On Monday 16 April 2018, three Australian first tools produced during the first year of the ACT Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Safer Families Program were launched at the ACT Legislative Assembly and on behalf of the ACT alcohol and other drug sector. The tools were launched by both Ms Meegan Fitzharris MLA, Minister for Health and Wellbeing and Ms Yvette Berry MLA, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence.
The three tools aim to provide more effective responses for people who use AOD in harmful ways and either experience domestic and family violence (DFV) and/or are at risk of using DFV. The tools enable specialist AOD services to benchmark practice and to delineate and articulate worker roles; and provide clinical and practical guidance to the AOD sector to prevent and respond to DFV.
To download the tools, please click on the following:
- Domestic and Family Violence Capability Assessment Tool: for Alcohol and Other Drug Settings
- Scope of Practice: for Working with Service Consumers in Alcohol and Other Drug Settings who Experience or Use Domestic and Family Violence
- Practice Guide: for Responding to Domestic and Family Violence in Alcohol and Other Drug Settings
Further information about the AOD Safer Families Program can be found here.
To download the Collective Impact Statement, which describes elements of stakeholders work in 2017, click here.
About the launch
The launch on Monday 16 April 2018 was well attended with stakeholders from across the alcohol, tobacco and other drug, domestic and family violence and other key sectors, including many of the stakeholders involved in the co-design of these tools during the first year (2017) of the ACT AOD Safer Families Program.
The launch began with a Welcome to Country by Mrs Agnes Shea OAM, followed by a presentation on the development and overview of the three tools by Professor Nicole Lee (360Edge), Clinical Consultant to the AOD Safer Families Program.
Also speaking at the launch were Ms Jo Wood, Coordinator-General for Family Safety, and ATODA CEO, Carrie Fowlie.
On launching the tools, the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Ms Meegan Fitzharris MLA, acknowledged the contributions and efforts of the large number of AOD and DFV stakeholders involved in the 2017 co-design process towards the development of these tools.
The launch showcased the ACT’s leadership in Australia in responding to DFV through the development of tailored responses to an at-risk sub-population.
ACT develops Australian first toolkit to address harmful alcohol and drug use and domestic and family violence – Monday 16 April 2018
Minister for Health and Wellbeing Meegan Fitzharris and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Yvette Berry joined important stakeholders today to launch the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT’s (ATODA) co-designed comprehensive toolkit which will provide clinical and practical guidance for people who work in the alcohol and drug sector to prevent and respond to domestic and family violence.
ATODA CEO, Carrie Fowlie said harmful alcohol and other drug use is a major risk factor for domestic and family violence.
“The alcohol and drug sector is expert in behavior change, and ACT services work with over 500 women, men, children and families each day who are at risk of violence.
“Specialist alcohol and drug services are unique settings to concurrently prevent, intervene early and respond to people already experiencing domestic and family violence.
“Funding from the Safer Families levy enabled the ACT alcohol and drug sector to lead the nation in developing evidence-based, fit-for-purpose and feasible responses to domestic and
“These Australian-first tools provide clinical and practice guidance, benchmarking, role delineation and evaluation of existing and new responses to domestic and family violence in
alcohol and other drug settings.
“The ACT Government should be applauded for its ground-breaking approach to policy development, where the alcohol and drug sector was directly funded to determine how best
to respond in partnership with the domestic violence sector,” said Ms Fowlie.
Minister Fitzharris said family violence is never acceptable in the Canberra community.
“The ACT Government recognises the urgency to tackle the issue of domestic violence and has committed $21.42 million over four years through our Safer Families package – the
largest ACT Government commitment ever – to address family violence.
“The ACT Government is determined to deliver more services in new ways to bring family violence out of the shadows and ensure those who need help get it.
“Our investment of over $2 million to increase the capacity of specialist alcohol and drug services to deliver programs that integrate best practice in addressing family violence is an
important component of the Safer Families package and the release of the ATODA toolkit today is an important first step,” said Minister Fitzharris.
The Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Yvette Berry, said the insights we have gathered through the Family Safety Hub Co-Design tell us that we need to
build the capability of the whole service system to identify and respond to domestic and family violence.
“This project, which was funded as part of the Safer Families package, will make an important contribution to building this capability for the alcohol and drug sector,” Minister
“It is important that the tools ATODA launched today were developed closely with the alcoholand other drug sector through a co-design process.”
The Ministers also congratulated the ACT alcohol and other drug sector for its work and acknowledged the important contribution it can make to a safer Canberra.
Ms Fowlie said a key factor for success was the ACT Government empowering the alcohol and drug sector to use their expertise to make a fit for purpose and system-wide plan for
change, rather than taking a top-down approach.
“The domestic and family violence sector generously gave their time and expertise in every step of the process – a remarkable contribution from a sector already stretched to meet
“The AOD Safer Families Program in 2017 set the platform for long-term sustainable change and continued leadership from the ACT in improving the safety and health of all
Canberrans,” Ms Fowlie said.
The AOD Safer Families Program was recognised with an ACT Violence Prevention Award in 2017.
For more information: See the ATODA Media Release
For further media comment see for example:
Canberra Times, 15 April 2018: Toolkit aims to reduce domestic violence among drug and alcohol users
An Australian-first toolkit for workers in the drug and alcohol sector is being launched in Canberra to address the high rates of domestic violence among those abusing substances.
For more information: See the full article