Specialised Family Violence Services

Specialised Family Violence Services (SFVS) uses a whole of family approach to strengthen family and community functioning and improve personal and family safety by providing support to individuals, couples, children and families who are experiencing or at risk of family or domestic violence (FDV).

There are currently 38 SFVS providers who offer a range of services, including specialised counselling for children, family capacity building and education sessions. Some providers also offer behaviour change programs to support those who use violence to address and change their behaviour.

Who benefits from SFVS?

SFVS support individuals or family members experiencing or witnessing, or at risk of experiencing, domestic or family violence.

SFVS provides specialist services:

  • that acknowledge Children as victims in their own right
  • to individuals who use violent or abusive behaviour
  • delivered by Aboriginal and Community Controlled Organisations that provide culturally safe services in the Northern Territory.

SFVS – Family and Relationship Services

SFVS is a component of the Family and Relationship Services (FaRS) sub-activity under the Families and Children (FaC) Activity of the Families and Communities Program.

Services delivered under SFVS – FaRS aim to support families, improve children’s wellbeing, increase participation of vulnerable people in community life, and enhance family and community functioning.

SFVS - Children Specific Counselling

In 2022-23 SFVS was expanded to include Children Specific Counselling (CSC). CSC is delivered by eight Relationships Australia organisations nationally.

This service aims to place children at the centre of service provision and contributes to a national response to children affected by family violence and their families.

SFVS - Men’s Behaviour Change programs

SFVS provides programs to support early intervention programs for people that use violence.

Some providers offer men’s behaviour change programs and services.

Culturally Safe Services

In 2021-22 SFVS was expanded to include culturally safe SFVS services delivered by 4 Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) in the Northern Territory under the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2010-22.

These services are currently funded until 30 June 2027.

Operational Guidelines

SFVS Operational Guidelines assist providers to work in a consistent, coordinated and cooperative way. The guidelines outline the key elements of service delivery and seek to clarify policy and process questions that may arise during the delivery of the SFVS activity.

Activity Work Plans

SFVS grant agreements include requirements for Activity Work Plans (AWPs). These requirements are listed in the reporting milestones table of new grant agreements. The SFVS AWP template is available here:

Review point

In 2023-24, the department will review the mid-term performance of SFVS service providers. The review will commence on 1 September 2023 and the Department will notify providers of their outcomes by 29 February 2024.

The assessment criteria for the Review Point are contained within the FaRS Operational Guidelines (link above).

Extensions from 1 July 2021

FaRS - SFVS providers received 5-year grant extensions from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2026.

As part of these extensions, the department introduced a number of reforms aimed at improving reporting and tracking of outcomes for Australia’s families and children. More information is available on the FaC Activity 2021 reforms webpage.

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