Domestic and Family Violence Training and Resources

Occupational Therapy Australia is sharing the following letter from Queensland Health regarding free access to the content of its eLearning modules Understanding Domestic and Family Violence and Clinical Response to Domestic and Family Violence.

In relation to the below notice we would also like to share with you other free and relevant resources and courses available to you. Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to view these.

I am writing to you to highlight the importance of training for health practitioners regarding understanding and appropriately responding to domestic and family violence (DFV) and highlight resources to support practitioners who may interact with victims of and their children, or perpetrators of DFV.

DFV is a health issue. Successive studies of the burden of disease in Australia have found that DFV is the leading preventable contributor of death and illness for women aged 18 to 44 years. Furthermore, the health system is often the first point of contact for people who have experienced DFV.

The Domestic and Family Violence Death Review and Advisory Board (the Board) was established as part of the Queensland Government’s implementation of recommendations from the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence’s Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland Report. The Board operates under the Coroners Act 2003 to undertake systemic reviews of DFV deaths in Queensland.

Each year the Board releases an annual report outlining their key findings and recommendations to identify common systemic failures, gaps or issues and make recommendations to improve systems, practices and procedures that aim to prevent future DFV deaths. In response to a recommendation made by the Board in its 2016-17 Annual Report the Queensland Government committed to liaising with relevant professional bodies to recommend ongoing DFV awareness training for registered practitioners.

Occupational therapists are in a unique position to identify and respond to victims/survivors and perpetrators of DFV when they present to health services. In their work occupational therapists apply specialist skills and knowledge to develop relationships of trust as a means to understanding clinical, individual, community and social issues impacting on client/patient health and wellbeing. This makes understanding the dynamics and impacts of DFV and feeling confident to respond safely and sensitively to clients/patients an important part of professional practice.

The presence of practitioners who are informed in responding to DFV will increase the safety of victims/survivors and their children and reduce the burden of disease caused by DFV. I would like to encourage the Occupational Therapy Australia to develop and promote continuing professional development training opportunities in relation to understanding and responding to DFV. The opportunity to complete such training as part of their annual registration is one way of building the capacity within the occupational therapy workforce.

Queensland Health’s DFV Toolkit of Resources (the Toolkit) consists of two high quality online eLearning modules, a face-to-face training module and a range of downloadable resources to support health clinicians to understand DFV and to use sensitive enquiry to apply the Recognise Respond Refer model. The Toolkit has been developed collaboratively with a range of stakeholders in the primary, private and public health care systems in Queensland and is targeted at health workers and clinicians across professions and clinical streams.

Queensland Health offers your organisation free access to the content of its eLearning modules Understanding Domestic and Family Violence and Clinical Response to Domestic and Family Violence. Although developed primarily for clinicians in hospital settings these resources could be used as a valuable starting point for the development of high quality, accredited continuing professional development training resources for your members.

Should you require further information, the Department of Health’s contact is Mr David Harmer, Senior Director, Strategic Policy and Legislation Branch, Strategy, Policy and Planning Division, on telephone (07) 3708 5574.

Yours sincerely

Dr John Wakefield PSM
22 / 01 / 2020

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