Step Up Ballarat

CAFS delivers one of only three adolescent family violence programs in Victoria and was instrumental in the development and implementation of this program.

About the Program

The Step Up Program works with adolescents aged 12 – 17 years living in the Ballarat, Moorabool, Hepburn, Ararat and Pyrenees LGAs who are engaging in physical, verbal, emotional, psychological and/or financial intimidation or violence that threatens the wellbeing or safety of their parents, carers and/or siblings.

The program is designed as an early intervention counselling program that works therapeutically with adolescents and their families within a family-focussed framework and aims to reduce and prevent adolescent family violence and increase the safety of all family members.

The Program works with adolescents and their families and focusses on 4 key areas:

  • Establish and/or increase all family members’ awareness about how the use of intimidation and violence is inappropriate. As well as assisting adolescents to understand the consequences of such behaviours on all family members. This is achieved through individual and family counselling.
  • Assist participants to develop and implement strategies to prevent future inappropriate behaviours and strengthen family relationships.
  • Build personal and social skills for all family members by therapeutic engagement that focusses on strengthening personal/cultural identity, self-awareness, self-management/control, inter-personal, general life, parenting and help seeking skills/skills to stay safe and
  • Utilise appropriate referral pathways to other specialist service providers including mental and physical health, drug and alcohol support, housing support, emergency relief and education, training and employment support services and cultural networks and recreational activities.


Tim was referred to Step Up via a clinical psychologist

The referral reported that Tim had emotional dysregulation and behavioural difficulties, with long-standing “unfavourable” childhood experiences impacting on his poor capacity to manage his anger. Tim had experienced family violence throughout his childhood.

He was reported to have been verbally and physically aggressive to his family and other students at school on a regular basis, which included threats to harm people. There were added concerns that he was at heightened risk to himself because of his reckless and impulsive behaviour.

To access the service, please contact our office on 5337 3333 or email