There are diverse roles in the specialist family violence workforce at local and statewide levels including direct service, management and leadership, and policy and advocacy.
‘Specialist family violence services’ are funded to work directly with victim survivors of family violence – including children – providing resources, advocating for their rights, and responding to safety and support needs. They can operate as standalone organisations, programs within other types of community organisations, or work with other agencies (such as courts).
Direct service roles
Workers provide case management, family violence risk assessment, risk management, safety planning, crisis responses, and advocate for victim survivors’ rights and access to resources and service entitlements.
Direct service roles can be situated in local family violence support services, police stations, sexual assault services, crisis accommodation, or services focusing on specific communities (such as Aboriginal family violence services).
Court and legal support
Often working in specialist family violence services, court and legal support officers work with court staff to help victim survivors to go through the court system.
Service managers and leaders
Senior roles include team leaders and managers, or those overseeing a specific project or program. Service leaders engage and share knowledge with other leaders in the sector, identify opportunities to improve the service or sector, and support the wellbeing and development of staff.
Policy and practice professionals
These roles combine excellent communication skills and an understanding of the determinants, dynamics and impact of family violence to inform and influence public policy development, particularly in the context of the Royal Commission into Family Violence reforms. They collaborate with stakeholders to develop policy positions for the organisation and work both strategically and responsively.
Survivor advocates are people who have experienced family violence and are formally engaged to advise and help inform service delivery and policy. Lived experience is fundamental to the specialist family violence sector as it provides powerful information about the impacts services have and where services can improve.
There are opportunities to participate in survivor advocacy within the sector. To receive information about this work, sign up for our Experts by Experience e-Bulletin.
There are a number of roles in the sector working in the prevention of family violence and violence against women. For information about the types of roles and how to get started, visit the Careers in primary prevention section.
Working with perpetrators
Working with perpetrators is challenging but important work. There are a range of roles providing immediate response or long-term behaviour change programs. For more information about perpetrator services and training and professional development options, visit No to Violence – the largest peak body in Australia for organisations and individuals who work with men to end family violence.