safe steps Family Violence Accommodation Register
The Family Violence Accommodation Register tool was developed for safe steps Family Violence Response Centre, a social change organisation that works to eliminate violence against women and their children. Our brief was to develop an accommodation register to better match women and children experiencing, or at risk of, family violence with appropriate places of safety.
The design challenge for Conduct was to reimagine the Refuge Resource Register to better match women and children experiencing, or at risk of family violence, with appropriate places of safety. The existing process was time intensive to maintain and required significant manual intervention, requiring critical resourcing that was needed elsewhere.
Daily calls to around 30 refuges were required to check and update refuge vacancies with high levels of information double handling. The use of email and fax to exchange confidential client information with refuges fell short of Government security standards of maintaining highly sensitive information.
Women impacted by, and fleeing family violence are vulnerable and anxious to seek safety and secure housing for themselves and their children. The creation of a highly secure platform that streamlines and expedites the referral process assists in relieving anxiety during this time of crisis.
The new Family Violence Accommodation Register is more personalised as to what is an ‘appropriate’ refuge, and its parameters are customisable based on individual safety requirements for the woman. The system now allows instant access to real time data about refuge availability across Victoria on any moment, helping to speed up the response time.
The new Family Violence Accommodation Register made the referral process more secure for sending documents, allowing for increased confidentiality for the women using the service. Further, it increased the duty of care and accountability for both refuges and safe steps case workers.
Early feedback has been very positive and adoption has been successful across the board. A Case Manager told us “the register has been going really well and it has saved me SO much time in the referral process”. Conduct will continuously monitor usage, efficiency gains, and feedback reports.
The Family Violence Accommodation Register was required to solve a very specific need and it leverages the best aspects of real time interconnectivity that a web application allows. It leverages concepts from social networking to allow the selection of refuges and referral of cases to individuals in real time, while contained within a bespoke and purposes built system.
The refuge matching is a new automated process that required new custom built client and server side technology to accomplish, while leveraging existing frameworks and solutions for boiler plate and generic code base.
The new Family Violence Accommodation Register means that women are better informed as they seek urgent rehousing, empowering them to move forward with their lives.
It was of the highest importance for this project that Conduct ensure adequate security controls were in place appropriate to the required security classification. To do so, Conduct enacted a System Risk Management Plan to assess the risk and effectiveness of these controls to mitigate the threat level. In accordance with the DHHS Information Security Classification Policy, the data transmitted and stored within safe steps needed to be classified as ‘Protected’.