SSFS announced as local partner in new Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) Pilot in Sutherland and St.George areas

April 15, 2016

Sutherland Shire Family Services (SSFS) are honoured to be announced as the primary Non Government Organisation partner for both the Sutherland and St.George trials of the recently announced NSW Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS).

The NSW Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) is a Police led initiative for both women and men who may be at risk. The Scheme is not a register or a list, but a tool available to concerned people to seek information about a person’s violent offending history. Any person who has concern about their partner, or a third party who has concerns about a person’s partner, can find out if that partner has a history of domestic violence and related offences. Concerned people, either a ‘primary person’ or a relevant ‘third party’ can make a DVDS application at a local police station within the four pilot local area commands. The NSW Police Force will receive and review applications and undertake criminal record checks to determine whether a relevant conviction exists that requires a disclosure. Where a disclosure is needed, the disclosure will be made to the ‘primary person’.

Throughout the 2 year trial, Sutherland Shire Family Services will work with both the Sutherland LAC & St.George LAC, taking referrals for “primary persons” who require support services. Services offered will include access to a Domestic Violence Support Worker, safety planning services, referral to trauma counseling and other specialist support services available to domestic violence victims.

“Being selected as the provider of support services for this trial is a wonderful recognition of the in-house expertise, quality of programs, and substantial work that Sutherland Shire Family Services does in building awareness within the community about the various types of domestic violence, and providing support to families in need”, says Diane Manns, CEO of SSFS. Manns is the brains behind SSFS’s recent “Pull Ya Head In” Domestic Violence Awareness Campaign. The 2016 campaign focuses on educating men on their influence over their mates in stopping domestic violence, and also the impact on children when domestic violence occurs in the home.

“The DVDS Pilot further enhances the great co-operation we have with NSW Police – a substantial step towards safer outcomes for victims and potential victims of domestic violence.”

Sutherland Shire Family Services will also work closely with the other two agencies involved in the Tamworth and Shoalhaven pilot sites, sharing experiences and knowledge to assist in achieving better outcomes for families across the four regions. “We are excited for the opportunity to play this foundation role in transforming out state’s approach to providing effective support for people experiencing, or at risk of domestic violence. We share the Government’s and Police’s commitment in tackling this very real problem and working in partnership to defend every family’s right to be protected from violence.” said Manns.

More information on the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme can be found here: