Below is an overview of the priority area to support you in giving your feedback, followed by a set of questions related to the information we have provided.

MARAM is a set of tools to assess and manage risk. The acronym stands for multi-agency risk assessment and management. This package of information highlights what government has done so far, and what it intends to do over the coming three years, to ensure that improved risk assessment and management and information sharing is embedded across the service system.

  • Priority area overview summarises what government is doing and shows how MARAM and information sharing activities support the achievement of the Family Violence Outcomes Framework (FVOF) as we continue to implement Royal Commission recommendations
  • Achievements since 2016 showcases key achievements during RAP1
  • Rolling action plan 2020 – 2023 sets out the activities government proposes to deliver for this priority over the next three years
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) impacts reflects on how coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted MARAM implementation
  • Reform principles shows how the three reform principles (Aboriginal self-determination, lived experience and intersectionality) have informed our design of the MARAM framework.

NB: An accessible word version and high resolution PDF of the same information is also available to view and download below.

The Royal Commission into Family Violence identified that organisations working with victim survivors and perpetrators were failing to share information and assess risk effectively. This was compromising the safety of victim survivors and their children. The multi-agency risk assessment and management framework (MARAM) and two new statutory information sharing schemes provide for the consistent assessment of family violence risk. These initiatives share responsibility to assess and manage risk across the service system and establish a consistent approach for those most likely to come into contact with people experiencing family violence and those who perpetrate it.

How we are improving assessment and management of family violence risk

A list with 4 items. The first has a gavel icon with 'Overarching legislative framework'. The second has a person with magnifying glass with 'New identification, screening and risk assessment tools that reflect the latest evidence'. The third has an information icon with 'New resources, training, tools and practice guidance for organisations to help them embed MARAM in their operations'. The fourth has a network of people with 'Child Information Sharing Scheme (CISS) and Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS), key enablers of MARAM'.

The Family Violence Outcomes Framework (FVOF)

The FVOF articulates the government’s vision to end family violence; the four domains reflect the long term outcomes sought through the collective efforts of the reform. The domains represent the key priorities in preventing and responding to family violence and clarifying what constitutes success.

Activities in this priority area will likely have the greatest impact in achieving outcomes against the following highlighted FVOF domains:

A pie chart with 4 equal areas. The first three are highlighted. The highlighted areas are 'preventing and responding to family violence is systemic and enduring', 'Victim Survivors, vulnerable children and families are safe and supported to recover and thrive' and 'Perpetrators are held to account, engaged and connected'. The fourth area is greyed out - 'Family violence and gender inequality are not tolerated'.

    Royal Commission into Family Violence (RCFV)

    With more than two-thirds of the Family Violence Royal Commission recommendations now implemented, delivery of activities under this priority over the next three years will continue to support recommendation implementation. Updates will continue to be provided via the vic.gov.au website.

    System

    We have developed new risk assessment and management principles and system architecture:

    • The new Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework (MARAM) has been developed.
    • Amendment of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 has enabled organisations to be prescribed to align with the MARAM framework and participate in the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS).
    • New resources, tools and practice guidance have been developed for organisations to help them embed MARAM in their operations.

    Workforce

    We are expanding the workforces covered by MARAM and information sharing and uplifting their professional competency:

    • Approximately 37,500 professionals across 850 organisations and services that come into frequent contact with people affected by family violence have been prescribed under MARAM, the FVISS and the Child Information Sharing Scheme (CISS).
    • 17,000 workers have been trained in MARAM, FVISS and CISS across all platforms (as at May 2020).
    • An accredited Vocational Education and Training (VET) unit of competency in identifying and responding to family violence has been developed and commenced delivery in July 2020, targeting workers in universal services to be prescribed under phase 2 of the reforms. Phase 2 will include a further 7,500 organisations and services and an additional 370,000 workers.

    Embedding

    We are embedding MARAM and information sharing across the system:

    • Change management positions have been funded in the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice and Community Services, Department of Education and Court Services Victoria to support the embedding of MARAM in relevant sectors. A range of peak bodies and other entities have received funding to support this through the MARAMIS Sector Grants program.
    • Victoria Police L17 family violence incident forms have been updated with additional questions relating to risk for children and additional recognised forms of family violence.
    • MARAM screening and risk assessment questions have been embedded into hospitals and health services data systems, noting hospitals are yet to be formally prescribed.
    • The Central Information Point (CIP) brings together information on perpetrators from Victoria Police, Court Services Victoria, Corrections Victoria and Child Protection. This information is provided in a single report to professionals, supporting informed risk assessment and management.

    Review

    We are evaluating as we go and building an evidence base:

    • The first MARAM annual report (2018 – 2019) on implementation of the MARAM Framework was tabled in Parliament by the Minister for Prevention of Family Violence on 20 February 2020.
    • The legislated two-year review of the FVISS has been completed. The MARAM process evaluation is to be completed in June 2020.

    Proposed activities

    NB: Timeline milestones have been included where applicable; text in panels indicates an ongoing and/or non date specific activity.


    Service delivery adaptation, learnings and innovations during coronavirus (COVID-19)

    The shift away from face-to-face contact may have impacted the ability of services to conduct risk assessments. Commencement of Phase 2 of the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework (MARAM) and information sharing reforms has been deferred until 2021, with the commencement date to be decided. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has created the impetus to shift MARAM training to an online delivery model, a first for specialist family violence practice in Victoria.

    NB: This is an interim summary of the impacts, adaptations and innovations which have arisen as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). These will continue to be monitored and considered as the final RAP2 is developed.

    Service delivery impact
    • Movement restrictions have created the critical risk that victim survivors are unable to seek help while perpetrators have greater opportunity to use family violence. These risks are being countered by engagement of broader workforces and strong messaging that family violence services remain open.
    • New coronavirus-specific risk questions have been built into online tools for practitioners and have been generalised for ongoing use in other disasters.
    • Access to perpetrator information to inform risk assessment and management is increasingly critical during coronavirus (COVID-19) and requests under the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme are increasing across the system.
    MARAM reform implementation
    • Face-to-face MARAM training was postponed in early March, shifting to online training in June 2020.
    • Continuing MARAM alignment may be challenging for services while they are focusing on the coronavirus (COVID-19) response and the shift to working remotely.
    • Preparation for Phase 2 of the reforms may have been impacted by the prioritisation of coronavirus (COVID-19) responses.
    • Workforces on the front line of the coronavirus (COVID-19) response are being engaged with targeted material on recognising and responding to family violence. This provides a strong foundation to build towards Phase 2 implementation and beyond.

    The principles that underpin the reform have informed our design of the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework (MARAM) and information sharing framework.

    Lived Experience

    • The Victim Survivors Advisory Council was consulted during development of MARAM Practice Guides.
    • Victim survivor self-assessment of risk is the first consideration in the MARAM structured professional judgement model.

    Intersectionality

    • MARAM includes intersectional analysis as one of four key components of structured professional judgement.
    • Guidance on reflective practice and unconscious bias is included in the MARAM Foundation Knowledge Guide. For example, for LGBTIQ communities this includes ‘Stereotyping people from LGBTIQ communities, including by mischaracterising their experiences based on heteronormative assumptions, or not recognising forms of family violence in LGBTIQ communities and relationships due to the dominant recognition of heterosexual intimate partner violence’.
    • The Intersectionality Capacity Building Project is working to develop specific tools for ensuring an intersectional lens in all family violence practice, building on MARAM Practice Guides.

    Aboriginal Self-Determination

    • MARAM recognises broader Aboriginal definitions of family violence, including community violence, and the particular risks and barriers faced by Aboriginal people experiencing violence, including children.
    • MARAM assessment tools include specific questions for people who identify as Aboriginal which are intended to improve the quality of risk assessment and safety planning for Aboriginal people.
    • Principle 7 of the MARAM affirms the criticality of cultural safety in all forms of service delivery.
    • MARAM practice guides include specific guidance on risk management for Aboriginal people, including asking whether people wish to be referred to an Aboriginal-specific service.
    • The Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS) Ministerial Guidelines include specific guidance on sharing information about Aboriginal people.
    • MARAM/FVISS implementation for Aboriginal services and communities is driven by the Dhelk Dja Aboriginal Family Violence Agreement.

    Quick exit

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