ACT Government to improve supports for children and young people experiencing domestic and family violence


Released 06/06/2019

Yesterday the ACT Government released a response to the Domestic Violence Prevention Council Extraordinary Meeting on children and young people 2018 accepting all of the recommendations from the report.

In April 2018 the Domestic Violence Prevention Council convened an Extraordinary Meeting to better understand the key issues for children and young people affected by domestic and family violence, including sexual violence.

While it is widely acknowledged that children and young people can be profoundly impacted by this violence, it was identified that there are still gaps in the ACT’s response to children and young people and that practical measures could be taken to improve existing supports.

A report from this meeting was released in October 2018 which identified two key insights: that children are often ‘invisible’ in the ACT’s domestic and family violence system and that children who experience domestic and family violence require specific supports, in addition to the supports required for the adults around them.

This report recommended action in five priority areas to further the ACT Governments capacity to understand and respond effectively to the needs of children and young people impacted by this violence. The government has accepted all of the recommendations and has provided practical steps for how these recommendations can be actioned.

All children and young people in the ACT have a fundamental right to feel safe and protected in their community. Implementation of the initiatives outlined in the response will ensure that children and young people are given equal status in consideration of domestic and family violence and that policies and programs are redesigned to cater specifically for the impacts of their trauma.

The government response has been developed with careful consideration of the strong legal and policy context supporting the rights of children and young people in the ACT. The response details the specific initiatives that will be undertaken across government to deliver on the recommendations in the Domestic Violence Prevention Council’s final report.

The Family Safety Hub and the Children and Young Peoples Commissioner are working in partnership to deliver a ‘listening and learning’ project that will focus on listening to, and understanding, the diverse experiences and needs of children and young people affected by domestic and family violence.

This will ensure the voices of children and young people are at the centre of our work to improve the ACT service system’s capacity to respond to children and young people’s needs.

The ACT Government remains committed to tackling domestic and family violence in partnership with the community. The $24 million Safer Families package announced through the 2019-20 ACT Budget provides for a number of new initiatives to focus on delivering family-centred responses to violence, reducing the risk of and impacts of domestic and family violence, extending support services and investing in training ACT Government frontline workers to respond to family violence.

A copy of the response can be found at www.communityservices.act.gov.au/safer-families and the DVPC report from the Extraordinary Meeting 2018 can be found at www.dvpc.org.au/

- Statement ends -

Section: Yvette Berry, MLA | Media Releases

Media Contacts

Name Phone Mobile Email

Megan Cursley

(02) 6207 1653

0435 960 505

megan.cursley@act.gov.au


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