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Family Violence Support Services

What is the Family Violence Applicant and Respondent Support Service?

The Family Violence Applicant and Respondent Support Service (FVARSS) at the Melbourne Children’s Court is a program that provides dedicated applicant and respondent workers to support adolescents and their families who attend at Court because adolescent violence is occurring in the home.


What is the role of the applicant and respondent worker at Melbourne Children’s Court

The applicant support worker provides support to family members affected by young people using violence in the home. This can include parents, siblings, grandparents and other family members.

The respondent support worker provides support to adolescents using family violence in the home who are attending the Court as a respondent to a family violence intervention order application.

Both the applicant and respondent support workers can provide young people and their families with a range of assistance including:

  • Staying safe at court and at home
  • Explaining the court process and helping to understand the conditions of intervention orders
  • Linking young people and families to available services in the community including education, employment, counselling and wellbeing services
  • Supporting people before, during and after the court process

How much support can the service provide?

The Court understands that young people who use violence at home have different needs as do their family members. The FVARSS provides two levels of support: “Tier One” and “Tier Two”.

‘Tier One’ support can include:

‘Tier Two’ support can include:

  • Brief intervention for young people and families already linked to support services in the community
  • Referrals, risk assessment and safety planning
  • Assistance navigating Court system and understanding orders
  • Comprehensive risk assessment and safety planning
  • Ongoing case management which can include a combination of follow-up contact post-court, outreach work and making of referrals
  • Both support workers supporting family members to provide ‘whole of family’ support where appropriate

The applicant and respondent workers work with individual young people and their families to determine the appropriate level of support required.


How do people access the program?

If you would like more information about the program, or with to make a referral, you can speak directly to the support workers or contact the Family Violence Registrar for the Children’s Court.   

Applicant Support Worker: Fiona Evans                Phone: (03) 7004 0129

Respondent Support Worker: Nikki Perez             Phone: (03) 7004 0120