Review of the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme
Investigators: Professor Jude McCulloch, Professor JaneMaree Maher, Associate Professor Kate Fitz-Gibbon, Associate Professor Marie Segrave, Dr Kathryn Benier, Dr Kate Burns, Dr Jasmine McGowan and Dr Naomi Pfitzner
Project contact: Professor Jude McCulloch
(RCFV Recommendation 5)
About the Review
It is well established that appropriate and timely sharing of information is critical in assessing, responding to and managing the risks of family violence. In Victoria, the Royal Commission into Family Violence (2016) and the Coronial Inquest into the killing of eleven- year-old Luke Batty by his father recommended the introduction of a family violence information sharing scheme. The Victorian Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS) commenced in early 2018. The Scheme aims to better protect victim/survivors and enhance perpetrator accountability by facilitating, regularising and increasing the sharing of information about family violence risk. An independent Review of the Scheme was legislatively mandated to ensure that it meets its aims and avoids any adverse consequences. The Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre was contracted by Family Safety Victoria to conduct the independent Review of the FVISS.
Timeline and stages of the Review
The two-year Review focused primarily on the first twenty-two months of the implementation of the FVISS. The Review formally commenced in October 2017. The Scheme commenced in February 2018. Data was collected from key stakeholders from November 2017 to December 2019. The Review’s primary stakeholder groups for data collection were practitioners and managers in the Initial Tranche and Phase One organisations and services, family violence experts and victim/survivors. Data collection from these key stakeholders commenced with a survey prior to the implementation of the Scheme to the Initial Tranche and Phase One in order to construct a working baseline from which to measure the impacts of the establishment and operation of the FVISS. There were two periods of Interviews and focus groups after the implementation of the Scheme to the Initial Tranche and the Phase One. Data gathering with stakeholders was completed in December 2019.
Over the period 2017 – 2019, more than a thousand practitioners, managers, experts and women who have experienced family violence have participated in the Review.
Sincere thanks to all those who shared their insights and experienced by participating in focus groups, interviews and responding to surveys.