Family and sexual violence work programme updates

Welcome to the latest update from the Multi Agency Team on the Government's Family and Sexual Violence Work Programme.

View previous updates in the archive

April 2017

In this update you'll find:

Family Violence Summit

A national summit on family violence, hosted by Justice Minister Amy Adams and Social Development Minister, Anne Tolley, will take place in Wellington on June 7.

The Summit will bring together people from the sector to continue the conversation about how we work together and make change to break the pattern of family violence and reduce harm. Invitees will cover a broad cross-section of interests and views including NGOs, support workers, victims, former perpetrators and government agencies.

It supports the work already underway as part of the Government’s family violence reforms, which includes the introduction of the Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill to overhaul the Domestic Violence Act and strengthen family violence laws.

Although numbers are limited for this event, the Summit is one of many opportunities there will be to engage with the sector.

Any further questions, feel free to contact beth.anslow@justice.govt.nz.

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New multi-agency team to drive Family Violence and Sexual Violence work programme

A new multi-agency team has been established to co-ordinate and drive the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. The multi-agency team is made-up of officials drawn from the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Social Development, Corrections and Police.

Bringing together the various agencies under one team reflects the need for a joined up and integrated response to family and sexual violence, by Crown agencies and across the sector. As the work programme has progressed we have found it increasingly important to ensure that all the connections between the work are being made at every level. The multi-agency team is an efficient and effective way to achieve that.

Government agencies will continue to deliver many major aspects of the work programme individually, whilst the overarching strategy will be co-ordinated through this team.

More information about the work programme

Any further questions, feel free to contact bryan.smith@justice.govt.nz.

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Bill to help address Family Violence introduced to Parliament

The Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill was introduced to Parliament on Wednesday 15 March. The Bill amends a range of legislation to encourage earlier intervention to stop future violence. It is an important part of building a modern, integrated family violence system which supports the sector to work together to better protect victims and stop perpetrators from using violence.

It is a key element of the Ministerial Work Programme on Family and Sexual Violence, led by the Ministers of Justice and Social Development. While legislation alone cannot solve family violence, this Bill contains key provisions to underpin a new more effective family violence system including:

  • ensuring all family violence is clearly identified and risk information is properly shared
  • creating three new offences of strangulation, coercion to marry and assault on a family member
  • making it easier to apply for a Protection Orders, allowing others to apply on a victim’s behalf, and better providing for the rights of children under Protection Orders
  • making giving evidence in family violence cases less traumatic for victims and easier for Police
  • enabling a wider range of programmes to be ordered when Protection Orders are made
  • making offending while on a Protection Order a specific aggravating factor in sentencing
  • enabling the setting of codes of practice across the sector.

For more information about the proposed changes, go to:

Safer sooner

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Workforce Development – consultation closed and next steps

Public consultation on the Family Violence, Sexual Violence and Violence within Whānau Workforce Capability Framework has now closed. We want to say thank you to all who have contributed to the discussion and provided feedback through Loomio, email, at workshops or in person. We are currently working through the submissions and will provide an update when the Framework has been finalised. We expect this to be in early April.

We are also working through what we have learned from working with the Integrated Safety Response (ISR) pilot sites and the workforce capability workshops we held in the Waikato and Christchurch in January. Thank you to all who attended and contributed to these robust and constructive workshops.

Our next steps are to start practically testing the framework in ISR sites (though we know a number of agencies are already using the existing draft to help guide their training and development programmes). We want to know how the framework can be best used to lift the workforce's capability. We are also working on a national approach to lifting capability and look forward to continuing to work with both the ISR sites and the broader FVSV workforce on this.

Finally, we would like to acknowledge the great work to date of Expert Design Group (EDG) which has been integral in co-designing the capability framework. The EDG will now be inputting to advice on a national approach to lifting capability.

Any further questions, feel free to contact Giselle.Wansa-Harvey@justice.govt.nz.

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Launch of the supervised handover pilot

A pilot has been launched to test a new service for families grappling with violence. Under the pilot parents affected by violence will be able to avoid contentious meetings during children handovers. Supervised hand-over services will be provided so that children can be handed over in a safe environment without parents or caregivers having to meet.

The pilot will assist 60 families over one year in Rotorua and Whanganui. It is a free service that will initially be available in cases where the Family Court has imposed protective conditions on a Parenting Order under section 51 or section 48 of the Care of Children Act 2004. The parties may be referred to the service at the discretion of the court.

Family Focus Rotorua has been contracted to deliver the service in Rotorua and Barnardos New Zealand in Whanganui.

If you have any questions please contact Lison.harris@justice.govt.nz.

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Risk Assessment and Management Framework

We have been finalising the overarching document for the Family Violence Risk Assessment and Management Framework – which we substantially revised following sector-wide consultation last year. As we reported in December, the new document has changed a lot, so we’ve been working with a consultative group on the revised document.

We are now working with selected stakeholders to help us develop practice guidance, tools and training materials to bring the RAMF to life for frontline staff and organisations. This initial phase is about us learning how best to work with sector groups, what may already be available in terms of guidance and tools and what is likely to be of most use to practitioners.

Ultimately we will develop three sets of generic practice guidance and associated resources aimed at the generalist, statutory and specialist workforce levels identified in the Framework. These generic resources can be tailored to meet the specific needs of organisations and workforces.

The stakeholders we are working with initially are from general practitioners (GPs), family lawyers, financial capability services and Whānau Ora providers. They were chosen as they have the ability to reach a very broad population experiencing family violence and they cover diverse professional perspectives. Consultation and guidance for specialist service providers will also be part of our work over the coming year.

If you have any questions please contact, Andrew.Zielinski@justice.govt.nz.

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Sexual Violence Service Development

The Ministry of Social Development is consulting on the development of sexual violence crisis support services and the new national sexual violence helpline.

They are keen to hear your views on both streams of work. There are three ways to have your say:

  • on Loomio, an online consultation tool, and ‘ask to join the group’ to access the documents and be part of the conversation
  • current providers delivering crisis support services contracted by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) have been invited to participate in regional hui being held in April
  • or via email to CI_Sexual_Violence_Services@msd.govt.nz

The consultation is open until 28 April 2017. To join the online conversation, you will need to follow the prompts and register at:

www.loomio.org/g/BqeRcfmh/sexual-violence-crisis-support-services (external link) for the sexual violence crisis support services

www.loomio.org/g/l43UPwbC/sexual-violence-national-helpline (external link) for the sexual violence national helpline.

The team working on these initiatives also produces a regular update. If you want to subscribe, or have any questions or feedback on these projects, please email CI_Sexual_Violence_Services@msd.govt.nz.

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Stay informed: Family and Sexual Violence Work programme updates

If you know anyone who might like to subscribe to these updates, they can email familyandsexualviolence@justice.govt.nz.

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Contact us

If you have any questions about the work programme or this newsletter, please email us at familyandsexualviolence@justice.govt.nz.

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