When did the initiative commence?
In early 2013, Victoria Police and agencies in the north formed the High Risk Response Conference (HRRC) as a dynamic and robust integrated response to high risk family violence. The HRRC met for the first time in August 2013.
How did it come about? What need does it respond to?
Victoria Police family violence units in Division 5 (the local government areas of Yarra, Darebin, Whittlesea, Banyule and Nillumbik) identified a problem of family violence recidivism. They began triaging all family violence incidents across the division to prioritise and target recidivism. That triaging process brought to light the significant high risk present in some families.
What organisations are involved in this partnership/project?
Victoria Police Division 5 Family Violence Units, Berry Street Northern Family and Domestic Violence Service, DHHS Child Protection, Kildonan UnitingCare, Corrections Victoria and Child FIRST made an unfunded commitment to form the HRCC.
Recently, the HRRC has evolved further to include partners, including Northern Area Mental Health Service, Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency and the Aboriginal Centre for Males.
What does the initiative do? Who does the initiative support?
The HRRC aims to provide a platform for information sharing in order to deliver a holistic, integrated response for families in crisis and mitigate family violence risk to affected family members. It also aims to hold perpetrators to account.
The HRRC involves a fortnightly meeting between police and relevant agencies, where the 16 incidents of family violence with the most significant, imminent risk of death or serious injury are brought to the table for discussion and planning.
How is it resourced/funded?
There was no funding attached to the HRRC—it was resourced by existing staff at the agencies involved and led by Conference Chair Family Violence Advisor Sergeant Mark Spriggs.
What are the intended outcomes?
The HRRC aims to address the problem of high risk family violence, with a view to keeping women and children at imminent risk of death or serious injury safe.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to set up a similar partnership/undertake a similar project?
Conference Chair Sergeant Mark Spriggs says that the police taking a leadership role in high risk case conferencing allows a greater focus on perpetrator accountability, including by Victoria Police proactively implementing sanctions.
He says that task-oriented HRRC meetings are helpful in keeping efforts coordinated.
The HRRC will be replaced by the North East Risk Assessment and Management Panel (RAMP) when it is fully rolled out in early 2016. Read about the RAMP that was piloted in the Hume Moreland region.
How should clients be referred into the program?
The project partners refer cases to be discussed at the HRRC.