Flexible Support Packages (FSP) respond to victims/survivors experiencing family violence by assisting them to stabilise and improve their safety in a crisis or post-crisis situation and secure:
- safety and freedom from violence
- access to safe, stable housing
- financial stability
- health and wellbeing
- economic, social and community participation
The application form must be completed and lodged by the case manager on behalf of their client. To receive an application form and for any general enquiries, please contact:
Ph. (03) 9742 8350 or (03) 9742 8349
Requirements provided by the Department of Health and Human Services and can be found below.
Women alone and women with children are expected to be the primary recipients of flexible support packages. However, in recognition of the diverse experiences of family violence experienced by Aboriginal people, people from culturally diverse backgrounds, people with disabilities, people from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, gender diverse and intersex community and older people experiencing elder abuse, are included in the victim/survivor term - as well as men experiencing domestic violence.
Who can have access to a FSP?
Victims/Survivors who: Priority is given to: Ineligible cases:
- are escaping; and/or
- have recently experienced family violence; and/or
- are planning to leave an abusive situation or have the perpetrator removed from the home with appropriate legal sanctions in place.
- victims/survivors at highest risk from family violence
- victims/survivors whose safety and security needs and independent living goals can reasonably be met through a flexible support package
- victims/survivors experiencing significant hardship.
Flexible support packages will not be accessible to victims/survivors who wish to continue their domestic living arrangements with the perpetrator of the abuse. If a victim/survivor returns to a domestic living arrangement with the perpetrator of the abuse, access to flexible support package funding will cease.
Application forms are completed by the assigned Caseworker in conjunction with a case management plan outlining goals and support to be purchased with flexible support packages funding. The Plan needs to clearly identify how the flexible support package will support the victim/survivor:
- to establish sustainable arrangements that support their long-term health and wellbeing
- in preventing intervention by child protection
- in leaving their current family arrangements in which family violence is occurring.
Plans will be reviewed every three months to assess the progress towards achieving outcomes. Regular and ongoing updates of risk and safety planning will be reviewed by the Western VACCA panel to determine suitability, eligibility and priority for flexible support packages. Requests will be processed by finances and followed up by the assigned Caseworker.
Flexible support packages can be used to purchase services and goods nominated by the victim/survivor in the support plan. Flexible support packages must address the needs of children (when applicable), including linking children to appropriate services.
Flexible support packages can be used for, but are not limited to: Flexible support packages cannot be used for the following purposes:
- financial stability - basic material needs including food, clothing, care packs, bills (utilities, phone) and utility debts
- technological safety support - CCTV, mobile phone, personal/property alarm, security doors or lighting
- health and wellbeing - medical or pharmaceutical costs not covered my Medicare or Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, counselling or specialist services
- safe, stable housing - public or private housing debt, rent in advance, rent arrears, relocation costs, travel costs, furnishings and whitegoods in newly established housing
- economic, social and community participation - schooling, educational costs, workforce readiness (for example, Adult Education / TAFE course)
- independence - clothing, care or placement of pets, outings, wellbeing courses
- flexible support packages can be used where available supports (for example, local, state or Commonwealth Government services) cannot be provided in a timely manner
- they can also be used to supplement supports identified in a support plan.
- illegal activity
- products or services not identified in the support plan
- other free or low-cost services readily available within the community
- to replace or duplicate supports that are available through other funding sources, including other Local, State and Commonwealth Government programs.