Workforce Development

Slot game Strengthening the specialist family violence workforce

Building momentum

This work has come at a time of huge social change. People are looking for work that is purposeful and meaningful. They want to give back to their communities and we need to capitalise on this appetite for values-driven work.

Gabrielle Williams
Minister for Prevention of Family Violence
November 2019

Strengthening the capacity and capability of the people who work to prevent and respond to family violence is critical to the reform’s success.  We recognise that the specialist family violence and primary prevention workforces are distinct, each with a specific focus and expertise. Both are part of the broader family violence system we are building with the same shared goals.

We know that to deliver sustainable long-term reform we must develop the specialist family violence and prevention workforces and grow the family violence capabilities of the broader workforces that intersect with family violence, including:

  • community services
  • health
  • police
  • courts
  • education

Slot gameBuilding strength into our specialist prevention and response workforces means recruiting people with skills from a diversity of backgrounds to give us a pipeline of dedicated and skilled professionals.

Slot gameWe have to provide clear career pathways that develop expertise and knowledge and where people feel valued and supported, so that they stay.

It also relies on creating a system where specialist family violence and primary prevention sectors can work effectively together with the broader social services workforces.

Building from Strength: 10-year Industry Plan for Family Violence Prevention and Response (Industry Plan) is the strategy that will deliver this vision: a family violence and primary prevention workforce that is valued, skilled, empowered and supported to prevent and respond to all forms of family violence.

Slot gameThe Industry Plan is organised around four priorities:

  • building prevention and response capability system wide
  • strengthening the specialist workforce
  • workforce health and wellbeing
  • building a system that works together

The Industry Plan is sequenced into a series of three rolling action plans.

The first rolling action plan, Strengthening the Foundations, was launched in November 2019.

Progress has been made in delivering the plan’s 61 actions. These achievements are reflected on this page alongside the key activities that will set the course of workforce development over the next three years.

Slot gameDownload the detailed plans:

Acknowledging the foundations

Slot gameThe strength of the family violence sector is undeniably its people.

Slot gameWe are fortunate in Victoria to have a strong base of highly skilled, dedicated and resilient family violence and primary prevention workforces who have worked tirelessly for decades helping to keep women and children in our communities safe.

The family violence sector and social workers with family violence expertise will continue to be in high demand: Victoria’s social economy is anticipated to create 60,000 new health and community services jobs in the next five years.1


Slot gameAs we continue to build capacity in the family violence system and develop training and career pathways, strong connections and partnerships between government and family violence prevention and response providers will be critical.

Slot gameTheir experience and expertise informed the long-term vision in the Industry Plan for the workforces that intersect with family violence.

Slot gameIn this whole-of-reform second rolling action plan we set out where government is leading workforce development initiatives and broader industry planning over the next three years and the key collaborations with the non-government sector. It is not a comprehensive summary of all workforce development activity that is happening in governments and agencies and across the sector more widely.

Progress since 2016

Slot gameWe are making significant progress towards creating the family violence specialist workforce and building the capability of the wider workforces that intersect with family violence.

It's like a new beginning really... for so long we were off to one side and not thought of as a legitimate part of family violence response. But it's exciting now that we're part of that multi-disciplinary team.

I actually enjoy taking a moment of time just to reflect on where we've come from. And that to me, as someone who's been in this sector for a long time, it's good for me to do that and go, 'hey, we have actually changed quite a bit already'.

No to Violence, Practice Development Manager
March 2016

Positioning family violence prevention, early intervention and response as a highly specialised employment sector with clear career pathways and professional development opportunities is critical to delivering the specialist workforce needed by the reform.

The key workforce development activities which have been delivered since the Royal Commission are grouped here into four areas.

Delivery to 2023

    This high-level overview of the main workforce development activities for the next three years focuses on highlighting key actions from the first rolling action plan, Strengthening the Foundations.

    Slot gameAdditional workforce development activity supporting the reform is reflected in the web pages for each priority and in the page showcasing Victoria Police reform delivery.

    Slot gameThis overview of our planned workforce development activities to 2023 is grouped into three areas.

      Connecting workforce development across the reform

      The ongoing delivery of connected reform activity further strengthens the broader workforces that intersect with family violence. For example:


      • The continued rollout of MARAM with Phase Two commencing in 2021 to a further 5,855 organisations and services across the health and education sectors.

      Victoria Police

      • Victoria Police delivery of family violence training statewide to officers at every rank through the establishment of Family Violence Centre of Learning, a purpose-built facility at the police academy in Glen Waverley.

      Reform-wide priorities

      Slot gameActivities to strengthen the family violence workforce have been designed from the outset to consider intersectionality, Aboriginal self-determination and lived experience.

      Slot gameThe MARAM principles provide professionals and services across different workforces with a shared understanding of family violence and facilitate consistent, effective and safe responses for people experiencing family violence.


      Strengthening the Foundations

      The first of the industry rolling action plans was developed with a gendered and intersectional lens to embed intersectionality in workforce development.

      Under Action 3.8 of Strengthening the Foundations, we are reducing workforce entry barriers to increase workforce diversity, working towards achieving a workforce that reflects the community.

      Intersectionality Capacity Building Project

      This project supports organisations to embed an intersectionality framework and recruit and develop an inclusive, diverse workforce. It is:

      • funded through the Industry Plan
      • an action in Everybody Matters: Inclusion and Equity Statement,which outlines the 10-year vision for a more inclusive, safe, responsive and accountable family violence system

      Slot gameThe government’s reform delivery is providing funding to the specialist family violence and broader sectors to embed an intersectional approach into their service delivery. For example:

      Intersectionality Overview

      Aboriginal self-determination

      Future workforce activities will be guided by the forthcoming Aboriginal Family Violence Industry Strategy which is being developed through the Dhelk Dja Partnership Forum.

      Aboriginal Self-Determination Overview

      Lived experience

      Lived experience is central to the design and delivery of training initiatives and pathways to minimum qualifications for family violence practitioners. It informs the family violence workforce reform through the Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council’s representation on Family Safety Victoria advisory bodies.

      Lived Experience Overview

      Measuring outcomes

      Family Violence Outcomes Framework

      Delivering the activities for this priority area will likely have the greatest impact in achieving outcomes against the following domain:

      Domain 4

      Domain 4, Preventing and responding to family violence is systemic and enduring
      Domain 4

      Reviewed 09 December 2020