Flexible Support Packages

Flexible Support Package requirements and guidelines are provided by Department of Health and Human Services and can be found at this link.  (August 2017)


For information about the LGBTI support via Flexible Support Pages follow this link to the Victorian Aids Council website

LGBTI Flexible Support Package forms pertaining to an application

VAC FV FSP Application and Intake Form v1.0

FV Flexi-Support Case-Plan Template v1


FAMILY VIOLENCE FLEXIBLE SUPPORT PACKAGES – MALLEE

DOWNLOAD THE APPLICATION HERE

INFORMATION SHEET

Flexible support packages are available to people who are experiencing or have experienced family violence.  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.  Men who are victims of family violence are also eligible for family violence flexible support packages.  Victim/survivors will be the inclusive terms used in this information sheet.

Family violence flexible support packages are designed to provide a new individualised approach to respond to victim/survivors experiencing family violence.  Individualised packages of up to $10,000 will be available, with an average cost of $3000.

Flexible support packages will deliver a personalised and holistic response to victim/survivors experiencing family violence by assisting them to access support, move out of crisis, stabilise and improve their safety, well-being and independence.  Flexible support packages build on the success of other flexible funding responses, such as private rental brokerage.

Packages can only be distributed to victim/survivors who have a case management/support plan (this can be with a specialist family violence agency or another support agency).  One flexible support package will be available per case managed support period for victim/survivors per presentation.  This does not preclude victim/survivors from receiving subsequent package for future presentations, provided a new case management plan is in place.  A copy of the case management/support plan needs to be submitted at the time of making the application.

Flexible support packages will be targeted to victim/survivors who:

  • 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.

Priority will be given to:

  • victim/survivors at highest risk from family violence,
  • RAMP clients,
  • victim/survivors whose safety and security needs and independent living goals can reasonably be met through a package,
  • victim/survivors experiencing significant hardship.

The intention of the flexible support packages is to assist victim/survivors to stabilise and improve their safety in a crisis or post-crisis situation.  Flexible support packages will not be accessible to victim/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 will cease.

In addition to the risk assessment, a thorough case management/support plan needs to identify the way in which a flexible support package would support the victim/survivors:

  • 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.

What the package can be used for:

Flexible support packages can be used to purchase services and goods nominated by a victim/survivor in their support plan.  Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • financial stability – basic material needs including food, clothing, care packs, bills (utilities, phone)
  • technological safety support – CCTV, mobile phone, personal/property; security doors or lighting
  • health and wellbeing – medical or pharmaceutical costs not covered by 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.

The case management/support plan needs to identify the way in which a flexible support package would support the victim/survivors to: establish sustainable arrangements that support their long-term health and well-being; prevent unnecessary interventions by child protection; and leave their current family arrangements in which family violence is occurring.

The package is applied for and provided in conjunction with a case manager who has developed a comprehensive case management/support plan with the client, which outlines gaols and support needing to be purchased and which is regularly reviewed, including risk and safety planning.

The flexible funds will be used in conjunction with the other agencies’ support, to achieve medium and longer term outcomes that promote: safety and freedom from violence, access to safe, stable housing, financial stability, family health and wellbeing, economic, social and community participation and independence.  This includes addressing children’s needs and providing linkages to appropriate services.

What the package can’t be used for:

  • illegal activity
  • gambling
  • an emergency housing response
  • 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 or commonwealth programs.

Application Process

For any general enquiries about the application, please contact Sharon Burness (Administration Officer) at Mallee Sexual Assault and Mallee Domestic Violence Service on 50 21 21 30 or sharonb@msau-mdvs.org.au.

An application form (attached) is to be completed & lodged by the case manager on behalf of their client.  Your Team leader/Manager needs to endorse the application.

It is preferable to provide invoice(s) or quote(s) from supplier(s) for goods/services requested in your application.  Where it is difficult to obtain invoice(s) or quote(s) it is necessary to provide a clear outline of the amount of money being requested and the anticipated supplier(s) (e.g. website catalogue print outs).

Please lodge your completed Application Form via email: sharonb@msau-mdvs.org.au.

Please mark CONFIDENTIAL FVFSP in the subject line.

A copy of the current case management/support plan needs to be attached to the application form.

On receipt of the application, a return email will be sent to the case manager acknowledging receipt.

Applications will be assessed in accordance with priority access guidelines and eligibility and suitability criteria.

The case manager will be informed in writing of the outcome of the application, generally within 2-3 days following receipt of the application.

Payment Arrangements

  • The case manager would seek a tax invoice(s) from specific supplier(s) to the approved amount. Tax invoice(s) needs to name Mallee Sexual Assault Unit Inc as the payee.
  • These need to be lodged for payment with Sharon via email sharonb@msau-mdvs.org.au. A return email will be sent acknowledging receipt of the invoice(s) for payment.
  • Following payment an email will be sent to the case manager /team leader confirming payment with remittance advice attached.
  • The case manager will then be able to arrange delivery of the goods/services for their client.

Availability of Packages

At this stage, the packages are available until 30 June 2018.  For further information contact Mallee Domestic Violence Service on:  50 21 21 30.