It’s important that employers support workers during crisis events such as bushfires and pandemics to reduce the risk of stress, burnout and other mental health problems.
During times of emergency and crisis, such as bushfires or pandemic, employers need to be proactive in establishing and maintaining a supportive workplace culture that prioritises the mental health and wellbeing of workers (Code of Practice: Principles and Standards for Specialist Family Violence Services for Victim Survivors).
The Best Practice Guidelines: Supporting the Wellbeing of Family Violence Workers During Times of Emergency and Crisis have been developed to assist family violence agencies to safeguard the mental health and wellbeing of workers.
The guidelines were developed by the Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre in partnership with DV Vic and DVRCV.
These guidelines are framed around four key organisational responses:
- set up remote workspaces in practitioners’ homes
- monitor and manage worker wellbeing
- build a resilient family violence workforce.
The best practice guidelines can be implemented to improve the crisis preparedness, response and recovery of family violence organisations, as well as their efforts to reduce the risk of work-related stress, burnout and other mental health problems during such times. This resource is intended to supplement existing wellbeing supports and legislative requirements for occupational health and safety and be integrated into family violence organisations’ induction processes to improve emergency preparedness and response.
Launch of the guidelines
The best practice guidelines were launched during the Responding to the Shadow Pandemic webinar. Guest speakers included Family Safety Victoria CEO Eleri Butler, DV Vic and DVRCV CEO Tania Farha, DV Vic and DVRCV Manager for Statewide Coordinated Programs and RAMP Jacky Tucker and Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre Lead Researcher Dr Naomi Pfitzner.