Unit of competency details

CHCDFV301A - Recognise and respond appropriately to domestic and family violence (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by CHCDFV001 - Recognise and respond appropriately to domestic and family violenceThis version was released in CHC Community Services Training Package release 3.0 and meets the requirements of the 2012 Standards for Training Packages. Merged CHCDFV301A and CHCDFV403C. Significant changes to the elements and performance criteria. New evidence requirements for assessment including volume and frequency requirements. Significant changes to knowledge evidence. 07/Dec/2015
Supersedes CHCDFV1B - Recognise and respond to domestic and family violenceMinor revisions to competency outcome 21/Dec/2010

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 22/Dec/2010

Training packages that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Training packages that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Training packages that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
CHC - Community ServicesCommunity Services 1.0-2.0 
CHC08 - Community Services Training PackageCommunity Services Training Package 3.0-4.2 
CSC - Correctional Services Training PackageCorrectional Services Training Package 1.0-1.1 
CSC07 - Correctional Services Training PackageCorrectional Services Training Package 1.2 
CSC12 - Correctional Services Training PackageCorrectional Services Training Package 1.0-1.1 
HLT07 - Health Training PackageHealth Training Package 4.0-5.1 
HLT - HealthHealth 1.0-2.0 

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnUsage RecommendationRelease
CHC30708 - Certificate III in Children's ServicesCertificate III in Children's ServicesSuperseded
CHC42215 - Certificate IV in Social HousingCertificate IV in Social HousingSuperseded
CHC41612 - Certificate IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention (Family Support)Certificate IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention (Family Support)Superseded
CHC30608 - Certificate III in Active VolunteeringCertificate III in Active VolunteeringSuperseded
HLT44007 - Certificate IV in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health (Community Care)Certificate IV in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health (Community Care)Superseded1-2 
CHC51712 - Diploma of CounsellingDiploma of CounsellingSuperseded
CHC30712 - Certificate III in Children's ServicesCertificate III in Children's ServicesSuperseded
CHC34015 - Certificate III in Active VolunteeringCertificate III in Active VolunteeringCurrent
CHC42212 - Certificate IV in Telephone Counselling SkillsCertificate IV in Telephone Counselling SkillsSuperseded
HLT40213 - Certificate IV in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care PracticeCertificate IV in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care PracticeSuperseded1-4 
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Accredited courses that have this unit in the completion mapping

CodeSort Table listing Accredited courses that have this unit in the completion mapping by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Accredited courses that have this unit in the completion mapping by the Title columnStatus
10487NAT - Advanced Diploma of Counselling and Family Therapy (Christian)Advanced Diploma of Counselling and Family Therapy (Christian) Cancelled
22040VIC - Certificate IV in Aboriginal Family Violence WorkCertificate IV in Aboriginal Family Violence Work Non-Current
30949QLD - Course in Responding to Domestic and Family ViolenceCourse in Responding to Domestic and Family Violence Non-Current
10323NAT - Diploma of Pastoral CounsellingDiploma of Pastoral Counselling Non-Current
10032NAT - Diploma of ChaplaincyDiploma of Chaplaincy Non-Current
10063NAT - Certificate III in Theology and MinistryCertificate III in Theology and Ministry Non-Current
30941QLD - Certificate III in Addictions Management and Community DevelopmentCertificate III in Addictions Management and Community Development Non-Current
30885QLD - Certificate III in Theology and MinistryCertificate III in Theology and Ministry Non-Current


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 090501 Social Work  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 090501 Social Work  02/Feb/2009 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor


This unit describes the knowledge and skills required to identify and respond to domestic violence during professional contact with clients

It requires a knowledge and understanding of domestic and family violence and an awareness of its effects together with an ability to promote confidence whilst responding appropriately, including providing relevant and timely information and referral

Application of the Unit


This unit may apply in a range of community service contexts with clients who may experience domestic and family violence

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not Applicable


Not Applicable

Employability Skills Information

Employability Skills 

This unit contains Employability Skills

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements define the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

The Performance Criteria specify the level of performance required to demonstrate achievement of the Element. Terms in italics are elaborated in the Range Statement.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Work within a domestic violence framework

1.1 Plan work  practices to ensure maximum consideration is given to client  and worker safety

1.2 Ensure work undertaken demonstrates consideration and understanding of the underpinning values and philosophies  of domestic violence work and the nature of domestic violence, including its effects, its social , historical , political and economic context  and its place in the criminal justice system

1.3 Participate in support processes  to obtain professional feedback and to monitor occupational health and stress

1.4 Demonstrate in all work, understanding of the rights and responsibilities  of the individual, the family, the community and society to minimise or prevent domestic violence

2. Promote confidence with clients affected by domestic violence

2.1 Use appropriate interpersonal skills  that develop rapport and promote confidence, allowing accurate and relevant exchange of information

2.2 In all work, demonstrate sensitivity to client's specific needs  and any cultural, family and individual differences

2.3 Conduct interviews and interactions  with clients in a safe environment and in a manner which allows the client to explore their issues/options

2.4 Explain rights and responsibilities  of client and worker and promote throughout client contact as appropriate

2.5 In all work apply organisation standards and procedures  and comply with legislative and statutory requirements 

3. Identify client needs

3.1 Appropriate interpersonal skills are employed to ensure that the client's safety needs and other needs are accurately identified

3.2 Mechanisms  are employed to ensure that all relevant client information is collected

3.3 Information is assessed for complexity, urgency and eligibility so that priorities for service delivery and safety can be identified

3.4 Any indications of nature of risk  or threats to safety are analysed and responded to

3.5 Worker's and workplace's limitations in addressing and assessing client needs  are identified and assistance is sought from appropriate persons  to best meet the needs of the client and their family

4. Respond to client needs

4.1 In responding to client needs, prioritise the physical and emotional safety of clients, their family and workers

4.2 Provide client with information about available services  for meeting their needs

4.3 Seek support and make appropriate referrals to cater for clients needs according to organisation standards and procedures

4.4 In all work demonstrate sensitivity to client's specific needs and any cultural, family and individual differences

4.5 Provide advice on client services  in accordance with organisation standards and procedures

4.6 Undertake record-keeping and reporting in accordance with organisation standards and procedures

Required Skills and Knowledge


This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit.

Essential knowledge :

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

These include knowledge of:

  • Knowledge of the social, historical, political and economic context of domestic violence, including types and nature of domestic violence, power and gender issues, child abuse and associated criminal issues
  • Understanding of the prevalence of myths, unhelpful beliefs, attitudes and practices in the broader society regarding domestic violence and their effects on individuals' rights to safety and autonomy
  • Understanding of current organisation procedures, practices and standards for client assessment, allocation of services, case management, interviewing, code of conduct, confidentiality, use of resources, programmed intervention and duty of care requirements
  • Understanding of legal obligations, particularly in relation to child protection issues
  • Knowledge of the various groups represented within the local community (e.g. cultural, religious, language, sexual identity, age and disability) and an understanding of the issues that arise when working with those groups
  • Knowledge of the appropriate range of referral sources and associated protocols
  • Knowledge of legislative requirements and provisions relevant to area of service delivery and delegated responsibility
  • Awareness of own values and attitudes and their potential impact on clients
  • Understanding of specific limitations of work role, responsibility and professional abilities

Essential skills :

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:

  • Use appropriate interpersonal skills and general knowledge to identify and respond in an appropriate manner to domestic violence, in particular to:
  • maintain confidentiality and manage subtleties of confidentiality whilst following policy and procedures in all aspects of responding to domestic violence
  • establish confidence with clients through appropriate interpersonal styles and methods
  • identify and assess client needs including consideration of the physical and emotional safety of clients and their family
  • assist clients to select appropriate services from a range provided by the organisation and other agencies which match client needs
  • depending on the work program or services provided apply specific knowledge of particular groups or issues (e.g. alcohol and other drugs (AOD), same-sex relationships, religious, survivors/victims, users of violence, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander issues, mental health, non-English speaking background)
  • interpret accurately and comply with legal and procedural requirements
  • understand limitations of their own work role and responsibilities in relation to service delivery
  • refer clients to other relevant agencies in a professional manner giving enough relevant information to maximise the possibility of the client taking up the referral

In addition, the candidate must be able to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

These include the ability to:

  • Demonstrate application of skills in:
  • response, for example, responding sensitively and appropriately to disclosure, responding sensitively to cultural issues, and maintaining confidentiality for people who have experienced domestic violence.
  • questioning and active listening to establish client confidence and facilitate disclosure
  • problem solving for a defined range of predictable problems, for example when client needs are identified as lying outside a worker's particular professional role the worker should offer the client accurate and current information about appropriate services and providers
  • collaboration between worker, client, client's family and co-workers and with other service providers
  • validation of client's experience of violence
  • literacy and communication in relation to analysis, evaluation and presentation of information including preparing documents and reports related to client needs and service delivery issues

Evidence Guide


The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate this unit of competency :

  • The individual being assessed must provide evidence of specified essential knowledge as well as skills
  • This unit will be most appropriately assessed in the workplace or in a simulated workplace and under the normal range of workplace conditions
  • Assessment of performance should be over a period of time covering all categories within the Range Statement statements that are applicable in the learning environment
    This will include contexts applicable to the work environment, such as actual or simulated workplace situations involving a combination of direct, indirect and supplementary forms of evidence

Access and equity considerations :

  • All workers in community services should be aware of access, equity and human rights issues in relation to their own area of work
  • All workers should develop their ability to work in a culturally diverse environment
  • In recognition of particular issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, workers should be aware of cultural, historical and current issues impacting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Assessors and trainers must take into account relevant access and equity issues, in particular relating to factors impacting on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and communities

Context of and specific resources for assessment :

  • This unit can be delivered and assessed independently, however holistic assessment practice with other community services units of competency is encouraged
  • Resources required for assessment of this unit include access to:
  • an appropriate workplace where assessment can take place or simulation of realistic workplace setting for assessment
  • Where assessment is conducted within the workplace there are no resource implications above those normally available in the workplace
  • Where assessment is conducted in a simulated or non-workplace environment then access to the necessary equipment and research resources should be provided
  • Access to simulated exercises, case studies related to service delivery issues will also be required if non-workplace assessment paths are utilised

Method of assessment :

  • Evidence will be determined by selection from the Range Statement, justified in terms of work requirements, work roles and responsibilities and occupational specialisations
  • Evidence for assessment of competence may be gathered by appropriate combination of the following:
  • demonstration of competency within the working environment in identifying and responding to domestic violence
  • where there is not an opportunity to cover all relevant aspects in the work environment, the remainder should be assessed through realistic simulations, projects, previous relevant experience or oral questioning on 'What if?' scenarios
  • observation of processes and procedures, oral and/or written questions on Essential knowledge and skills and consideration of required attitudes
  • where performance is not directly observed and/or is required to be demonstrated over a period of time and/or in a number of locations, any evidence should be authenticated by colleagues, supervisors, clients or other appropriate persons
  • review of any documentation produced by the candidate related to identifying and responding to domestic violence

Range Statement


The Range Statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Add any essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts.

Work may relate to :

  • Specific groups, issues or communities e.g. Health issues of young people from particular cultural, religious, sub-cultural backgrounds and/or geographical areas
  • Monitoring, evaluation and research activities
  • Policy development
  • Assessment
  • Individual casework
  • Community development
  • Referrals
  • Child protection work
  • Provision of information/materials
  • Project development and implementation

Client may include :

  • Individuals (inclusive of children, youth, adults and the aged)
  • Those referred or self-referred
  • Voluntary and involuntary
  • People with specific needs seeking access to services
  • Survivors/victims of domestic violence, their families and friends
  • Users of violence and their families

Underpinning values and philosophies in responding to domestic and family violence include :

  • The safety and well being of those subjected to domestic violence must be the first priority of any response
  • All individuals have the right to be free from violence
  • The community has a responsibility to work toward the prevention of domestic violence and to demonstrate the unacceptability of all forms of domestic violence
  • All forms of domestic violence are unacceptable in any group, culture or creed
  • Those who use violence should take responsibility for their behaviour and have access to programs to assist them change their behaviour to ensure the safety of their family
  • A commitment to meeting the needs and upholding the rights of clients
  • A commitment to empowering those affected by domestic violence
  • Domestic violence is widespread and complex
  • Domestic violence impacts on the physical, emotional, social, and financial well being and safety of individuals in families
  • Domestic violence and abuse has devastating effects on family members and results in significant social and economic costs to the community

Social , historical , political and economic context :

  • Statutory framework within which work takes place
  • Historical context of work e.g. changing attitudes to domestic violence; changing approaches to working with people affected by domestic violence
  • Changing social context of work e.g. previous, current and changing government and societal views of domestic violence and approaches to working with clients
  • Political context e.g. government policies and initiatives affecting domestic violence work
  • Economic context e.g. current economic situation as it relates to and affects domestic violence and the subsequent impact on client needs and the effects of economic deprivation and control on clients attempting to escape domestic violence

Support processes will need to include at least one of the following :

  • Performance feedback
  • Debriefing
  • Training and development
  • Supervision

Rights and responsibilities may include :

  • Rights of safety
  • Rights under common law
  • Rights outlined under relevant standards/principles and charters (e.g. UN declaration on rights of the child)
  • Rights under the Constitution
  • Rights and responsibilities under legislation (e.g. freedom of information and child protection legislation)
  • Guidelines relating to parameters of confidentiality/ client consent
  • Worker's code of ethics
  • Rights of victim to crime compensation

Interpersonal skills may include :

  • Means by which an emotionally safe and empathic environment is created
  • Means for communicating with people with disabilities or where English is not the first language
  • Methods of communicating with different age, religious, gender and sexual identity groups
  • Non-judgemental communication techniques
  • Using strategies that empower client to ensure safety of client and family
  • Cultural, sub-cultural awareness/sensitivity
  • Demonstrating empathy
  • Using appropriate body language
  • Reflecting, summarising and paraphrasing
  • Asking open-ended questions
  • The ability to ask direct questions about violence in a sensitive and appropriate way
  • Using conflict management skills if appropriate
  • Recognition of client/worker power differences
  • Maintaining confidentiality
  • If needed, use of a qualified interpreter whose involvement will not jeopardise the safety of the client or client's family
  • Active listening

Specific needs relating to clients may include , but are not limited to those :

  • Who have a disability
  • Who come from diverse cultural and sub-cultural backgrounds
  • Whose preferred or main language is not English
  • Who are aged or young
  • Who live in a remote or rural location
  • Who are in same-sex relationships
  • Who are of a particular gender
  • With a dual diagnosis
  • Whose religious beliefs or practices need to be considered
  • Who have addiction or dependency issues
  • Who have mental health issues
  • Who come from an aboriginal background
  • Who come from a Torres Strait Islander background

Interviews and interactions with clients can be either informal or formal and include :

  • Scheduled or impromptu
  • Via telephone or in person
  • Separate interviews
  • Through a qualified interpreter whose involvement will not jeopardise the safety of the client or client's family
  • Other specialist assistance
  • Those conducted in a safe environment which encourages disclosure when appropriate

Organisation standards and procedures may include those relating to :

  • Client and worker safety
  • Collection and storage of information
  • Client interview protocols and procedures
  • Code of conduct/code of ethics
  • Principles and implementation of duty of care and rights of client to self determination
  • Departmental, inter-departmental regulations, protocols and procedures relevant to work role and responsibilities
  • Inter-agency practice and protocols
  • Use of interpreter and interpreter services
  • Organisation mission statement and/or philosophy
  • Eligibility criteria for accessing particular services
  • Completion of forms and applications
  • Guidelines relating to confidentiality/client consent
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Debriefing and supervision
  • Industry standards

Legislative and statutory requirements may include :

  • Relevant State/territory/Commonwealth legislation (e.g. domestic violence, guardianship, disability services, immigration, anti-discrimination, child protection, legal practice legislation)
  • International conventions relating to the rights of children and young people
  • Relevant international conventions on civil and human rights
  • Freedom of information legislation

Client needs and associated services and or strategies may include , but are not limited to :

  • Safety, physical and emotional security
  • Assistance to gain economic support
  • Protection from financial exploitation
  • Immediate and appropriate responses which aim to ensure/maintain safety
  • Legal or medical information and support
  • Accommodation/transportation
  • Access to services/information
  • Counselling (individual, family or group focused)
  • Referrals to specialist services
  • Referrals to community support and/or education groups
  • Establishment of community networks
  • Domestic violence awareness raising programs
  • Provision of assistance to address issues, gather information and locate other resources
  • Advocacy

Mechanisms that could be used to collect information could include :

  • Interviews with clients, family, significant others and carers
  • Questionnaires
  • Applications and other forms
  • Case documentation
  • Using specialist communicators
  • Classification tools
  • Client consent (verbal or written)
  • Information from professionals including medical reports
  • Information from service providers
  • Previous file records

Risk may refer to client , client's family and /or worker and be indicated by the following :

  • Self identification of risk
  • Evidence of physical injuries
  • Threat to safety
  • Current or previous criminal charges for assault of client by partner/ex-partner
  • Current or previous police involvement
  • Objective assessment of client's current ability to protect self and children from further assault or harm
  • Threat or attempts to self-harm
  • Feelings of depression, anger, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, emotional distress or sleep disturbances
  • Medical problems such as overuse of tranquillisers, or alcohol, drug or substance abuse
  • Intimidation and harassment
  • Client being denied access to funds, resources or medications
  • Existing or previous orders relating to domestic violence (e.g. Apprehended violence order), or breach of orders
  • Avoidance of discussion regarding possible abuse
  • Implausible explanation for injuries
  • Repeated requests for financial assistance
  • Other factors that may indicate a history of violence
  • Children's behaviour and developmental level
  • Current behaviours of user of violence
  • Frequent hospital visits/admissions
  • Current or previous separation
  • Family court and/or relationship history
  • Implied or actual threats to harm the worker by user of violence

Appropriate persons may include :

  • Organisation management, colleagues, supervisor, team members
  • Acknowledged domestic violence issue specialists
  • Various community groups representing cultural, sub-cultural, religious, social, ethnic, gender, sexual identity, and age groupings within the community
  • Government representatives and service providers
  • Police
  • Family members, friends, care-givers
  • Specialist support services for people with specific needs
  • Behaviour change groups, such as users of violence groups, drug and alcohol groups
  • Support groups such as survivors/victims of violence groups, community houses, women's networks and refuges, professional associations
  • Authorities responsible for provision of community and justice administration services, for example, local councils, legal services, such as legal aid, and state and commonwealth agencies

Unit Sector(s)

Not Applicable