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Working in health, family and community services settings

3 minutes

This setting includes hospitals, community health, general practitioners and allied health, family support and relationship centres, settlement and migrant resource centres, disability support services, maternal and child health, prenatal and antenatal care, primary health, mental health and other social services. 

Why this setting?

Most people interact and seek treatment and services with this setting at multiple stages throughout their lives. This setting has a long history in leading prevention initiatives across Australia.  

Women’s health organisations and family and domestic violence organisations were the first to undertake primary prevention work and have been invaluable to its evolution and coordination, nationally. Through their partnerships across the community, and by working directly with the community, they are in a strong position to influence people and communities to promote gender equality and respect and have the capacity to coordinate prevention work. 

Violence against women also has a range of health impacts for women and children — primary prevention of violence makes good business sense for the health sector. 

Key opportunities

  • Raise awareness of the health impacts of violence against women. 
  • Make use of significant reach across the community. 
  • Embed gender equality into their direct services and care to the community. 
  • Preventing violence against women in care and institutional settings, including in disability support and aged care services. 
  • Reach marginalised groups, such as young people outside the education system, first-time parents, newly arrived migrants and refugees, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families. 

Things you can do

  • Whole-of-organisation approaches, where prevention is integrated in daily services and practices with clients, partners and as the health setting as a workplace. 
  • Consult with clients and the local community on their experience of how gender equitable, respectful and inclusive they found your service and program. Use these findings to make changes to relevant services, practices, policies and programs. 
  • Deliver direct participation programs that address the drivers of violence, such as programs that promote healthy, equal and respectful relationships among new parents. 
  • Support clients who disclose experiences of violence, through the development and implementation of policies, process and staff training. 
  • For those organisations who are not specialist family violence services, establish clear referral pathways for people to specialist organisations. 

Resources for health, family and community services