Financial Counselling Program Update 6 - August 2016

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Eligibility and reporting procedures for the Financial Counselling Program Family Violence Initiative 2016-17

The Financial Counselling Program (FCP) Family Violence Initiative has provided funds for an additional 10 financial counselling positions across the 17 Department of Health and Human Services service areas. Consumer Affairs Victoria is required to report to the Victorian Government on this initiative as a separate component of the FCP.

The following procedures outline the eligibility criteria and reporting that all financial counsellors should use from 1 October 2016.

1. Family violence – eligibility 

The current eligibility criteria for financial counselling services does not always enable a victim of family violence to easily access the service. The following details the revised eligibility criteria for family violence victims only. 

1.1 Financial disadvantage

Family violence victims will not be required to meet the ‘financially disadvantaged’ criteria to be eligible for financial counselling sessional casework. 

Client eligibility for financial counselling is now:

  • Is the client financially disadvantaged or a victim of family violence?

This means it is possible for a client to have no financial disadvantage under the FCP model definition and be eligible for casework.

The revised client pathway flowchart illustrates the integration of assessing family violence victims into the FCP service model. Refer to the Financial Counselling Program client pathway flowchart (Word, 34KB)

1.2 Prioritisation 

Under the FCP, family violence clients are considered an urgent client and automatically a Priority 1 client with an expected commencement time within two working days.

Refer to the Urgency checklist - Financial Counselling Program (Word, 28KB)

1.3 Vulnerability

Under the FCP, ‘family violence’ is listed as a vulnerability factor. This should be selected for all clients that are family violence victims. This also ensures that they are eligible for extended casework. 

We are aware that ‘family violence’ may also be selected as the vulnerability factor for clients that are the perpetrator of family violence. We will address this when the data reporting system is reviewed later this year.

2. Family violence reporting

2.1 Service hours data recording

The family violence service hours for the Family Violence Initiative will be added to your service hours target and recorded through your normal data collection system (IRIS or other).  

2.2 Recording outreach

Fifteen per cent of family violence service hours can be allocated to outreach activity. It is anticipated that agencies will use this outreach option at the outset of the Family Violence Initiative to further develop the partnership arrangements and establish referral pathways.

The outreach type, ‘education session’ has been added to the FCP Outreach Template to allow agencies to do formal presentations on the initiative to groups.

Any family violence outreach type (e.g. establishing referral pathway, meeting, education session) should always select the target group as ‘family violence victims’.

The updated FCP Outreach Template can be accessed on the Funded Services Data Reporting website.

2.3 Updated Narrative and Training Report including family violence

The FCP Narrative and Training Report has been updated to incorporate reporting on the Family Violence Initiative.

The updated Narrative and Training Report Template is available on the Funded Services Data Reporting website.

We acknowledge that the first reporting period for the initiative will cover only three months’ service delivery; however, all sections of the report should be completed.