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Family violence Royal Commission recommendations a step in the right direction

Published: 30 March 2016

Family violence is a national emergency and the measures recommended in the Royal Commission’s report today begin to address the structural, attitudinal and service-delivery reforms that are desperately needed to support victims, says the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW).

National Vice-President, Christine Craik, says most importantly the report recognises that family violence is directly linked to gender inequality, something that social workers across Australia witness every day.

“The AASW is pleased to see that the report provides a long term and whole-of-government approach to addressing the issue and focuses on several of the areas that the AASW advocated for in its submission to the commission,” said Ms Craik.

The submission recommended changes to state responses to homelessness services, child protection services, and police and legal reactions.

“It is good to see that the Royal Commission has recognised the important role of specialist family violence services and the need to have a highly qualified and skilled workforce, including the important role of social workers,” said Ms Craik.

“Having a workforce that understands the dynamics of family violence services is crucial and should be the foundation of any government response,” said Ms Craik, adding that the AASW welcomed the Victorian Government’s commitment to implementing all of the Royal Commission’s 227 recommendations.”

The priority of all levels of government’s and society’s response to family violence needs to be working to keep women and children safe, Ms Craik said, and making perpetrators accountable for their behaviour.

“Everyone in the community needs to play a part,” she said.

The Australian Association of Social Workers represents over 9,000 professional social workers from around Australia, many of whom work on the frontline of family violence, and looks forward to working with the Victorian government to implement the Royal Commission’s recommendations to help effect meaningful and sustainable change.

To organise an interview with Christine Craik please contact Emma Pegrum, Media and Marketing Manager, on 02 6199 5011 or 0408 200 191.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers