Flexible Support Package requirements and guidelines are provided by Department of Health and Human Services and can be found at this link. (Updated September 2018)
FAMILY VIOLENCE FLEXIBLE SUPPORT PACKAGES – MALLEE
Flexible support packages are available to people who are experiencing or have experienced family violence. Women alone, and women with children are expected to be the primary recipients of flexible support packages. However, in recognition of the diverse experiences of family violence experienced by Aboriginal people, people from culturally diverse backgrounds, people with disabilities, people from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, gender diverse and intersex community and older people experiencing elder abuse. Men who are victims of family violence are also eligible for family violence flexible support packages. Victim/survivors will be the inclusive terms used in this information sheet.
Family violence flexible support packages are designed to provide a new individualised approach to respond to victim/survivors experiencing family violence. Individualised packages of up to $10,000 will be available, with an average cost of $3000.
Flexible support packages will deliver a personalised and holistic response to victim/survivors experiencing family violence by assisting them to access support, move out of crisis, stabilise and improve their safety, well-being and independence. Flexible support packages build on the success of other flexible funding responses, such as private rental brokerage.
Packages can only be distributed to victims/survivors who already have a case management plan and are actively engaged with a case management service. One flexible support package will be available per case managed support period for victims/survivors per presentation. This may not preclude victims/survivors from receiving a subsequent package for future presentations, provided a new case management plan is in place and all criteria are met.
Flexible support packages will be targeted to victim/survivors who:
- are escaping; and/or
- have recently experienced family violence; and/or
- are planning to leave an abusive situation or have the perpetrator removed from the home with appropriate legal sanctions in place.
In addition to the risk assessment (eg CRAF), a thorough case management/ safety or support plan needs to identify the way in which a flexible support package would support the victim/survivors:
- to establish sustainable arrangements that support their long-term health and wellbeing
- in preventing intervention by child protection
- in leaving their current family arrangements in which family violence is occurring.
Priority will be given to:
- victim/survivors at highest risk from family violence
- victim/survivors whose safety and security needs and independent living goals can reasonably be met through a flexible support packag
- victim/survivors experiencing significant financial hardship.
Service providers referring clients for packages will be required to establish practices to appropriately identify eligibility to assist victim/survivors in need.
The intention of flexible support packages is to assist victim/survivors to stabilise and improve their safety in a crisis or post-crisis situation. Flexible support packages will not be accessible to victim/survivors who wish to continue their domestic living arrangements with the perpetrator of the abuse. If a victim/survivor returns to a domestic living arrangement with the perpetrator of the abuse, access to flexible support package funding will cease.
In addition to the risk assessment, a thorough case management/support plan needs to identify the way in which a flexible support package would support the victim/survivors:
- To establish sustainable arrangements that support their long-term health and wellbeing.
- In preventing intervention by child protection.
- In leaving their current family arrangements in which family violence is occurring.
What the package can buy:
Flexible support packages can be used to purchase services and goods nominated by a victim/survivor in their support plan. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
- financial stability – basic material needs including food, clothing, care packs, bills (utilities, phone) and utility debts
- technological safety support – security cameras/CCTV/ personal/property alarm options are reliant upon a consultation with the Personal Safety Initiative (PSI) Coordinator for a security audit to be activated, must have IVO in place or seeking one (Call MSAU-MDVS on 0350212130 for assistance and ask for the PSI Coordinator), other support measures around safety support could be mobile phone, security doors or lighting
- health and wellbeing – medical or pharmaceutical costs not covered by Medicare or Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, counselling or specialist services
- safe, stable housing – public or private housing debt, rent in advance, rent arrears, relocation costs, travel costs, furnishings and whitegoods in newly established housing
- economic, social and community participation – schooling, educational costs, workforce readiness (For example, Adult Education / TAFE course)
- independence – clothing, care or placement of pets, outings, wellbeing courses.
Flexible support packages can be used where available supports (For example, local, state or Commonwealth Government services) cannot be provided in a timely manner. They can also be used to supplement supports identified in a support plan. The FSP provider will ask what other avenues of funding have been explored.
The case management/support plan needs to identify the way in which a flexible support package would support the victim/survivors to: establish sustainable arrangements that support their long-term health and well-being; prevent unnecessary interventions by child protection; and leave their current family arrangements in which family violence is occurring.
The package is applied for and provided in conjunction with a case manager who has developed a comprehensive case management/support plan with the client, which outlines gaols and support needing to be purchased and which is regularly reviewed, including risk and safety planning.
The flexible funds will be used in conjunction with the other agencies’ support, to achieve medium and longer term outcomes that promote: safety and freedom from violence, access to safe, stable housing, financial stability, family health and wellbeing, economic, social and community participation and independence. This includes addressing children’s needs and providing linkages to appropriate services.
What the package can’t be used for:
- illegal activity
- an emergency housing response
- products or services not identified in the support plan
- other free or low cost services readily available within the community
- to replace or duplicate supports that are available through other funding sources, including other local, state or commonwealth programs.
For any general enquiries about the application, please contact Lisa Maree Stevens (Executive Director) at Mallee Sexual Assault and Mallee Domestic Violence Service on 50212130 or email@example.com
An application form (attached) is to be completed & lodged by the case manager on behalf of their client. Your Team leader/Manager needs to endorse the application.
It is preferable to provide invoice(s) or quote(s) from supplier(s) for goods/services requested in your application. Where it is difficult to obtain invoice(s) or quote(s) it is necessary to provide a clear outline of the amount of money being requested and the anticipated supplier(s) (e.g. website catalogue print outs).
Please lodge your completed Application Form via email:
Please mark CONFIDENTIAL FVFSP in the subject line.
A copy of the current case management/support plan needs to be attached to the application form.
On receipt of the application, a return email will be sent to the case manager acknowledging receipt.
Applications will be assessed in accordance with priority access guidelines and eligibility and suitability criteria.
The case manager will be informed in writing of the outcome of the application, generally within 2-3 days following receipt of the application.
- The case manager would seek a tax invoice(s) from specific supplier(s) to the approved amount. Tax invoice(s) needs to name Mallee Sexual Assault Unit Inc as the payee.
- These need to be lodged for payment to Sharon via email firstname.lastname@example.org
A return email will be sent acknowledging receipt of the invoice(s) for payment.
- Following payment an email will be sent to the case manager /team leader confirming payment with remittance advice attached.
- The case manager will then be able to arrange delivery of the goods/services for their client.
Availability of Packages
At this stage, the packages are available until 30 June 2019. For further information contact Mallee Domestic Violence Service on: 50 21 21 30.
Also, there is separate Flexible Support Package support for women and children with disabilities. Those guidelines can be found at this link. (Updated Feb 2018)
LGBTI Flexible Support Package forms pertaining to an application