Govt launches multi-agency family violence pilot

  • Judith Collins
  • Anne Tolley
  • Amy Adams
Social Development Police Justice Corrections

As part of the Government’s commitment to a more integrated, more effective response to family violence, an innovative new approach is to be piloted in Christchurch from 1 July, Ministers have announced.

The Integrated Safety Response pilot will bring together a team of Police, CYF, Corrections, Health, specialist family violence NGOs and Māori service providers to support victims and their families.

The pilot is part of the comprehensive cross-agency work programme overseen by the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence.

“A better way of handling reported family violence, including daily assessment meetings involving all relevant agencies, is a critical part of improving our response to family violence. This pilot has the potential to transform the way we respond as a system, manage perpetrators and keep victims safe. It incorporates the Intensive Case Management system that provides an independent victim specialist to work closely with high risk victims to keep them safe,” Justice Minister Amy Adams says.

“No single agency can see the complete picture of the victim’s experience. This pilot is about ensuring all organisations have access to the same information so that they can assess and support the family based on all relevant information. This includes the children who may have witnessed the violence and the perpetrators who commit the violence,” Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says.

“During the pilot phase, each report of family violence reported to NZ Police and high risk prison releases in Christchurch will be triaged daily and a Family Safety Plan developed that will address the risks and needs of the family. During later phases, it is anticipated that family violence disclosures to other agencies, e.g. health authorities, will also be part of the process,” Police Minister Judith Collins says.

This approach is expected to replace existing models of inter-agency family violence response as the Government maintains its focus on reducing family violence and protecting the most vulnerable in our community.

It is expected that the pilot, which is based on international best practice and tailored to New Zealand’s unique circumstances, will be rolled out in several locations. It will be evaluated and the Government will receive progress reports with recommendations at the end of 2016.