Family Safety Victoria Refuge Project

“Women on Temporary Visas in Refuge Service Strengthening Project”

The Victorian Government funds roughly 30 refuges, employing approximately 250 people across Victoria to provide safe accommodation and support to individuals and families escaping family violence. Despite emergency (flexible brokerage) funding being available to women on temporary visas, refuge workers experience challenges supporting the significant needs of women in this cohort. 

Family Safety Victoria (FSV) contracted inTouch to undertake a comprehensive needs assessment of the refuge sector to better understand current attitudes and behaviours of staff towards women on temporary visas, barriers faced by women on temporary visas when accessing refuge, and to identify appropriate capacity building initiatives.

Needs assessment report

The needs assessment report includes recommendations for inTouch, FSV, Safe + Equal and refuge agencies to implement in future to strengthen the service offered to women on temporary visas. It also outlines systemic issues and provides evidence for state and national level advocacy.

Based on the findings of the needs assessment, inTouch developed and delivered bespoke online training facilitated by our Learning and Development team, in-house migration agent and a case manager. The training content included:

  • Principals of culturally responsive practice and intersectionality
  • Systemic barriers and discrimination clients from migrant and refugee backgrounds may face when seeking support
  • Migration abuse and the impact of visa status on family violence for migrant and refugee women
  • Visa types, their conditions, obligations, eligibility for services and support and where to seek information
  • Referral pathways and support available for women on various temporary visa types

This training really clarified some factors that I already had awareness of, but wasn’t 100% comfortable with before. I really enjoyed hearing other workers’ case studies and situations I haven’t encountered yet in my work. I also found an increased confidence in the incredible support, expertise and passion that is available – and that some clients get excellent outcomes.

Refuge Project Training Participant


inTouch delivered a webinar for refuge practitioners to share the findings of the project and discuss how to provide an equitable service to women on temporary visas accessing refuge. In the second phase of the project, we will offer both online and in-person training and facilitate refuge cross-learning and exchange visits.

Case management checklist for working with women
on temporary visas staying in refuge

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