Please note that GenWest is not a 24/7 crisis service. If your client requires information or support outside normal business hours, please contact Safe Steps on 1800 015 188.
We support people experiencing family violence. We are currently experiencing high demand and there is often a waiting list for case management support.
In this section read about our family violence services, including:
- First Response
- Case management
- Children and youth counselling
- Housing and accommodation options
- Court support
- After hours support
Our First Response team is the first point of contact for you when referring clients to GenWest’s services. All of our referrals come through our First Response team, who are assisted by our senior receptionists.
Our First Response team operate on a triage model, based on risk, and aim to respond to enquires at our earliest convenience. Please note we are not a crisis response service. For 24/7 response, call Safe Steps (1800 015 188), or 000.
The First Response hours of operation are from 9:00am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday. The First Response After Hours team work from 4:30pm to 10:00pm Monday to Friday.
To find out more about how the First Response team works, have a look at our Introducing First Response Service resource.
GenWest’s case managers work with victim-survivors who are either experiencing an immediate family violence crisis, or whose safety is at risk as a result of family violence.
Case managers undertake comprehensive risk assessments to identify the level of risk and work with women to develop case plans, safety strategies, and to coordinate access to brokerage, advocacy, housing, legal, health, counselling and other assistance, to support immediate and long term safety.
GenWest offers a variety of case management approaches depending on the needs of the client. For example, we offer:
- Outreach case management support
Outreach case managers work with women who are experiencing family violence who are planning to leave the relationship, or who have left the relationship. Outreach case managers work with women for up to three months. Services offered include ongoing risk assessment and safety planning, case coordination, practical and emotional support, advocacy and referrals, and secondary consultation.
- Specialist case management support
Intensive case managers provide family violence support to women and their children who are experiencing a high level of risk, have complex needs, or who require intensive support to become safe. In addition, there is also an intensive case manager to support clients with a disability.
A CALD case manager provides intensive housing support for women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Download the brochure for more information.
Please note that we are currently experiencing high demand and there is often a waiting list for case management support.
- Outreach case management support
GenWest’s children’s and youth counselling program provides child/youth focused, trauma-informed counselling and therapeutic group work. The service helps children and young people to make sense of, and recover from their experiences of family violence.
Counselling is available for children aged 0 to 17 years and 11 months, who reside in the western region of Melbourne and have experienced family violence.
Counselling support is offered through single session work, group work, individual and sibling/family sessions, and our staff use a range of creative modalities (art, music and play therapy) during the counselling process. This is a free service.
GenWest also offers therapeutic group work through the SPLASh (Safe Place for Laughter, Arts and Sharing) program.
SPLASh is a creative arts therapeutic group for children aged 8-12 in Melbourne’s west. SPLASh is run twice a year, in a different location across the west.
Children’s and youth counsellors are outposted to locations across Melbourne’s western region. Counselling is offered in Footscray, Melton, Hoppers Crossing and Wyndham Vale.
Download our Children’s and Youth Counselling Information Sheet.
NOTE: Referrals for crisis accommodation are received via Safe Steps. If you are working with a client and wish to refer them to crisis accommodation, please contact Safe Steps on 1800 015 188, to discuss whether a refuge is suitable for their circumstances.
GenWest’s client and residency management (CARM) team focuses on providing safe refuge for women and children who are at risk of harm.
Victim-survivors accessing services through our CARM team are assigned a case manager, and children are allocated a children’s case manager. There is a CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) case manager available to support victim-survivors from migrant or refugee backgrounds.
The team provide victim-survivors of family violence with a range of support, depending on their level of safety and risk.
This can include referring them to a high security refuge or crisis accommodation property.
Case managers work alongside victim-survivors to support their transition into crisis accommodation and will liaise with local housing suppliers, cooperative housing services, and the Office of Housing to identify safe, longer term accommodation options. Case managers can also advocate on behalf of victim-survivors to these services.
The CARM team can also link victim-survivors to other services like counselling or court support, and organise whatever a victim-survivor might need in order to move to safe medium- or long-term accommodation.
The Court Support service at GenWest is currently on hold. However, our First Response team can continue to provide information about family violence intervention orders and where to go for legal help and support.
Where to go for help?
Court Network is a free, confidential community service provided by volunteers for all court users in Victoria. If you or someone you know is going to court, you can contact Court Network and they can:
- Give information about going to court
- Explain court processes
- Provide information about accessing legal support
- Help you with completing online applications and forms, and more
Website: The Court Network
Phone: 1800 571 239 (Monday – Friday, 9AM – 4PM)
Online referral: The Court Network online referral
The duty lawyer gives free legal advice to people going to court on their hearing day. You can request a referral to a duty lawyer for your family violence intervention order hearing by completing one of the following forms:
- Pre-court information form: Applicant or Affected Family Member
- Pre-court information form: Respondent
Victoria Legal Aid
Phone: Legal Help on 1300 792 387 (Monday – Friday, 8AM to 5PM)
Find legal answers online: Victoria Legal Aid
For criminal matters or if you have been identified as the Respondent in a family violence intervention order, you can request: Help Before Court
Legal support services
You can talk to one of the free legal services listed below or contact a private lawyer.
Community Legal Centre
(03) 9652 1500
1800 105 303
LGBTIQ+ Legal Service
Hours: 10am – 1pm Monday, Wednesday & Friday
(03) 9113 9500