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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 21 August 2018) . . Page.. 3343 ..

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Women and Minister for Sport and Recreation) (5.14): The ACT government is ensuring we make families feel safe. The government’s $24.1 million safer families package is now in its third year. This package supports the implementation of commitments made in 2016 in the ACT government’s response to family violence. In 2018-19 we continued funding to those services responding to the increase in reporting of domestic and family violence, and we built on the gains made in the first two years of reform.

The 2018-19 budget includes a further $9.3 million over four years for initiatives that complement the safer families package. Budgets and responsibility for implementation of the safer families initiative lie across multiple directorates of the government. Much of this funding is then allocated to the community. This spread of responsibility highlights that domestic and family violence is an issue for the whole community. The development of this important work with experts within the sector has been front and centre of the conversation.

People who have lived experienced were asked for their input, which was important to ensuring that their voices and stories led to the development of the family safety hub and the work that will flow from there. The government has learned of the importance of having staff in front-line services skilled up to recognise and respond to people experiencing domestic and family violence.

The budget allocates $1.27 million to two initiatives for 2018-19 to build workforce capability. A front-line worker training strategy will be implemented to build enduring core capability for front-line workers across the health, education, community services and justice sectors.

In recognition of the complex relationships between domestic and family violence and alcohol and drug use, work is underway to build workforce capability in the alcohol and drug sector. This will build upon the work of ATODA—the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Association—utilising a whole-of-organisation approach. We want to ensure staff have access to training about domestic and family violence and are supported by leadership, policy, referral options, data collection and information sharing.

Funding of $5.96 million over four years was allocated to the delivery of the family safety hub. Testing will commence on the family safety hub approach, with the focus for the first phase of work on women and families during pregnancy and early parenting. Research tells us that women are at greater risk of experiencing violence from their partner during pregnancy and postpartum. The family safety hub will increase opportunities for prevention and early intervention and facilitate improved responses, including expansion of the pathways to safety for families experiencing domestic and family violence. Implementation of the family safety hub will include a robust evaluation of both the process and outcomes. It is anticipated that the first phase will provide valuable learnings for the next phase of the family safety hub.

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