By Hank Jongen
Department of Human Services.
Services Australia is strongly committed to standing against violence and supporting all people it affects.
We’ll soon launch our latest 2020-2023 Family and Domestic Violence Strategy which outlines our ongoing commitment to support people affected by family and domestic violence.
We’re often the first point of contact for people affected by family and domestic violence, and our role is to identify vulnerable people and connect them to support as quickly as possible.
If there are safety concerns, people are offered a referral to one of our agency social workers, given contact numbers for support services or, with their consent, directly transferred to external support services, such as 1800 RESPECT (the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service).
Our social workers offer short-term counselling, support, information and referrals to specialised services to help people manage and improve their well-being in times of crisis. People of all ages can talk to social workers including:
- people affected by family and domestic violence
- young people without adequate support
- people presenting at risk of suicide or self-harm or who may have other mental health concerns
- people experiencing a personal or family crisis or
- people involved in a natural disaster.
We also have other specialist staff like Community Engagement Officers who have regular contact with refuges, crisis accommodation and community centres. They can connect people who have left home due to family and domestic violence with local support services and Centrelink payments.
If you or someone you know is affected by family and domestic violence, please phone 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or visit servicesaustralia.gov.au/enough
To find out more about social work services or speak to a social worker, visit your local service centre, phone 132 850 or visit servicesaustralia.gov.au/socialwork.