The Family Safety Hub is part of the ACT Office of the Coordinator-General for Family Safety, designed to take a new approach in designing services and supports to meet the needs of people affected by domestic and family violence. Working in partnership with government, the private and community services sector, the Family Safety Hub coordinates projects and programs to design, test and evaluate new ideas that can have a tangible positive impact on the lives of those affected by domestic and family violence. One of priority focus areas of the FSH is supporting children and young people whose lives are impacted by family violence.
The Family Safety Hub and Children and Young People Commissioner partnered to listen to young people’s experience of domestic and family violence. 70 young people aged 13 to 24 shared their views or personal stories of living with family violence during in-depth interviews and group discussions. These consultations confirmed children and young people’s experiences of family violence are different to those of adults, which mean they need different supports and services which respond to their unique needs. In response to this, the Family Safety Hub supported the development and growth of the Got Your Back program, developed and run by Relationships Australia Canberra & Region. Got Your Back provides young people with a safe place to connect with peers and trusted adults who understand and validate their experiences without judgement, shame, or minimisation.
Building upon this work, the Family Safety Hub has supported the youth sector this year through the development and delivery of the “Talk to Them – Recognising and Responding to Domestic and Family Violence in Youth Work” training. The Family Safety Hub, Relationships Australia and the Youth Coalition partnered to develop and pilot a training package to increase youth workers capability to recognise and respond to young people, in recognition that youth workers are often trusted supports for young people, and well positioned to provide supportive responses and warm referrals to specialist DFV services. As part of this, the FSH funded an evaluation of the process of developing the training package, as well as the preliminary outcomes for training participants.
The Youth Coalition recognises and celebrates the Family Safety Hub’s approach to partnering with government, the community sector, and the Canberra community, and the team’s commitment to bringing the right people together to design, deliver and test solutions for domestic and family violence, which is already leading to improved support for young people and youth workers.