Unit of competency details

CHCDFV509C - Work with users of violence to effect change (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CHCDFV509D - Work with users of violence to effect changeUnit updated in V4. ISC upgrade changes to remove references to old OHS legislation and replace with references to new WHS legislation. No change to competency outcome 06/May/2012
Supersedes and is equivalent to CHCDFV9B - Work with uses of violence to effect changeEquivalent outcome 21/Dec/2010

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

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
CHC50608 - Diploma of Community Services WorkDiploma of Community Services WorkSuperseded
CSC40107 - Certificate IV in Correctional PracticeCertificate IV in Correctional PracticeSuperseded
CHC80208 - Graduate Diploma of Relationship CounsellingGraduate Diploma of Relationship CounsellingSuperseded
CHC40908 - Certificate IV in Social HousingCertificate IV in Social HousingSuperseded
CHC51808 - Diploma of Family Intake and Support WorkDiploma of Family Intake and Support WorkSuperseded
CSC40112 - Certificate IV in Correctional PracticeCertificate IV in Correctional PracticeSuperseded
CHC51208 - Diploma of Child, Youth and Family InterventionDiploma of Child, Youth and Family InterventionSuperseded
CHC80308 - Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute ResolutionGraduate Diploma of Family Dispute ResolutionSuperseded
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 090513 Counselling  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 090513 Counselling  02/Feb/2009 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor


This unit describes the knowledge and skills required to work with and engage users of violence in assisting them to take responsibility for their violence and to work towards changing their behaviour and enhancing the safety of their family

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. Establish and maintain professional relationship

1.1 Use appropriate interpersonal skills  to develop an open, trusting and professional relationship and to allow accurate and relevant exchange of information

1.2 Establish and maintain contact with partner and/or family of users of violence  to identify and analyse their needs

1.3 Explain and promote client and worker rights and responsibilities  throughout client contact

1.4 Mutually agree and adhere to appropriate structures, timeframes and protocols

1.5 In all dealings with users of violence and their family, comply with organisation standards and procedures  and with legislative and statutory requirements 

2. Assess capacity for change

2.1 Assess motivation and commitment of users of violence to change attitudes , beliefs and behaviour  and encourage positive elements and aspects

2.2 Respectfully challenge and constructively address violent behaviour and attitudes condoning violence in an environment that promotes positive client participation

2.3 Identify and assess related issues and factors that impact directly on the user of violence, their partner and family members

2.4 Identify own limitations and strengths in addressing and assessing needs, and respond to them within a supervision framework

3. Encourage personal responsibility

3.1 Challenge users of violence and encourage them to identify their violence and its known and potential affect upon partner and family members

3.2 Encourage users of violence to take responsibility for their actions, to recognise their choices to develop skills and /or knowledge  and to develop non-violent and respectful relationships

3.3 Assist users of violence to use personal exploration to identify and address opportunities and obstacles to change their attitudes , beliefs and behaviour 

3.4 Assist users of violence to establish realistic goals  and strategies to enhance the safety of their partner and family members

3.5 Identify and negotiate the need for specialised services or referral with users of violence and relevant people 

3.6 Ensure all dealings with users of domestic violence are respectful and sensitive to cultural and family issues and to any individual differences 

4. Monitor and review progress

4.1 Monitor progress of the user of violence through self reflection, partner and family member feedback and critical assessment by the worker and if appropriate, the criminal justice system

4.2 Identify and challenge lack of progress in taking responsibility and any re-use of violence, and develop modified strategies to enhance the safety of the partner and family members of users of violence

. Encourage users of violence to establish and maintain networks of support to assist in the development of responsible behaviour 

4.4 Identify and allocate additional services and /or support needed  for further progress according to availability and organisation standards and procedures

4.5 Complete and maintain all appropriate documentation in accordance with organisation standards and procedures and in compliance with legislative and statutory requirements

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 the social context of domestic violence, including power and control, motivation for change, gender, child abuse and criminal issues
  • Knowledge of behaviour and socialisation theories including those which emphasise that thinking patterns can be changed to give people acceptable and constructive alternatives to harmful behaviour
  • Knowledge of the cultural, age and language groups represented within the local community, and an understanding of cultural issues that arise when working with those groups
  • Understanding of the prevalence of beliefs in the broader society which condone violence, and individuals' rights to safety and autonomy
  • Knowledge of internally and externally provided services particularly in the domestic violence field
  • Knowledge of respectful strategies that will assist clients in changing their attitudes, beliefs and behaviours
  • Knowledge of legislative requirements and provisions relevant to area of service delivery and delegated responsibility
  • Knowledge which incorporates theories and concepts of planning and control procedures, resource management and risk management
  • A knowledge of techniques for dealing with potentially volatile clients and group situations
  • Awareness of own values and attitudes and their potential impact on clients
  • Knowledge of potential obstacles and opportunities for clients that may impact on changes in attitudes, beliefs and behaviours

Essential skills :

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:

  • Use interpersonal skills and knowledge to work effectively with users of violence to effect change and to provide appropriate support to family members, in particular, to:
  • accurately identify the safety needs of partners and family members of users of domestic violence
  • establish clear agreements with users of violence about goals, strategies and outcomes to effect change
  • comply with the organisations security and occupational health and safety (OHS) policies and operating procedures relating to contact with users of violence
  • demonstrate challenging and supportive feedback techniques to maintain a focus on personal responsibility with users of violence
  • refer to relevant programs which meet the needs of the users of violence, their partner and family
  • accurately interpret and comply with legal and procedural requirements
  • understand own work role and responsibilities in relation to service delivery
  • manage own practice within a supervisory framework

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:
  • facilitation in relation to providing guidance for behavioural change and the achievement of specified goals
  • response, which include maintaining separate confidentiality strategies when working with users of violence, their partner and family members
  • questioning and active listening (paraphrasing, clarifying, summarising, relationship building and engaging) techniques to develop a trusting relationship and facilitate accurate and relevant exchange of information
  • goal setting and strategy development for ensuring safety
  • self management within a supervision framework
  • assessment to identify needs and related issues which impact on user of violence, partner and family members
  • counselling which challenge violence and support the change process
  • problem solving for a broad range of unpredictable problems involving analysis, assessment, evaluation and the ability to adjust plans and acquire additional resources to assist users of violence, their partner, and/or family
  • collaboration between worker and use of violence, partner and family, and between worker and services and workers across occupational groups
  • dealing with volatile and potentially volatile clients and group situations
  • 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 organisation 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 delivering services to users of violence to effect change
  • assessment must be in the workplace, however, 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 work done with users of violence to effect change

Related units :

This unit should be assessed after or in conjunction with related unit:

  • CHCDFV402C Manage own professional development in responding to domestic and family violence

For the purpose of integrated assessment, this unit may be assessed in conjunction with the following units:

  • CHCCM402D Establish and monitor a case plan
  • CHCCS607D Coordinate the assessment and delivery of services to clients with particular needs

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.

Interpersonal skills may include :

  • 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
  • Assessment for motivation and capacity to change violent and abusive behaviour
  • Techniques to challenge client's behaviour and attitudes where appropriate
  • Cultural, sub-cultural awareness/sensitivity
  • 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
  • Active listening
  • If needed, use of a qualified interpreter whose involvement will not jeopardise the safety of the client or client's family

Users of violence may be :

  • Individuals who have committed domestic violence
  • Referred or self-referred
  • People with specific needs
  • Voluntary or involuntary clients

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

User /s of violence demonstrate a range of attitudes , beliefs and behaviours which may include :

  • Verbal and/or physical, or sexual abuse
  • Threats or intimidation
  • Economic abuse
  • Social abuse
  • Emotional, psychological and spiritual abuse
  • Discrimination
  • Gender privilege
  • Committing offences
  • Drug/alcohol usage or abuse
  • Antisocial behaviour
  • Breach of an order or condition
  • Not complying with reasonable directions

Services and /or support needed for users of violence , their partner and family members which enhance safety may include , but are not limited to :

  • Crisis intervention services
  • Legal or medical information and support
  • Access to services/information
  • Ongoing assessment
  • Educational materials and assistance with literacy
  • Living skills and problem solving programs
  • Individual and group programs for users of violence, their partner and family
  • Referrals to specialist services
  • Referrals to community support and/or education groups
  • Counselling (one-to-one, family or group orientated)
  • Provision of assistance to address issues, gather information and locate other resources

Goals should aim for the cessation of violence and /or abuse and be :

  • Realistic and attainable
  • Open to review

These goals may be :

  • Those set out in a case plan
  • Those set out by the individual, partner and/or family
  • Compliance with directions/orders
  • Immediate
  • Short term
  • Long term
  • Or a combination of the above

Relevant people may refer to :

  • Organisation management, colleagues, supervisor, team members
  • Acknowledged domestic violence issue experts (including, specialised practitioners from human/community service sectors etc)
  • Various community groups representing cultural, religious, social, ethnic, gender, and age groups within the community
  • Government representatives and service providers
  • Family members, friends, care-givers
  • Behaviour change groups, such as users of violence groups, drug and alcohol groups
  • Support groups such as users of violence support groups, community houses, church groups, professional associations
  • Authorities responsible for provision of community and justice administration services, for example, local councils, state and commonwealth agencies
  • Probation and parole officers

Skills and /or knowledge and behaviours to be developed may include but are not limited to :

  • Communication skills
  • Life-skills
  • Self management skills
  • Stress-management skills
  • Personal development/self-esteem skills
  • Development of constructive alternatives to current abusive behaviour
  • The development of an awareness of the effects of violence and abuse
  • Development of a sense of responsibility for their actions
  • Insight/personal assessment

Individual differences may , but are not limited to those :

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

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
  • 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
  • OHS
  • Debriefing and supervision
  • Industry standards

Legislative and statutory requirements may include :

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

Unit Sector(s)

Not Applicable