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SUBMISSION: Feedback on the Proposed Changes to the Victims Services Support Scheme

The NSW Government has proposed reforms to the NSW Victims Support Scheme to improve their services for victims of crime. The proposed advances include consolidation of service phone numbers, client’s free choice tocounsellor and a new application form. Whilst we appreciate the intention of proposed reforms, we fear some of the changes may deny victims of domestic and family violence access to the support and services to which they are entitled. The implementation of these proposed reforms has been paused whilst the government consults with stakeholders on their likely impact. We thank the Victims Services Commissioner for the opportunity to provide feedback on these and look forward to further discussions as to how we can work together to achieve the best possible outcomes in the interests of victims of domestic and family violence.

To address concerns surrounding the proposed changes to the NSW Victims Support Scheme, Women’s Safety NSW conducted an online survey with frontline workers, coordinators and service providers. The survey was sent out and completed by a diverse range of 48 workers state-wide. 48.89% of those are based in regional locations, 20% in inner metropolitan areas, 26.7% in outer metropolitan areas and 6.67% are in rural areas. The survey asked for feedback and opinions on the proposed changes to Victims Services with respect to applications for counselling and recognition payments.

Download full report HERE.