Good Practice Guidelines

DVNSW has been working with the sector over the last 12 months in developing a guide to good practice for the DFV sector.

The DFV Guidelines involved detailed research and consultation to identify good practice in the current service context in communities across NSW. The principles and origins of this work lie in feminist, social justice practice developed by workers in refuges, women’s, family support services and community-controlled organisations over several decades.  While the domestic and family violence service system will inevitably continue to be impacted and shaped by ongoing reform and development, the principles and values in this guide are designed to assist workers to understand the needs of victim-survivors of violence and to embed a gendered analysis of violence and cultural safety throughout their practice.

The key purpose of the DFV Practice Guidelines is to provide a framework to support the delivery of high quality, consistent responses to victim-survivors across the DFV sector in NSW, and to provide services with a tool to assist them to provide high quality services and guidelines for service development, planning and quality assurance. The Guidelines recognise the specific needs of victim-survivors from a diverse range of backgrounds and the importance of flexible service responses that respond to individuals’ specific needs. Finally, they define what makes working with victim-survivors of domestic and family violence different to working with other clients, and provide generalist services with information around what it means to have DFV specialisation. The Guidelines aim to provide services with a framework to deliver quality responses, demonstrate the value of specialist service provision and benchmark against other similar services with the intention of supporting continuous sector improvement.

The Guidelines reinforce practices and procedures that have been developed over decades of expertise by experienced specialist domestic and family violence services, women’s services, peak bodies (including the NSW Women’s Refuge Movement’s Access and Equity Manual), community-controlled organisations and agencies that have experience working with women, children, families and communities impacted by violence.

The Guidelines can be accessed here: Practice Guidelines

The Bibliography for the Guidelines are here: Guidelines Bibliography

Please note that these Guidelines are designed to be continually updated as we learn more about what good practice looks like in the DFV sector. If you have any suggestions for the Guidelines or would like to be involved in their continued development please email us at