- In progress
Who is leading the change
- Family Safety Victoria
Slot gameThe Victorian Government include in the 10-year industry plan for family violence prevention and response a staged process for the introduction of mandatory qualifications for specialist family violence practitioners, so that no later than 31 December 2020 all funded services must require family violence practitioners to hold a social work or equivalent degree.
Family Safety Victoria is working closely with the Industry Taskforce (the Taskforce) and other governance bodies, including the Dhelk Dja Partnership Forum and the Diverse Communities and Intersectionality Working Group, to develop a thoughtful and culturally appropriate staged process for the introduction of mandatory qualifications for specialist family violence practitioners.
This has involved gathering evidence of the existing qualifications held across the specialist family violence workforce, including the data collected through the 2017 Census of Workforces that Intersect with Family Violence (the Census). The 2019 Census will provide updated data on the existing qualifications of the workforce to further inform implementation of Recommendation 209.
Slot gameWork is also underway to determine the capability, experience and training requirements for specialist family violence practice in close consultation with workers, clients, and training providers and those represented on the Taskforce.
Slot gameThe Taskforce is considering in detail how a staged process for the introduction of mandatory qualifications would best operate. This would include considering transition strategies for experienced workers without formal qualifications, as well as mitigating any unintended or inequitable consequences for particular workforces and workers.
Building from Strength: 10–Year Industry Plan for Family Violence Prevention and Response (Building from Strength), released in December 2017, announced a number of building blocks which lay the foundation for implementing Recommendation 209 while also recognising the significant value of professional experience, cultural knowledge and lived experience in the specialist sector.
Slot gameBuilding from Strength announced that the existing specialist family violence workforce will be exempt from mandatory qualification requirements and outlined a number of immediate actions to lay the groundwork for successful implementation of Recommendation 209. The exemption recognises the skills and knowledge of existing workers, particularly those with extensive practice and cultural experience. More than 70% of respondents to the Census who are employed in family violence services and men’s behaviour change programs hold a bachelors degree or higher, with the most common fields of study being social work, psychology and counselling.
The exemption also accounts for the fact that there are particular family violence positions in the system where cultural knowledge, language skills or lived experience (for example, of disability, refugee or migrant experience) are the most important attributes. It is intended that existing workers who do not hold formal qualifications will be supported to undertake voluntary upskilling.
An expert qualifications sub-group of the Taskforce has been formed to focus on qualifications for specialist family violence workers. Family Safety Victoria will continue to work with the qualifications sub-group of the Taskforce to determine an appropriate timeframe for transition and guidelines on equivalency, guided by the Responding to Family Violence Capability Framework that was released with Building from Strength.
- Forecast implementation date: 31 March 2021.
Reviewed 17 May 2020