Each business unit of Housing ACT has a range of responsibilities in relation to domestic violence along the continuum from crisis to sustained safe tenancies.
- Social Housing and Homelessness Services is responsible for managing funding contracts and relationships with our community partners who provide crisis support and accommodation services to people who have experienced domestic violence and/or homelessness. This unit works to ensure there are appropriate and responsive services available through the support and accommodation system from crisis to sustained tenancies and that community partners are operating consistently with both ACT and Commonwealth strategic directions for homelessness service provision.
- Gateway Services is responsible for the management and provision of sensitive non-judgemental application and assessment processes and the allocation (including early allocation) of safe and secure housing to women and children fleeing violence in their homes. Gateway also has a role to play in assisting and facilitating women to access supports in their community through the provision of case conferences.
- Property services are responsible for assisting women and children to feel safer in their homes via the provision of additional safety and security measures where required. This process is supported by an MOU between domestic violence support services and HACT.
- Tenancy services are responsible for the ongoing tenancy management of properties (including safety). They have a critical role to play in the early identification of domestic violence during routine property visits and routine management of tenancies (such as identifying patterns of debt that coincide with the presence of a partner). Tenancy managers also play a key role in facilitating priority transfers which are often vital in ensuring safety for women and children who have experienced domestic violence. Once domestic violence is identified, tenancy managers are responsible for providing referrals to additional supports, including referrals to the Client Service Coordinators (CSC's). The CSC's have a critical role to play in early intervention and the provision of support in relation to domestic violence and HACT tenants. They are responsible for ensuring appropriate referrals are offered to a family to assist them to obtain a level of safety and security in their lives. This may include assisting women to access financial support through Centrelink or accompanying women to meetings with support agencies to facilitate the referral. The CSC's also have a significant role to play in the assessment and recommendation for transfers including organising case conferences for all priority transfers related to domestic violence. (See priority transfer process in this document).
- Business development is responsible for the development and ongoing revision of policy and procedure within HACT, to ensure these are up to date and reflect current best practice responses to women and children escaping domestic violence.
- Operational Services is responsible for supporting applications for changes to tenancies to allow women and children who are victims of domestic violence to stay in their property.
- Financial unit with advice from business units is responsible for taking the dynamics and impacts of domestic violence into account into the assessment of debt, both from TRM and rental debt, including the effect of poverty which often occurs for women and children who have escaped domestic violence.
- Learning and Community Education is responsible for the provision of training and education to staff about issues related to domestic violence. This includes working in partnership with DVCS for the provision of training. It also includes providing training in relation to the HACT Domestic Violence Policy Manual.
- OMATSIA is responsible for ensuring that the specific needs of people from Multicultural or Indigenous and Torres Strait background are considered in the development of policy related to domestic violence. They are also responsible for ensuring that the policy of the department in relation to domestic violence is passed on to the relevant communities and forums with which they interact.
- Management at all levels of the department is responsible for the sensitive implementation of procedures in relation to domestic violence. They are also responsible for ensuring staff are appropriately trained and that staff and management attitudes and actions reflect the commitments and principles of the department in relation to domestic violence. Management is also responsible for ensuring strategic co-ordination and representation on relevant committees.
Together these roles and responsibilities create a consistent and integrated response to domestic violence within HACT that aims to effectively ‘ameliorate' the impact of domestic violence for women children and young people.
Source of Information
Response of the Government of Australia to the questionnaire on violence against women 2011