Innovation Fund Backs Refuge Accommodation Project

The Andrews Labor Government’s Public Sector Innovation Fund will support a crucial project to improve access to crisis accommodation for women and children fleeing family violence.

Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings today announced grant funding of $300,000 for the Family Violence Resource Register project, a new online tool for Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre and refuge accommodation providers.

Currently, family violence practitioners have no real time ability to identify available crisis accommodation and are instead forced to individually phone each one of Victoria’s 22 refuge accommodation providers.

The new online tool will give real time crisis accommodation information and responds to Safe Steps’ Royal Commission submission, which highlighted the need for better coordination of refuge accommodation services.

This online tool will be developed by local Melbourne developer Conduct HQ in conjunction with family violence practitioners, and will be made freely available to other not-for-profit organisations such as those dealing with homelessness.

The project is funded under the $11 million Public Sector Innovation Fund, the Victorian Government grants program designed to drive new and more effective solutions to policy and service delivery challenges.

The Innovation Fund is a key part of reforming the public sector to improve the delivery of government services, including supporting ideas from people working in and with government as part of the broader public sector.

Applications for the Labor Government’s Public Sector Innovation Fund are now open. More information is available at: www.publicsectorinnovation.vic.gov.au

Quotes attributable to the Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings

“This is about helping family violence practitioners keep women and children safe, faster. It will allow the crisis accommodation sector to better manage its resources and in turn, give more women and children fleeing family violence a safe place to land.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Housing, Ageing and Disability, Martin Foley

“We are ensuring that bodies like Safe Steps and our refuge accommodation providers have the tools they need to protect the safety of people affected by family violence.”

Quotes attributable to Annette Gillespie, Chief Executive Officer, Safe Steps

“Each year, safe steps Family Violence Response Centre helps thousands of women and children escaping family violence find safe accommodation.”

“The new Resource Register will help us locate the best possible accommodation for those at greatest risk, resulting in better outcomes for women and children across the State.”