Upskilling “Beware to Aware”: A look into workplace responses to DV-alert training
Published on 29th March 2022
Engaging professional development that initiates participation in essential training for frontline workers.
As a society, we have collectively celebrated the work of frontline professionals as they protect and support us through such trying times. At Kids City Kindergarten, these Early Childhood Educators are re-evaluating their position as frontline workers and changing their own perception of how valuable their position in a community is. This cohort of workers has a unique opportunity to support the families, and the chance to participate in DV-alert training was an easy decision to make when developing their active response to those experiencing domestic and family violence.
Just like in any profession, frontline workers can and should participate in professional development learning like DV-alert workshops to allow continued career growth and ensure knowledge and skills stay relevant. As part of frontline worker training, it is important to train and develop an approach when engaging with people experiencing domestic and family violence. Workshop participants follow the DV-alert model to inform an appropriate approach to contribute to the end of domestic and family violence using the three Rs:
- Recognise: Observing words and behaviours of individuals and working to recognise the signs of active domestic and family violence.
- Respond: Listen, believe, and validate the experiences of those encountering domestic and family violence. Respond with appropriate care within your limitations as a frontline worker.
- Refer: Introduce those who are experiencing domestic and family violence to an appropriate support service. If these individuals are in an unsafe position to seek support, referring them to emergency services such as police.
As the team at Kid City Kindergarten quickly began making the connection between how fundamental elements of support can address subtle or obvious forms of abuse, their DV-alert training seemed far more paramount in their role than initially met the eye.
Early Childhood Educators emerging from child-protectors to family protectors.
A group of seven Early Childhood Educators were recently completing their DV-alert Working with Women with Disability training. During completion of their final eLearning assessment, the team at Kid City Kindergarten were visited by the DV-alert Student Support team for a face to face assessment.
As the stories of lived domestic and family violence experiences were discussed, the team engaged in an open discussion around their role as a frontline workers, acknowledging they hold a unique position in the community to be able to recognise, respond and refer both the children they work with on a daily basis as well as their family units.
During the session, an educator mentioned that “we now feel that our role is important in our community and appreciate that we have the ability to recognise and understand the family dynamic we see every day and when that behaviour shifts and why”. She continued “This training is incredible, and I feel very proud. All Early Childhood Educators definitely need to complete this course”.
Kid City Centre Manager, Donna, and her team have since made a commitment to implement and discuss ways that they can provide a safe haven to those individuals who are experiencing domestic and family violence. “Actively learning about our local community resources, we can refer individuals experiencing domestic and family violence in our community and alert the team to the vast amount of help that is available but not readily known to the public. We have learnt from this course assessment that resources and organisations that assist with financing and government assistance are almost always in need and rarely known about. As an Early Childhood Educator, we can create a reference point for our parents and children and become a trusted source of information to help support these individuals through such trying times”.
It’s clear through the conversations had with the centre staff that they are actively looking through an ‘aware’ and ‘alert’ lens, enabling staff to contribute to the end of domestic and family violence and are now empowered to act.