capacity from 1 July 2018.

MR PETTERSSON: How will the model be evaluated and when will this occur?

MS BERRY: Reportable outcomes for room4change will be available once the first tranche of participants graduates from the program in September-October this year. The DVCS is also conducting an expression of interest process with subject matter experts to develop an evaluation framework for room4change.

The evaluation will focus on the effectiveness of room4change and therapeutic interventions in achieving behavioural change for perpetrators of domestic violence, and assisting women and children to stay at home. The evaluation will be an iterative process throughout the life of room4change and will be completed by June 2019.

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