A key feature of the NSW Government Domestic and Family Violence Framework for Reform is a new service delivery model, It Stops Here Safer Pathway, which is intended to improve the consistency and effectiveness of the response to domestic violence in NSW.
Safety Action Meetings (SAMs) are a mechanism to deliver a coordinated response to women who have been identified as at serious threat of further harm.
Each SAM will be chaired by a senior police officer whose Local Area Command is in the Local Coordination Point’s area. The same local representatives of government agencies will attend each SAM, along with key NGO representatives who will be or have been involved with the victim and can provide useful information about her particular circumstances.
The Local Coordination Point will generally be the conduit between a domestic violence victim and the SAM, so the Local Coordination Point representative will be tasked with ensuring that the woman’s wishes are known and respected by SAM participants.
The main purpose of the SAM is to immediately reduce the threat of further harm to the victim and her or his children. Safety Action Meeting members develop a Safety Action Plan for each case on the agenda – this is a list of actions that agencies must take to reduce the threat to the victim's safety and this is not a list actions that victims must take.
Ultimately WDVCAS NSW believes the SAM is an accountability mechanism. It has the potential to ensure that government agencies and non-government services are held accountable to prioritise and coordinate support for women who are at serious threat of harm.
In 2014 the NSW Government announced that the 28 WDVCASs in NSW will operate as the Local Coordination Points in a new service delivery model. The new service delivery model, It Stops Here Safer Pathway, is a central element of the NSW Government's broader domestic and family violence reforms.
We believe the Local Coordination Points are integral to the success of the new service delivery model in that they will coordinate local support for domestic violence victims and facilitate urgent action for those at serious threat of further harm through the coordination of regular Safety Action Meetings.
WDVCASs as host of the Local Coordination Point will perform the following functions:
The WDVCAS Coordinator will be responsible for managing staff undertaking Local Coordination Point responsibilities, including threat assessment, case coordination and Safety Action Meeting secretariat support. Every victim supported by a Local Coordination Point will remain the Local Coordination Point’s client until such time as she is referred to other appropriate service provider(s) for ongoing support.