Victoria (statewide)

Bond Assistance

If you can’t afford to pay the bond when renting privately, you may be able to borrow the money. There are income and asset limits for public housing assistance and bond loans in Victoria. For more information see the website listed.

  • Referrals: No
  • 24 Hours: No
  • Outreach: No
  • Walk-ins: No
  • Appointments: No

    Child and family Service and Child FIRST

    Placing children and youth first, the Every Child Every Chance reforms provide professionals working within the sector more effective processes to:

    • listen to what children and young people want and need
    • enable earlier intervention
    • reduce child abuse and neglect
    • provide better support to Aboriginal children, young people and their families
    • work together in cooperation with other providers of children, young people and family services.

    If you or someone you know needs support in your family or you would just like to discuss concerns you have for a child, call the Child FIRST service in you local area for a chat. If you believe that a child is in need of protection but you’re not sure your concerns meet the child protection threshold, call Child FIRST for a confidential consultation.

     

    For more information visit:

    http://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/590110/child_FIRST_fact_sheet_PRINT.pdf

    • Cost: Free
    • Referrals: Yes
    • 24 Hours: No
    • Outreach: Yes
    • Walk-ins: Yes
    • Appointments: Yes
    • Lower Hume (Seymour): 1300 855 614
    • Goulburn Valley (Shepparton): 1300 854 944
    • Central Hume (Wangaratta): 1800 705 211
    • Upper Hume (Wodonga): 1800 705 211

    Child Protection Services

    What do child protection services provide

    Child Protection provides child-centred, family-focused services to protect children and young people from significant harm caused by abuse or neglect within the family. It also aims to make sure that children and young people receive services to deal with the affect of abuse and neglect on their wellbeing and development.

    The role of the Child Protection Service is to:

    • Receive reports from people who believe a child needs protection from abuse or neglect.
    • Provide advice to people who report cases of abuse or neglect.
    • Investigate when a child is believed to have been abused or is at risk of abuse or neglect.
    • Refer children and families to services in the community for ongoing support and harm prevention.
    • Take matters to the Children’s Court if the child’s safety within the family cannot be guaranteed.
    • Supervise children on legal orders granted by the Children’s Court.

    Mandatory reporting of child abuse

    Some professionals such as doctors, nurses, police and school teachers are legally obliged to report suspected child abuse. In addition, any person who believes on reasonable grounds that a child needs protection can make a report to the Victorian Child Protection Service. It is the Child Protection worker’s job to assess and, where necessary, further investigate if a child or young person is at risk of significant harm.

    Further information can be found on Reporting child abuse or Making a referral to Child FIRST. To access their website, click here.

     

    • Cost: Free
    • Referrals: Yes
    • 24 Hours: Yes
    • Outreach: Yes
    • Walk-ins: Yes
    • Appointments: Yes
    • Hume Region (free call): 1800 650 227
    • After Hours (Victoria): 131 278
    • Wangaratta Office: 0357 220555
    • Wodonga Office: 0260 557777
    • Shepparton Office: 0358 321500
    • Seymour Office: 0357 936400

    There are a range of services in our community that aim to support families and protect children. These can be categorised into three levels:

    • Universal (primary) services – are offered to everyone in the community. They include antenatal services (pregnancy counselling and advice), maternal and child health services, and preschool education. These services aim to provide support and help to prevent abuse and neglect.
    • Secondary services – identify and reduce the personal and social stresses on parents that may lead to family breakdown or child abuse. Services include in-home family help, financial or family counselling, respite care, and various parenting and self-help groups.
    • Tertiary (statutory) services – are for children who are or may be at risk of significant harm, and for whom intervention is needed for their ongoing safety. These services include the statutory Child Protection Service and Placement Service for children who are unable to live at home. Generally, where families are experiencing difficulties, it is more appropriate that less intrusive community-based professionals and agencies attempt to assist. Referral to the Child Protection Service occurs only where children and young people are at risk of significant harm.

    Consumer Action Law Centre

    Free legal advice helpline, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. 1800 466 477

      • Cost: Free
      • Referrals: No
      • 24 Hours: No
      • Outreach: No
      • Walk-ins: No
      • Appointments: No
      • Main Contact: 1300 558 181

      Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault National Help Line

      Telephone counselling for females and males specialising in domestic violence and sexual assault which is available in all regions nation wide.

      1800 737 732

        • Cost: Free
        • Referrals: No
        • 24 Hours: Yes
        • Outreach: No
        • Walk-ins: No
        • Appointments: No
        • Free Call: 1800 737 732

        This service provides over the phone counselling on sexual assault and domestic violence. They are also able to provide referrals to allow you to book appointments at local agencies to seek further help.

        Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV)

        Initial telephone support, information and referral to services to assist people who have experienced family violence. Specialist resources in domestic violence and incest.  Contact details for local support services.

        Phone us on (03) 9486 9866, Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm.

        • Cost: Free
        • Referrals: Yes
        • 24 Hours: No
        • Outreach: No
        • Walk-ins: No
        • Appointments: No
        • Main Contact: (03) 9486 9866

        Family Law Courts National Enquiry Centre

        General information about family law court procedures, Family Law Court forms and publications, referrals to legal advice.  The National Enquiry Centre operates telephone and email information services (except in WA) for the Courts

        Opening Hours:
        8.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday

          • Cost: Free
          • Referrals: Yes
          • 24 Hours: No
          • Outreach: No
          • Walk-ins: No
          • Appointments: No

          Services include:

          • general information about family law court procedures
          • general information about applying to the Family Law Courts
          • general procedural information about your case
          • family law forms and publications,
          • referrals to legal advice and other services in the family law system, and
          • copies of divorce certificates and orders.

          Immigrant Women’s Domestic Violence Service Hotline

          Immigrant Women’s Domestic Violence Service (IWDVS) gives voice and provides culturally sensitive services, in Victoria, to meet the needs of women and children from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds affected by domestic violence. It is free for immigrant women and families in situations of family violence and provides linguistic support in over 20 languages. You can call Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm.

          • Cost: Free
          • Referrals: No
          • 24 Hours: No
          • Outreach: No
          • Walk-ins: No
          • Appointments: No
          • Public Line: 03 8413 6800
          • Rural Women ring: 1800 755 988
          • Phone Interpreter Service: 131 450
          • TTY: 133 677

          The hotline provides culturally sensitive risk assessment, court assistance, information, support, advocacy and referral to women and children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in situations of domestic violence.

           

          Kid’s Help Line

          Counselling line for children and young people aged 5-18 years, email and web counselling.counselling across all regions Australia wide.

          Free call 24/7 – 1800 55 1800

          • Cost: Free
          • Referrals: Yes
          • 24 Hours: Yes
          • Outreach: No
          • Walk-ins: No
          • Appointments: No
          • Free call: 1800 55 1800

          Lifeline

          Lifeline provides access to crisis support, suicide prevention and mental health support services

          24/7 phone crisis counselling service for all regions across Australia

          131 114

          • Cost: Free
          • Referrals: Yes
          • 24 Hours: Yes
          • Outreach: No
          • Walk-ins: No
          • Appointments: No
          • Lifeline: 131114

          Lifeline’s National Services:

          •  24 Hour Telephone Crisis Support – 13 11 14
          • Online Crisis Support Chat
          • Service Finder – free directory of local health and community services
          • Mental Health Resource Centre
          • DValert – Domestic Violence Response Training
          • National Cannabis Information and Helpline

          Local Community Services:

          A range of services are provided through local Lifeline Centres across Australia that meets the needs of local communities. These services may include:

          • Suicide prevention and bereavement services
          • Face-to-face counselling
          • Financial counselling
          • Gambling counselling
          • Youth services
          • Disability services
          • Welfare programs
          • Rural outreach
          • Migrant support services
          • Family and mediation services
          • Counselling services for children
          • School based education programs
          • Information education and support groups
          • Indigenous support services

          Marian Community

          Marian Community provides a range of client focussed services in a safe and caring environment, upholding the rights of women and children to determine their own future and live free of violence. Marian Community offers women and children family violence crisis support and case management services with a focus on providing them with real opportunities to make a path out of violent relationships. Client support is provided according to the assessment of their needs, which is flexible and can include both financial and ‘practical’ support. Referrals can either be from the clients themselves, through family members or other services  and each client has an intake and assessment  to determine the most appropriate response for that particular case. This is a free service that operates 24/7 everyday of the year. Business hours please call (03) 58 219 458, After hours please call 1800 015 188.

            • Cost: Free
            • Referrals: Yes
            • 24 Hours: Yes
            • Outreach: Yes
            • Walk-ins: No
            • Appointments: Yes

            The Marian community gives you the following services:

            Refuge Accommodation – Marian Community takes referrals from the Women’s Domestic Violence Crisis Service to relocate women from other parts of Victoria or interstate to start a new life free from violence.

            Referrals to refuge may be done when a woman  in the Shepparton area feels it’s too unsafe to remain in the area. The referrals then go to the Women’s Domestic Violence Crisis Service and they source a suitable vacancy.

            Marian Community accommodation is not for local woman as it is too unsafe for women to be put in refuge in their own town.

            Safety Planning –

            Marian Community works with women who are still in abusive relationships to create a safety plan to plan a safe exit.

            Housing Support – Workers give women information about the different types of housing available to women in this situation and can assist with supporting and advocating for housing issues.

            Case Management – For women in refuge or with high complex needs Marian Community workers work out a case plan in collaboration with the client to set goals that they want to achieve.

            Bsafe Program – Bsafe is a personal alarm system and risk management option primarily for people escaping family violence and sexualised assault perpetrated by intimate partners. Bsafe utilises VitalCall who supply a mobile unit with GPS tracking.

            When the device is activated an alarm is sent to the 24 hour VitalCall response centre. The response centre call the clients mobile phone and if there is no answer or the client does not indicate their password,  they immediately alert 000 for a police response while continuing to monitor and record the call. Such recordings can later be used as evidence for court proceedings.

            Court Support - Marian Community offers court support to women applying for Intervention Orders and can support women in making police statements.

            Education – Workers provide education to women about family violence: The cycle of violence, the different types of abuse and the effects it has on their children.

            Advocacy – Marian Community provides advocacy for women who are experiencing discrimination or hardship due to family violence situation.

            Information/Referrals – Our trained professionals provide women and children with information relevant to their needs and referrals to other services should Marian not be able to meet all their needs.

            Men’s Line Australia

            MensLine Australia is the national telephone and online support, information and referral service for men with family and relationship concerns. The helpline is available from anywhere in Australia and is staffed by professional counsellors, experienced in men’s issues. Through our dedicated  counselling services, available through a range of ways, MensLine provides:

            • A safe and private place to talk about concerns;
            • Confidential, anonymous and non-judgmental support;
            • Coaching and practical strategies for managing personal relationship concerns;
            • Relevant information and linkage to other appropriate services and programs as required.
            • Cost: Free
            • Referrals: Yes
            • 24 Hours: Yes
            • Outreach: No
            • Walk-ins: No
            • Appointments: No

            MensLine Australia offers a range of free, professional counselling and support services for men across a range of modalities:

            • Open line – an immediate, single-session discussion and support available 24/7
            • Call back service – ongoing support through a series of up to six follow-up telephone counselling sessions with the same counsellor
            • Arabic call back service – culturally appropriate ongoing support for Australia’s Arabic community
            • Online counselling – text-based counselling available through the MensLine Australia website
            • Video counselling – face-to-face counselling available via Skype for men in rural and remote Australia
            • Assisted referrals – referring services or agencies who have established protocols with MensLine Australia can assist their clients to link directly with the MensLine service via a real-time warm-link transfer or email.

            Men’s Referral Service

            Anonymous, free, confidential referral service by men for men, about their anger or violence towards their partner or family and relationship issues.

            Free call Monday to Tuesday noon to 9pm: 1800 065 973 or (03) 9428 2899

            • Cost: Free
            • Referrals: Yes
            • 24 Hours: No
            • Outreach: No
            • Walk-ins: No
            • Appointments: No
            • Free Call: 1800 065 973
            • Secondary Contact: (03) 9428 2899

            The Men’s Referral Service primarily provides a telephone counselling service for:

            • men who might be using violent and controlling behaviour towards a partner or family member
            • women wishing to find information about male family violence for their partners or for themselves
            • friends, family or colleagues of people who are either using or experiencing family violence
            • professionals wishing to support a male or female client

            MI Fellowship of Victoria

            MI Fellowship Victoria is a not-for-profit, member-based organisation. We work directly with thousands of people each year, supporting them on their paths to recovery.

            Today MI Fellowship Victoria is one of Australia’s community managed mental health agencies, providing support services to around 5,000 people a year, and reaching many more in the wider community through advocacy and community education activities.

            Through its range of evidence-informed programs, MI Fellowship Victoria works with people with severe and enduring mental illness, and their families, to support people in the fundamentally important areas of their lives:  work and study, home and community, and relationships.

            In Shepparton, Community Support; Three residential rehabilitation programs across the city (youth, two adult)

            • Cost: Free
            • Referrals: Yes
            • 24 Hours: No
            • Outreach: Yes
            • Walk-ins: Yes
            • Appointments: Yes
            • Shepparton: 79B Wyndham St
              Shepparton
              VIC
              3630
            • Seymour: 12A Tallarook Street
              Seymour
              VIC
              3661
            • Wangaratta: 40-46 Rowan Street
              Wangaratta
              VIC
              3677
            • Cobram: 24-32 Broadway Street
              Cobram
              VIC
              3644
            • Helpline : (03) 8486 4222
            • Shepparton: (03) 5822 8600
            • Seymour: (03) 5799 2353
            • Cobram: (03) 5871 0900
            • Wangaratta: (03) 5822 8600
            • Email Address: help@mifellowship.org

            Our services are community-based, meaning that they are social, not medical. Acute psychiatric services are crucial, but we know that quality support services in the community keep people well for longer, more connected with their family, friends and community, and with a better quality of life at less cost than psychiatric hospital beds.

            Our programs are designed to support people in the fundamental areas of their lives: home, work, relationships. We create pathways for people to connect with education and employment opportunities, to find and create homes for themselves, to build links within their communities, and to develop supportive relationships with families and friends.

            Our programs are informed by the evidence on mental illness and recovery. Recovery from mental illness is best described as a process, defined and led by the person with a mental illness, through which they achieve independence, self-esteem and a meaningful life in the community.

            We work with people to assist them to find or develop the internal resources they need in their recovery (such as hope, resilience, coping skills, self-acceptance and physical health) and the external services and supports that will enable their recovery and independence (such as stable accommodation, education, employment support). A list of our services and programs are:

            - Live in Services

            - Support at home

            - Support in the community

            - Doorway Housing & Support

            - Getting a ‘break’

            - Getting and keeping a job

            - Return to study

            - Family Education

            - Peer Education

            - Community Choir

            - Services in the ACT

            - Home-based services

            - Residential programs

            - Vocational rehabilitation

            Call (03) 8486 4222 to talk to someone from MI Fellowship Victoria.

            The Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria Helpline is staffed by trained volunteers who have personal experience or are a family member or close friend of a person with mental illness. They can provide you with:

            • a listening ear that is empathic, respectful and non-judgmental;
            • up-to-date accurate information about mental illnesses, treatment and recovery;
            • strategies and approaches for managing your illness or supporting a friend or family member with a mental illness;
            • assistance with recognising individual strengths and resources;
            • linking people into support and education programs and local communities;
            • Information about, and referral to MI Fellowship Victoria programs and other services.

            The Helpline is available 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday.

            No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS)

            NILS-270x260

            The No Interest Loan Scheme provides interest free loans for individuals or families on a low income. NILS is a community based program that enables eligible people to access fair, safe and equitable credit for the purchase of goods and services. NILS loans are generally for the purchase of essential household items. The NILS program in conjunction with National Australia Bank also offers the Adds Up Scheme which encourages and supports individuals to establish regular savings habits.

            The scheme can be accesed through Women’s Health Goulburn North East

            Eligibility includes women who are :

            • Living in the Hume region and have experienced DV recently.
            • Willing to be in contact with a DV service.
            • On a low income.
            • Interested in developing financial confidence and understanding.

            Loan purchase may include:

            Fridge, washing machine, medical procedure, educational one off costs.

            Loans are for up to $2000.

            Loans are available in the Hume region which includes the following shires: Rural City of Wangaratta, Rural City of Benalla, City of Wodonga, City of Greater Shepparton, Strathbogie Shire, Moira Shire, Murrindindi Shire, Towong Shire, Alpine Shire, Mansfield Shire and the Mitchell Shire

              • Referrals: No
              • 24 Hours: No
              • Outreach: No
              • Walk-ins: No
              • Appointments: No
              • Women's Health Goulburn North East: (03) 5722 3009

              Rape Crisis Centre – NSW.

              New South Wales Rape Crisis Centre provides the 24/7 telephone and online crisis counselling service for anyone in Australia who has experienced or is at risk of sexual assault, family or domestic violence and their non offending supporters.

              Counselling services for women who were sexually assaulted in childhood are also available from Women’s Health Centres across NSW. The Centre is committed to upholding the rights of all people to live in a socially just, equitable and non violent society.

              Free Call 1800 424 017

              • Cost: Free
              • Referrals: Yes
              • 24 Hours: Yes
              • Outreach: No
              • Walk-ins: No
              • Appointments: No
              • NSW Rape Crisis Centre (free call): 1800 424 017
              • National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence (free call): 1800 737 732

              For those who have experienced sexual assault, family or domestic violence

              The service, which is staffed by experienced and qualified trauma counsellors, can assist with:

              • Understanding and managing the immediate and ongoing impacts of experiencing sexual assault, family or domestic violence,
              • Achieving safety,
              • Making decisions about what to do, and
              • Information about Police, accessing counselling, accommodation, legal and other services in the local area

              For non offending family members and friends

              Counsellors can also provide support for non offending family members and friends. This may include assistance with understanding and manage their own response to having someone they care about experiencing violence and working with them to develop strategies to best assist that person.

              For Professionals

              Professionals can contact the Service for:

              • Debrief after assisting someone who has experienced sexual assault, family or domestic violence,
              • Support for their clients while they are annual leave,
              • Out of hours support for clients who are at a stage in their recovery where 24/7 support will assist, and/or
              • Clinical consultation.

              Online Service

              Sometimes making the first contact can be difficult. Rape Crisis Online services offer an alternative way to access initial information and support. The Online service is a one to one, in real time ‘chat’ with a Centre counsellor.

              Sexual Assault Helpline

              The Sexual Assault Crisis Line Victoria (SACL) is a state-wide, after-hours, confidential, telephone crisis counselling service for victim/survivors of both past and recent sexual assault.

              SACL operates between 5pm weeknights through to 9am the next day and throughout weekends and public holidays.

              Free call the crisis line on 1800 806 292

              • Cost: Free
              • Referrals: Yes
              • 24 Hours: Yes
              • Outreach: No
              • Walk-ins: No
              • Appointments: No

              The Sexual Assault Crisis Line provides:
              • crisis counselling, support and advocacy to victim/survivors
              • information about the impacts and myths of sexual assault and abuse
              • information about legal rights
              • referrals to appropriate services for ongoing support
              • support to non-offending family/friends
              • provides consultation and debriefing to other professionals.

              VCAT – Information for the Protected Person

              VCAT

              The changes introduced to the Family Violence Protection Act 2008, now allow victims of family violence who have an order excluding the violent person from their home to…Read more in the brochure attached.

              FVSW Brochure

              • Referrals: Yes
              • 24 Hours: No
              • Outreach: No
              • Walk-ins: No
              • Appointments: Yes
              • VCAT - Family Violence: Information for Protected Persons: 1800133055
              • VCAT - Family Violence: Information for Protected Persons: vcat@vcat.vic.gov.au

              Victoria Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS)

              VALS plays an important role in providing referrals, advice/information, duty work or case work assistance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the State of Victoria. Solicitors at VALS specialise in one of three areas of law, being Criminal Law, Family Law and Civil Law.

              VALS maintains a strong client service focus which is achieved through the role of Client Service Officers (CSOs) who act as a bridge between the legal system and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. VALS is actively involved in community education, research and advocacy around law reform and policy development. VALS strives to:

              • Promote social justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
              • Promote the right of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to empowerment, identity and culture;
              • Ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples enjoy their rights, are aware of their responsibilities under the law and have access to appropriate advice, assistance and representation;
              • Reduce the disproportionate involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the criminal justice system; and
              • Promote the review of legislation and other practices which discriminate against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

              Locations serviced: Shepparton, Echuca, Cobram, Seymour, Benalla, Wangaratta, Bendigo, Wodonga and Myrtleford.

              VALS has an “On-Call” after-hours service which is provided through the Preston office. All calls before 9.00am and after 5.00pm are diverted to the rostered On-call Client Service Officer (CSO).

              • Cost: Free
              • Referrals: Yes
              • 24 Hours: Yes
              • Outreach: Yes
              • Walk-ins: Yes
              • Appointments: Yes
              • Shepparton Office: 359A Wyndham St
                Shepparton
                VIC
                3875
              • Main Contact (free call): 1800 064 865.
              • Shepparton Office: (03) 5831 5840

              VALS provides Family Law assistance. The type of Family Law work VALS does is:

              • Family matters (not property matters);
              • Department of Human Services disputes (child protection);
              • Family Violence Intervention Orders- applicant or respondent;
              • General assistance completing forms.

              VALS provides criminal law assistance. The type of criminal law work VALS does is:

              • Summary and indictable offences
              • Most Driving offences

              VALS’ criminal lawyers travel to the regions within Victoria. They are allocated a region to ensure continuity of service provision in each region and share the court work in Metropolitan Melbourne.

              ALS provides Civil Law assistance. The type of Civil Law work VALS does is:

              • Police matters;
              • Help with wills;
              • Discrimination;
              • Victims of Crime assistance;
              • Motor car accidents;
              • Coroners inquests;
              • Difficulties in dealing with Government;
              • Debt;
              • Prisoner rights; and
              • General assistance completing forms.

              VALS’ civil lawyer provides assistance across Victoria. The Civil lawyer engages other lawyers to help with service provision in Melbourne and the regions

              Victoria Legal Aid Helpline

              They help people with their legal problems, with focus on protecting the rights of Victorians and representing those who need it the most.

              Victoria Legal Aid provide free legal information and education to all Victorians, with a focus on prevention and early resolution of legal problems. We prioritise more intensive legal services such as legal advice and representation for people who meet eligibility criteria, based on their financial situation, the nature and seriousness of their problem and their individual circumstances.

              Call 1300 792 387, Monday to Friday from 8.45 am to 5.15 pm.

              They have a Shepparton Office which provides some duty lawyer services and advice.

              • Cost: Free
              • Referrals: Yes
              • 24 Hours: No
              • Outreach: No
              • Walk-ins: Yes
              • Appointments: Yes
              • Shepparton Office: 36–42 High Street
                Shepparton
                VIC
                3630
              • Victoria (freecall): 1300 792 387
              • Shepparton Office: (03) 5823 6200
              • Shepparton Office: shepparton@via.vic.gov.au
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