A community free from family violence, where everyone feels safe.
Protecting your children
EDVOS is committed to supporting the relationship between a mother and her child before, during and after family violence. In supporting this relationship, we consider:
- What is the child’s experience of violence?
- How do we as practitioners make sense of the child’s experience?
- How do we support the child’s experience, and build safety for the child in a context of violence?
- How do we support the relationship between mother and child, understanding the child’s need for safety, emotional support and relationship building?
As part of this support, EDVOS has developed a partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to provide flexible responses to both EDVOS and Child Protection clients. The Child Protection Flexible Response workers are co-located between EDVOS and DHHS Box Hill, covering the inner and outer east of Melbourne. Referral pathways are via intake to both Child Protection and EDVOS; clients who will be serviced include those who have direct Child Protection involvement. The objective of this partnership is to:
- Provide a family violence lens to Child Protection clients
- Ensure risk assessment and decision making enable clients to access resources relevant to their needs
- Promote an understanding of the disruption of the mother-child bond as a result of family violence
- Assess risk and carry out regular safety planning around women and children in a variety of settings.
Safe and Secure Framework
Commissioned and funded by the RFVP and developed by the Australian Childhood Foundation, Safe and Secure is a trauma-informed practice guide for professionals working with children and young people affected by family violence. Click here to download the Safe and Secure practice guide.
Safer Together Protocol
EDVOS is a signatory agency to the Safer Together Protocol, developed by the Regional Family Violence Partnership (RFVP). The Protocol articulates local referral and secondary consultation processes to ensure the safety, protection and wellbeing of children and young people, as well as the safety and empowerment of victims of family violence. Click here to read the Safe Together Protocol.
Child Safe Standards and reporting obligations
Under new Failure to Disclose legislation, all adults are required to report to police (unless there is a reasonable excuse or an exemption applies):
- any reasonable belief that a sexual offence has been committed:
- by another adult (over 18),
- against a child under the age of 16;
Failure to disclose does not change mandatory reporting obligations for organisations.
What this means for EDVOS clients:
EDVOS is committed to maintaining a culture of child safety within the organisation, following the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This includes the cultural safety of Aboriginal children, CALD children and the safety of children with disabilities.
When a client has disclosed a crime against a child, EDVOS has a legal obligation to report to Victoria Police or Child Protection. The intent of this report is to protect children, not to further victimise or impact the safety of the woman experiencing family violence. All clients will be advised of their own obligation to report, as well as that of the organisation. The suspected crime must be reported, even if parents are acting protectively. EDVOS will work with the woman and Child Protection to ensure the rights of the child are paramount, whilst also not impacting the safety of the woman experiencing family violence.
Under the new Child Safe Standards, all organisations providing services to children are required to have a child safe policy, or a statement of commitment to child safety. Click here to read our policy/statement.
EDVOS is committed to being a child-safe, child focussed organisation.