1J Family Violence
Project HERA: Police and support service working together to respond fast to Domestic Violence
Project HERA: police and support service working together to respond fast to DFV
Life stage: Relationship breakdown and re-partnering
Presenters: YFS Ltd and Logan Police
Police respond to domestic and family violence incidents every day. In Logan police district, there were 4,262 DVO applications and 2,164 breaches of these orders in 2016-17.
As in many places, the Logan service system was fragmented. Lots of services exist, but many only do a small part of the picture. They refer to other services, or they don’t touch housing, or they step out when risks get high, or they only do counselling, or they have long wait lists.
People were being left behind. Only a small percentage of people impacted by domestic violence sought or found the support they needed for victims to be safer and perpetrators to take responsibility.
Victims were bamboozled and let down by a complex system with huge gaps in it, and police were frustrated at being repeatedly called out to the same families.
Since August 2016, the Logan Police Specialised Domestic Violence Unit and YFS Ltd have worked together to improve responses to people impacted by domestic and family violence. Through a co-located co-responder model, a Domestic Violence Support Worker connects very quickly with people impacted by violence, providing prompt assessment, referral and support very soon after police respond to an incident.
This approach has reduced the gap between crisis and access to support, has taken the service to the victim rather than expecting the victim to seek the service, responded to urgent needs fast, and has enabled victims to navigate a complex system and find the services and supports they need. The police have gained a trusted ally, and YFS has improved our ability to reach people at a point when they are most ready to act.
YFS is a not-for-profit organisation that delivers a range of services to the people of Logan and surrounds. We provide services including support for people affected by domestic and family violence, youth engagement, youth homelessness services, youth drug and alcohol recovery support, a mental health recovery program, family support and financial counselling and capability services. We cater to people who are disadvantaged, vulnerable or want to improve their circumstance.
An early evaluation by Griffith University shows very promising results from this initiative.
We can supply a Bio for Anita and a Qld Police representative at a later date as both are on leave this week. Anita is a long term social services worker who has undertaken roles in counselling and managing a front of house intake service for YFS services since 2011. In August 2017; Anita took on the Project Hera Domestic Violence Worker role to work alongside the Qld Police at the Beenleigh Police Station to provide prompt assessment, referral and support to those affected by domestic violence.