Bendigo Family & Financial Services Inc

Family Violence Program

BFFS Domestic/Family Violence Support Program 

The BFFS Domestic/Family Violence Support Program provides family violence informed financial case management across BFFS programs, backed by generalist counselling in house, to address financial consequences of family violence.This Program is a valuable contact point for a person affected by domestic/family violence, as fear of ongoing future financial hardship is often why people choose to stay. 

 People can find they experience a period of increased financial stress when they leave, sometimes with risk of homelessness.Financial issues are also cited as one of the main reasons people return tothese relationships. Through wrap around support, this Program will safeguard peoples journey away from situations characterised by abuse, and offers support over the short and long term.  

The case manager supports people to: 
  • Support safety plans with financial and advocacy interventions for best outcomes.
  • Take a lead role in coordinating cross agency care through established support networks to address people‚Äôs diverse needs. 
  • Provide immediate crisis support through BFFS programs including financial counselling, generalist counselling, food parcels,  toiletries, support accessing medical support, education support with school staples 
  • Provide same day access to Domestic Violence No Interest Loan Scheme loans (DVNILS)which may be used for securing accommodation, education/ medical supports or household essentials.
The Program will: 
  • Assist participants to identify and address financial needs 
  • Provide advocacy and financial case management to secure and maintain appropriate housing 
  • Seek to untangle joint finances and secure savings, assets and income 
  • Support clients to access crisis payment from Centrelink and other entitlements
  • Negotiate with creditors to achieve fair and manageable outcomes for debt including perpetrator coerced debt, thus avoiding further debt and legal action. May include access to BFFS Debt Consolidation Program 
  • Identify economic abuse post separation, and provide financial counselling advocacy to e.g. Child Support or financial institutions 
  • Provide active support and representation including through BFFS referral interventions e.g. to court processes. We will walk alongside you through the process. 
  • Provide financial literacy education to learn how to manage finances