The Victorian AIDS Council (VAC) has been funded to deliver family violence flexible support packages toindividuals or families who are seeking to leave, or have recently left, intimate partner or family violence circumstances. The packages are available to any person who identifies as LGBTIQ of any gender. The LGBTIQ Relationship Violence Flexi-Support Packages aim to support individuals and families to stabilise and improve their safety in a crisis or post-crisis situation. The packages are not accessible to people who remain living in a relationship violence situation. The funds must be accessed via the support of a case manager who will guide the application process. However, if an applicant does not have access to an existing case manager, VAC can appoint a Family Violence Case Manager from their team.
Eligibility Criteria
·         Applicants must reside in Victoria
·         Flexi-packages can only be distributed to people who identify as LGBTIQ who are trying to leave an intimate partner or family violence relationship situation, or those who have recently left.
·         Applicants need to have the support of a case manager and a case management plan.
·         Priority will be given to:
a) Individuals or families at highest risk from family violence
b) Individuals or families whose safety and security needs and independent living goals can reasonably be met through a flexible support package
c) Individuals and families experiencing significant financial hardship as a result of relationship violence
What the Packages can buy
Similar to the existing Family Violence Flexible Support Packages, the Relationship Violence Flexi-Support Packages can be used for:
·         Essentials - food, clothing, care packs, bills (utilities, phone) and utility debt
·         Technological safety support - CCTV, mobile phone, personal/property alarm, security doors or lighting
·         Health and wellbeing - medical or pharmaceutical costs not covered by Medicare or Pharmaceutical Benefits Schemes, counselling or specialist services
·         Safe, stable housing - public or private housing debt, rent in advance, rent in arrears, re-location costs, travel costs, furnishings and whitegoods in newly established housing
·         Economic, social and community participation - schooling, educational costs, workforce readiness (eg CAE/TAFE Course) 
·         Independence - clothing, care or placement of pets, outings, wellbeing courses
Process
·         Funds must be accessed via a case manager who will guide the application process and provide the necessary emotional and psychological supports to applicants.
·         Case managers need to apply directly to the VAC by submitting a VAC Relationship Violence Flexi-Support Packages Application and Intake forum and a Flexi-Support Case Plan.
·         Where assessed by the case manager and/or VAC as necessary, a safety plan may also be required to support the application.
·         Agency workers are welcome contact with VAC if they have any questions, request forms, want to check a client’s eligibility or explore a  possible funding request.
The VAC has recently provided the attached documents for use by organisations providing services/supporting people who identify as LGBTIQ. Please note, the Adobe/pdf documents are for promotional (public) display/use. The Word documents are for internal agency use only.
More information about the packages is available on the VAC website here: http://vac.org.au/lgbti-health/flexible-support-packages
For your information and circulation to relevant staff within your organisations.

Elaine Williams
Family Violence Regional Integration Coordinator - Barwon Area
Monday - Thursday | 9am -3pm
M: 0418 782 916