Chelsea Tobin Churchill Fellowship

Exploring better ways to support young people affected by family violence

Each year, Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre takes and makes around 150,000 calls and most nights, places up to 100 victim survivors in accommodation. Around 43% are children.

While we are funded to provide wrap-around support to help parents stay safe, children are not recognised as victim survivors in their own right and there is little dedicated support focused on the needs of young people, especially those aged 15 to 19.

Children coming into crisis care may need help re-forming attachments with their primary carer, maintaining vital education connections, managing complex emotions concerning the abuse and the perpetrator, as well as medical, mental health and substance abuse services.

These gaps are recognised by the Victorian Government’s plan to end family violence, which highlights the need for tailored supports that reflect the stage of development and unique needs of children and young people as a priority – irrespective of their location, gender, ability, cultural background, faith or sexual preferences.

Safe Steps CEO, Chelsea Tobin, has been awarded a three-month international Churchill Fellowship to investigate how organisations similar to Safe Steps operate, and what they are doing to support families and children, as well as young people, experiencing domestic violence.

Chelsea will bring her findings back to Victoria and her exploration of best practice, youth-oriented family violence responses will inform how Safe Steps shapes its future response.

We will share Chelsea’s journey and her learnings here as she meets with a range of leading practitioners and academics around the world.

If you’d like to stay informed as Chelsea shares her reflections, sign up using the form below.

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