Domestic and family violence services regulatory framework
Our Domestic and family violence services regulatory framework (PDF) or (DOCX) (the regulatory framework) will come into effect on 1 January 2022.
This regulatory framework will ensure ongoing compliance of Queensland Government funded domestic and family violence (DFV) services with the Practice principles, standards and guidance (practice standards) that came into effect on 1 January 2021.
Why a regulatory framework?
The regulatory framework aims to promote practice consistency and continuous improvement across the sector to improve victim safety, perpetrator accountability and service integration across Queensland.
Improving service consistency sets a baseline for service delivery and works towards the goal that all victims and perpetrators are provided with the same quality of service, no matter where they are in Queensland.
The regulatory framework achieves this by highlighting good practice and using an audit process to identify areas for improvement, as well as to provide early warning of any potential issues.
Who does it apply to?
The regulatory framework will capture all department–funded DFV services to ensure compliance with the practice standards. This includes DFV support services, perpetrator intervention services, women’s shelters and integrated service responses.
While the regulatory framework has been developed to ensure quality practice for Queensland's DFV service sector, it can also be voluntarily applied more broadly by other agencies whose core business is impacted by DFV. This includes prescribed entities such as those delivering police and justice services, health (including mental health and drug and alcohol services), education, and tertiary and statutory child protection services.
What is the regulatory framework?
The regulatory framework is a monitoring and compliance mechanism to ensure a high standard of service delivery across DFV services that demonstrates compliance with the practice standards.
The regulatory framework is operationalised through the Human services quality framework (HSQF), the Queensland Government’s existing monitoring and compliance framework in place for all funded human service organisations, including DFV specialist services.
As part of the regulatory framework, DFV–specific criteria designed to measure implementation of the practice standards have been embedded into the HSQF user guide.
The regulatory framework will come into effect on 1 January 2022, which means that DFV services audited after this date will also be assessed against the regulatory framework criteria and evidence in the HSQF user guide.
How to navigate the regulatory framework?
The regulatory framework document provides an overview of the framework, purpose and how it is operationalised. The HSQF supplement (PDF) or (DOCX) contains the DFV specific criteria and suggested evidence, which will also be imbedded into the HSQF user guide.
Criteria and suggested evidence
Specialist DFV criteria and suggested evidence have been developed and embedded into the HSQF user guide which sets out what services must demonstrate, and what evidence they could provide, to support an auditor to assess their DFV service delivery.
The criteria and suggested evidence are not intended to be restrictive or prescriptive; they seek to identify the ‘what’ of good practice, rather than ‘how’ services should be delivered. The criteria identifies the elements within the practice standards that are associated with best practice.
The suggested evidence within the regulatory framework has been developed to assist practitioners, services and auditors to identify what best practice may look like in DFV service delivery.
The evidence is not a check list of what services should be delivering or have in place, but a series of examples to help demonstrate that services are meeting the criteria.
Compliance and the HSQF
DFV services seeking certification or re-certification under the HSQF must demonstrate all common requirements for all indicators as outlined in the HSQF user guide, as well as the DFV–specific requirements. In the HSQF user guide, these requirements are identifiable by the following icons:
DFV service providers captured under the HSQF are required to demonstrate compliance with the practice standards as part of their ongoing HSQF certification and re-certification process (3–year audit cycle). HSQF existing processes and policies regarding reviews and complaints and non-compliance will remain in place, with a focus on continuous improvement.
We have developed a suite of resources to support the implementation of the regulatory framework during the onboarding phase from 1 July 2021 to 1 January 2022. Further resources to support implementation of the regulatory framework may be developed, depending on the stated needs of the sector.
- The Domestic and family violence regulatory framework—Overview (PDF) provides frontline staff and services with key information about the regulatory framework and implications for practice.
- Live statewide webinars were delivered to support understanding of the regulatory framework. The webinars are intended to outline the purpose, operationalisation and preparation required for services to be compliant with the regulatory framework.
- The Services self-assessment (DOCX) supports services to do a self-assessment against the regulatory framework criteria and evidence that is embedded in the HSQF user guide.
- WorkUp Queensland has developed a support project for the practice standards and regulatory framework, based on the voluntary self-assessment documents. WorkUp also offers practice studios, knowledge circles, professional development and workforce planning for the DFV sector and can assist services in preparing for the implementation of the regulatory framework.
- Queensland Council of Social Services (QCOSS) provides policy templates, resources and support for social services, including DFV, sexual violence and women's health services. These resources can be found on the Community Door website.
For more information, please contact your regional contract manager or email the Domestic and Family Violence Service System Reform Team at DFSVServiceSystemReform@justice.qld.gov.au.