2016-17 Budget funding to address family violence
The 2016-17 ACT Budget is a catalyst for the next phase of reform in the family violence service system. That is why this budget funds a $21.42 million family violence package over four years which includes funding for:
- A full-time Coordinator-General for Family Safety and a dedicated safer families team to lead the whole of government effort to improve outcomes for victims and their families through collaboration, information sharing, awareness raising and working in partnership with the community ($3,070,000). A key priority for the Coordinator-General will be to work with community and government partners, including with members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to ensure that services provided are culturally appropriate.
- Integrated case management and coordination of services for victims of family violence ($2,606,000).
- Enhancing the quality assurance and supporting improved decision making of child protection services ($2,471,000).
- Training for frontline staff right across Community and Emergency Services, Health and Education to support identification of family violence and early intervention ($770,000).
- Increasing the capacity of specialist drug treatment services to deliver programs that integrate best practice in addressing family violence ($2,000,000).
- Much needed investment in translation and interpreting services in ACT Courts and Tribunal and family violence specialist services ($1,223,000).
- A brokerage and bond fund to assist victims seeking to escape family violence with immediate expenses ($315,000).
- The Domestic Violence Crisis Service and the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre for the vital work they do to support people affected by family violence ($1,246,000).
- An innovative residential behaviour change program for men who use or are at risk of using violence ($964,000).
- ACT Policing to assist victims in applying for Domestic Violence Orders ($1,180,000).
- Support for the first stage of implementation of the Joint Australian Law Reform Commission and NSW Law Reform Commission Report Family Violence – A National Legal Response ($1,457,000).
- The Director of Public Prosecutions to strengthen criminal justice responses to alleged perpetrators of family violence ($1,363,000).
- Legal Aid to improve access to legal services for victims of family violence ($1,214,000).
- The Tara Costigan Foundation for the establishment of the Tara’s Angels Service to provide a free caseworker service that supports victims as they rebuild their lives and break the cycle of violence ($40,000, which includes $20,000 from the Confiscated Assets Trust Fund).
- A Reportable Conduct Scheme to be operated by the ACT Ombudsman to improve the oversight of how organisations with a high level of responsibility for children respond to allegations of child abuse ($1,336,000).
The Confiscated Assets Trust Fund (CAT Fund) allows proceeds of crime forfeited to the Territory to be used for priority criminal justice initiatives. The Attorney-General is directing $850,000 from the CAT Fund for the Justice Reinvestment trial which involves providing services and supports to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families experiencing family violence. The trial will deliver additional resources to Aboriginal run organisations, the Domestic Violence Crisis Service and ACT Policing. A key priority for the trial will be to examine how the services and supports delivered can impact on the incidence of family violence.
The Attorney-General will also utilise the CAT Fund to partner with Our WATCh in the 2016-17 financial year to help drive nationwide change in the culture, behaviours and power imbalances that lead to violence against women and their children.