Violence, Abuse and Neglect (VAN) Service

Overview

Violence, Abuse and Neglect (VAN) Service is a free confidential counselling service. We are skilled social workers and psychologists, who help people who have experienced violence, abuse and neglect.

What we do

  • Counselling and support for:
    • Adults who have experienced domestic and family violence, sexual assault, abuse or neglect
    • Children and young people (as well as their families and carers) who have experienced sexual abuse, and this has been confirmed by FaCS
    • Children under 10 years where are concerns about their sexual behaviour, and this has been substantiated by FaCS/JIRT.  
  • 24/7 crisis and medical service for a recent (within 5 days) sexual assault  
  • Court support for people who have been sexually assaulted  
  •  Assistance connecting clients with other services  
  • Training and workforce development for ISLHD staff working with clients experiencing domestic and family violence, and sexual assault  
  • Training, workforce development, strategic partnerships, and community engagement in implementing culturally competent initiatives addressing family violence in Aboriginal communities.

The Joint Investigation Response Team (JIRT) is part of the VAN team. NSW Health is an equal and co-located partner in the interagency response to reports of serious child abuse.

JIRT links the medical and psychosocial interventions of NSW Health with the criminal investigations of the NSW Police Force Child Abuse Unit and risk assessments of Family and Community Services.

The JIRT model aims to provide vulnerable children, young people and their family members a coordinated safety, just and safe health responses.

When to access this service

If you live in Illawarra and Shoalhaven and have experienced domestic and family violence, sexual assault, abuse and neglect.

What to expect

At your first appointment you should expect a discussion with a skilled counsellor, about how we can help you.

Who should access this service

People living in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven who have experienced domestic and family violence, sexual assault, abuse and neglect including:

  • Adults who have experienced domestic and family violence, sexual assault, abuse or neglect.
  • Children and young people who have experienced sexual abuse, and this has been confirmed by FaCS.
  • Children under 10 years where there are concerns about their sexual behaviour, and this has been substantiated by FaCS/JIRT).

How to access this service (referrals or no referral necessary)

Referrals to the service can be made by clients themselves, or health care professionals, with the client’s prior consent.

To refer please contact Access and Referral Centre (ARC) on 1300 792 755. Referral details are then forwarded to the client’s nearest Community Health Centre. If you are referring a client, please advise whether there are security issues, and any contact precautions to take.

What to bring

If you think a child has been abused, call the Child Protection Helpline, and they will contact the Joint Investigation Response Team (JIRT) if necessary: 132 111.

The client should bring identifying information and contact details.

Contact Information

VAN operates from community centres in Wollongong, Warilla, Kiama, Nowra and Ulladulla, with outreach available to multiple locations.
1300 792 755

Monday - Friday: 8.30am - 5.00pm

To access our 24/7 crisis sexual assault service call:

   Illawarra: 02 4222 5000

   Shoalhaven: 02 4423 9211