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MARAM practice guides and resources

MARAM will support workers across the service system to better understand their responsibilities to undertake risk assessment and management, including information sharing and working collaboratively.

The Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework

MARAM Framework on a page

MARAM training

To register for MARAM training, please visit the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria website.

For more information on MARAM training please visit our Training page. Training in screening and identification and brief and intermediate is being tailored and delivered via relevant departments. For more information please contact your department or funded agency, or download the training overview:  

MARAM victim survivor practice guides

The MARAM practice guides support professionals to understand their relevant responsibilities under the MARAM Framework towards the identification, assessment and ongoing management of family violence risk as it relates to their specific roles. The practice guides include the Foundational Knowledge Guide, and Responsibilities for Practice Guides 1-10. 

Foundation Knowledge Guide

The Foundation Knowledge Guide underpins all MARAM Responsibilities for practice. It outlines key elements of the MARAM Framework, the service system, the evidence-based family violence risk factors that underpin all levels of risk assessment practice and presentations of risk across different age groups and Aboriginal and diverse communities. 

All professionals should read this guide prior to commencing application of the responsibilities for practice guides 1-10.

Responsibility 1: Respectful, Sensitive and Safe Engagement

This guide outlines how to create a respectful, sensitive and safe environment for people who may be experiencing family violence, including children and young people.  The guide focuses on the ways that creating a safe environment can enable a person to feel safe and respected to talk about their experience of family violence.

Responsibility 1 also outlines the importance of using a person-centred and trauma informed approach as well as recognising and addressing challenges in service access for Aboriginal people and people from diverse communities.

All professionals should apply Responsibility 1.

Responsibility 2: Identification of Family Violence Risk

This guide outlines how to identify signs of trauma that may indicate family violence is occurring, and the approach to screening by asking questions about a short set of risk factors to assist professionals to decide if further action and/or assessment is required. 

All professionals should apply Responsibility 2 to identify if family violence is present and undertake screening for an adult, child or young person.

Appendix 1 contains the observable signs of trauma that may indicate family violence. The document includes separate lists for adults, children and young people (Tables 1-5). 

Appendix 2 contains the Screening and Identification Tool within a table of practice guidance. 

Appendix 3 contains the Screening and Identification Tool as a standalone template.

Appendix 4 contains a flow diagram of response options and a basic safety plan. 

Responsibility 3: Intermediate Risk Assessments

Responsibility 3 provides guidance for intermediate risk assessment to assess the level or ‘seriousness’ of family violence risk for either an adult or a child.

This guide should be used by professionals whose role is linked to but not directly focused on family violence. It supports professionals to understand how risk assessment questions link to the level of risk and to use the process of Structured Professional Judgement in practice to determine the level or ‘seriousness’ of risk. This guide also outlines when a brief assessment or full intermediate assessment should be undertaken.

Appendix 5 contains the Brief Assessment Tool reflecting high-risk factors only. 

Appendix 6 contains the Intermediate Assessment Tool.

Appendix 7 contains the Child Victim Survivor Assessment Tool.  

Appendix 8 contains the Intermediate Assessment Tool within a table of practice guidance about each question to support response. 

Responsibility 4: Intermediate Risk Management

Responsibility 4 supports professionals to undertake safety planning and risk management to respond to the presentation and level of family violence risk. Professionals should use this guide after an intermediate risk assessment has been completed and family violence risk has been assessed as present.

Appendix 9 contains a template safety plan for adult victim survivors which can include safety planning for children through the non-offending parent/carer. 

Appendix 10 contains a template safety plan that can be used directly with older children or young people.   

Responsibility 5 and 6: Information sharing with other services including secondary consultation and referral

This guide is for all professionals to use when family violence is present and/or assessed and you determine that information, guidance, support or collaboration from another professional or service is required for a risk assessment or management purpose. This guide explains how to determine what information is risk-relevant to support decision making on what information to request and share.

The guide includes information on how to seek internal supervision through your service or organisation, consult with family violence specialists and make active referrals for comprehensive specialist responses. 

Guidance is also provided on how to proactively share information relevant to the assessment and management of family violence risk, including under the family violence and child information sharing schemes and other legislation, and how to respond to information sharing requests from other services. 

Responsibility 7: Comprehensive Risk Assessment

This guide builds on the information in Responsibility 3. Responsibility 7 provides guidance on how to comprehensively assess the family violence risks, needs and protective factors for victim survivors (adults, children and young people).

Responsibility 7 should only be used by specialist family violence practitioners with a specialist level of skill, knowledge and expertise in family violence practice, working with victim survivors, who will undertake comprehensive assessment. This guide outlines how these specialist professionals can work with victim survivors to understand the full spectrum and impact of risk due to the perpetrator’s violence. This includes identifying and responding to dynamic risk where there is change or escalation to the frequency or severity of violence.

Appendix 11 contains the Comprehensive Assessment Tool as a stand-alone template.

Appendix 12 contains a genogram template and guidance on how to develop a genogram. 

Appendix 13 contains the questions from the Comprehensive Assessment Tool with a table of practice guidance about each question, including questions for people who identify as Aboriginal or belonging to a diverse community. 

Responsibility 8: Comprehensive Risk Management and Safety Planning 

This guide builds on the information in Responsibility 4. Responsibility 8 should be used by specialist family violence practitioners working with victim survivors. This guide should be used when family violence has been established and a comprehensive risk assessment has been completed for an adult, child or young person. 

Responsibility 8 guides practitioners to plan and undertake a range of risk management activities with victim survivors including:

  • actively monitor family violence risk
  • respond to changes in risk levels
  • proactively share and gather information on family violence risk

It also contains further information on comprehensive safety planning and risk management for a range of forms of risk and circumstances. 

Appendix 14 contains the (Adult) Comprehensive Safety Plan template.  

Appendix 15 contains the ecomap template which can be used to help identify protective factors. 

Responsibility 9 and 10: Contribute to coordinated and collaborative risk management including ongoing risk assessment 

This guide supports all professionals to understand the role of coordinated risk management and ongoing collaborative risk assessment and management as an integral part of family violence responses.

This guide looks at the processes for effective multi-agency risk management and collaboration. The guides supports the role of specialist family violence practitioners to lead coordination and collaboration, and for a range of professionals from across the service system to contribute as needed.

In development 

Organisational embedding guide 

An organisational embedding guide is currently being developed to support organisational leaders in the process of aligning to MARAM. The guide will include specific key actions and activities organisational leaders can undertake to determine responsibilities for staff across their organisation. It will include specific case studies to demonstrate how organisational leaders can ensure their organisation's policies, procedures, guidance and tools align to MARAM. The guide will be available late 2019. 

Perpetrator focused tools and practice guidance 

Family Safety Victoria is also leading a program of work to develop evidence-based perpetrator focused tools and practice guidance, in line with recommendation 1 from the Royal Commission into Family Violence. Work has commenced and will be available by early 2020.

MARAM alignment checklist

Checklist guide for organisational leaders to start aligning their organisational policies, procedures, practice guidance and tools to MARAM.

MARAM responsibilities: Decision guide for organisational leaders

High-level guidance for organisational leaders on determining MARAM responsibilities.

More information

Visit Family violence reform for other staff resources, and the history and progress of family violence reform.

Reviewed 18 September 2019

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