Page 2646 - Week 07 - Thursday, 2 August 2018

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The best of these solutions are being piloted and the pilots that are shown to be effective are used to drive change in the broader justice and service systems.

MR PETTERSSON: How was the first family safety hub challenge run, and what were the findings?

MS BERRY: I thank Mr Pettersson for the supplementary. As I said, the hub will run a series of innovation challenges where each challenge is focused on tackling a specific problem or topic related to domestic and family violence.

The first challenge for the hub has now commenced. The topic for this challenge is “How might we prevent and intervene early in domestic violence for pregnant women and new parents?” This topic was chosen as the first challenge because research says that women can be at greater risk of experiencing violence from their partners during pregnancy and post partum, especially when they are separated. According to ANROWS, over half of women whose former partners used violence against them experienced violence during pregnancy.

In May, the hub held a two-day workshop to generate new ideas on addressing and responding to domestic violence during pregnancy. Experts from across the service spectrum participated in the workshop and nearly 60 ideas were developed. Specific criteria were used to narrow down the ideas to four potential opportunities.

The first of these opportunities focused on providing free access to legal information for pregnant mums and new parents in locations that they will connect with during their pregnancy or in the earlier period of parenting, such as health or community settings. The idea stems from our insights that people are seeking ways for safe and confidential conversations about their options. We need to provide opportunities for those safe conversations in locations where people are likely to be.

In July, testing of the idea commenced. Testing included working closely with the front-line service providers to identify whether workers think it is a good idea. Participants included antenatal and postnatal midwives, social workers, counsellors, maternity staff from the Centenary hospital, child and family centres in Tuggeranong and Gungahlin, Legal Aid and the Women’s Legal Centre. Feedback from the sector has been invaluable, positive and very supportive of the idea.

MS CODY: Minister, what are the next steps for this work and what broader outcomes are you working towards?

MS BERRY: In early August, challenge participants will consider the results of the testing period and, based on the findings, a decision will be made as to whether the idea should progress to a short pilot phased in during the remainder of 2018. The government will then evaluate the results of the pilot to determine whether the idea should be scaled across the system.

Evaluation may consider whether the idea: fosters a shared understanding of domestic and family violence; builds capability across the system for evidence-based responses that are culturally appropriate and family-centred; creates new or improved pathways

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