Institute of Public Administration Association
Leadership in the Public Sector Awards – Winner
Category: Evidence-Based Policy Award
Project: Supporting Student Cohorts Affected by Family Violence Initiative (FVI)
Supporting Student Cohorts Affected by Family Violence Initiative was a two-year project to collaboratively develop, implement and evaluate a sustainable school-based approach to identify and intervene more effectively with students affected by family violence.
Key aims were to:
- enhance schools’ ability to identify and intervene more effectively with students affected by family violence and reduce disengagement
- provide clarity and consistency of responsibility for specific roles within schools and DET
- increase knowledge and skills of schools’ staff (teachers, wellbeing, leadership, and others) to respond to and support affected students
- strengthen referral processes, pathways and service linkages
- improve students’ safety, wellbeing, behaviour, engagement, retention and academic outcomes (long-term).
The main activities included development of evidence-based family violence policy, practice guidance and resources; implementation including training and learning; and a comprehensive evaluation. It was undertaken in collaboration with the Area DET leadership and Respectful Relationships workforce; local partner organisations and the eight trial schools. Following the trials’ end, all schools remain committed to the approach and are using and expanding the established practices. There’s also clear evidence of increased identification, an improved range of interventions and more consistent and effective support for students.
This is incredibly important work that I was keen to be involved in and proud that we were invited to take part. While our first purpose is for the best outcomes for all students at the school, I also think it is incredibly important to work for what I call the “common good.” To involve ourselves in work that has a system wide impact, that will not only benefit us, it is also incredibly important professional development for staff and supports all schools.