As the coronavirus pandemic impacts all areas of our lives, and government responds to the weight of this challenge, the way that we all work and our priorities must adjust. Still, it is as important as ever that this office sustains our focus on monitoring the implementation of the family violence reform program.
The purpose of this communique is to update you on the ongoing monitoring activities of the Office of the Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor. As is the case for everyone, we have had to adjust our plans and the way in which we are going about our daily work. This has meant ceasing our site visits to see the new service delivery models in action and forgoing the opportunity to engage in person with those champions delivering the services, for the time being. We are very conscious that the service sector have had to reconfigure delivery of services while also responding to the increased pressures on many families. We also understand that those responsible for the planning and design of the new service system are under enormous pressure supporting the government and the community at the current time. As a result, we have limited some of our recent planned monitoring activities to not add undue burden.
Attending last week’s Family Violence Steering Committee meeting provided me with some insight into the rapid and flexible responses from the family violence sector and the government; and some of the challenges being tackled. The dedication and drive to continue to meet the needs of victim survivors of family violence, and to keep perpetrators in view, in this time of such disruption and uncertainty, is yet another demonstration of the commitment to delivering on these reforms.
While the restrictions remain in place during this crisis, our priority is to continue to monitor the reforms. We are participating in online governance meetings and connecting online with the many reform stakeholders, as your availability allows, continuing to build our body of knowledge on what has changed and what still needs to be done in implementing the family violence reforms. We are also monitoring the changes taking place during this unique time, capturing the many impacts and responses to the pandemic.
You will be aware that in this final monitoring period to 1 November 2020, our intention is that our report on the reforms will explore:
- the major achievements over the last five years, the most significant outstanding priority areas and the implementation approaches for key reform areas
- how the family violence service system has changed, focussing on victim survivors’ experiences, and whether there has been adequate consideration of the needs of diverse communities
- explore any systemic issues that may impact on progress with these reforms, through thematic deep dives into children and young people as primary victims, financial sustainability, housing, service integration, workforce - and we have added now a deep dive into the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic
To assist us in our work and inform our 2020 report, we will be calling for submissions from across the community, the sector and the government, opening on 1 June with a deadline of 20 July 2020. As we are very cognisant that life may not be back to normal by this time, we will endeavour to make this process flexible and the least burdensome that they can be for those interested in contributing. In these submissions we will be asking you to especially consider the changes that have been realised in the service system since the Royal Commission, and also the changes that are still critically needed going forward.
Over the coming weeks, we will resume seeking from you the information and advice necessary to support our monitoring work and I look forward to working collaboratively with you during this difficult time.
Please look after yourselves and your dedicated people, and don’t hesitate to contact me or my office if we can be of any assistance with your important work at this time.
Alternatively please call Shasta Holland, Director, Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor on 0400 425 274 or Kate Gilbert, Manager Monitoring on 0408 021 293.
Jan Shuard PSM
Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor
28 April 2020
Reviewed 31 May 2020