26 September 2023

More Family Safety Officers to back-up police

Start the conversation

The Department of Communities has announced that 34 new Family Safety Officers are to enhance its Family and Domestic Violence Response Teams, which are also comprised of police and child protection workers.

The officers will provide an early and coordinated response when the WA Police are called out to family and domestic violence incidents, handling case management of the highest-risk perpetrators and most vulnerable victim-survivors in the community.

They will be phased in over three years, beginning with an initial roll-out of 14 workers across seven metropolitan and regional teams throughout 2023-24.

In a statement, the Department said there would be a focus on providing culturally responsive services for Aboriginal people and families, including through intensive family support.

“The focus on Aboriginal families recognises the over-representation of Aboriginal people, particularly women and children, as victim-survivors of serious family violence assaults,” the Department said.

“It will be facilitated in part through the employment of Aboriginal people to Family Safety Officer positions.

The Department said the new positions would help relieve front-line staff who were jointly responsible for responding to an average of 48,000 reports of family and domestic violence to police every year.

Minister for the Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence, Simone McGurk said there was no doubt that family and domestic violence was a major problem in WA.

“Last financial year WA Police received on average one report of family violence every 12 minutes — and alarmingly many more cases aren’t reported,” Ms McGurk said.

“Creating new specialist positions will ensure there’s an early coordinated response following a police call-out, which could make all the difference.”

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.