VincentCare Victoria Submission to the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence
This submission was developed with written material prepared by the Coordinators of VincentCare’s Family Violence Services at Marian Community and Olive’s Place, consultation with the staff at Marian Community and consultation with the Women’s Support Group at Marian Community.
As a leading homelessness and housing organisation that also operates two family violence services we hoped to make an important contribution to the Commission’s inquiry. VincentCare made ten recommendations in this submission which we suggested could help to change the impact of family violence for its victims in the long and short term. We particularly drew attention to the long term impacts of family violence which we see daily at our homelessness services. VincentCare believes that the system requires greater capacity to deliver therapeutic responses to family violence victims that help to reduce long term trauma impacts.
We also drew attention to the point made in our submission that family violence creates homelessness and therefore, women and children, who are most often the victims, experience a double disadvantage as a result of the violence and their homelessness experience. Many of our recommendations, therefore, focus on changes that help to reduce the likelihood of victims also becoming homeless. Other areas of particular interest to VincentCare Victoria and its Family Violence services in their operating context included:
- Our experience with personal alarms such as B-Safe
- Family Violence among people who belong to a CALD community
- Family Violence in the rural setting
VincentCare Victoria Submission to Parliament of Victoria Law Reform, Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee.
Inquiry into Supply and Use of Methamphetamines, particularly 'ice'.
VincentCare Victoria made this submission responding, in particular, to items 5 and 8 of the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference in order to:
- Examine the short and long term consequences of methamphetamine use;
- Consider best practice strategies to address methamphetamine use and associated crime, including regulatory, law enforcement, education and treatment responses.
The day to day experiences of staff at our Inner Melbourne hub, based in North Melbourne, inform this response. The Inner Melbourne Hub includes Ozanam House, a 60 bed crisis accommodation facility for men experiencing homelessness. Ozanam House has been serving the state of Victoria since 1953. It is located in Flemington Rd North Melbourne (opposite the Royal Children’s Hospital).
Two blocks away, in Arden Street North Melbourne, VincentCare Victoria provides a different response to the needs of people experiencing street homelessness at our Ozanam Community Centre. At the Community Centre approximately 150 people, who are experiencing homelessness and deep disadvantage, are provided with a cooked meal at lunchtimes on a weekday as well as on Wednesday evenings. We provide a range of other essential primary health, welfare and survival services.
Our staff are observing a very large impact of the current observed phenomenon of methamphetamine usage (including Ice). While it is difficult to obtain accurate data without conducting well designed and executed research, staff estimate that at any one time three-quarters of the Ozanam House population are using ‘Ice’.
InSubmission to the Service Sector Reform Consultation (Shergold Review)
This submission was made to the Victorian State Government via Victorian Council of Social Services who have played a key part in the review being led by Professor Peter Shergold.
The submission in response to the Victorian Government’s consultation on Service Sector Reform project as detailed in the discussion paper - Towards a more effective and sustainable community services system.
This review scopes a broad range of human services. Our response scoped the following recommendations:
- A data strategy to provide better information about population needs.
- Governance and leadership training for boards and managers of CSOs.
- Funding that addresses services viability, feasibility and return on investment.
- Appropriate funding mechanisms targeted towards individuals and communities.
- A comprehensive workforce strategy.
- An integrated whole of government approach.
- An integration strategy that reduces red tape.