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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 following resources are related to the MARAM Framework. For resources related to the Child Information Sharing Scheme (CISS) and the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS), visit the Information sharing guides, templates and tools page.

  • Organisational embedding guide

    An organisational embedding guide has been developed to support organisational leaders in the process of aligning to MARAM. The guide includes specific key actions and activities organisational leaders can undertake to determine responsibilities for staff across their organisation. 

    How to use video 

    This video briefly explains how to use the three core resources in the MARAM organisational embedding guidance.

    One page overview 

    This document shows the three steps in the organisational embedding journey, and how, when repeated, they help create continuous improvement.

    The documents in blue at the bottom of the diagram are examples of some new resources created to assist with organisational alignment. 

    The documents in orange on the top right of the diagram are existing resources, all of which are integral to organisational alignment activities. 

    The orange, bottom right corner of the diagram highlights the available MARAM training modules. 

    These four components all work together to assist organisations in alignment activities. 

    Core resources

    Step 1: MARAM organisational self-audit tool

    Step 1 is for organisations to assess the current progress of their MARAM alignment.

    The MARAM organisational self-audit tool contains a series of milestones to work towards as part of MARAM alignment, with specific examples on how to reach the milestone. The examples are supported by resources.

    The MARAM organisational self-audit tool is available to download as an accessible Word document for completion by organisations. It should be noted that this is a living document, which will be updated as further MARAM resources are released. 

    (Release date: June 2020)

    Step 2: Project implementation plan

    Step 2 is for organisations to prepare an implementation plan based on the activities they have highlighted in the MARAM self-audit tool as being the next priority.

    An example implementation plan is avaliable to download as an accessible Excel document for completion by organisations.

    Step 3: Implementation review

    Step 3 is to review the success of implementation activities. 

    The Review implementation activities guide suggests 3 ways to review the success of implementation activities.

    Other organisational resources

    A series of resources have been created to assist organisational leaders and those responsible for implementation activities. These are all referred to and linked within the MARAM organisational self-audit tool for use as and when required by organisations. They are also referenced below for ease of access. 

    1. MARAM framework summary

    A short guide to the core components of the MARAM framework for organisational leaders. 

    2. MARAM responsibilities guide

    A short guide to the 10 MARAM responsibilities with organisational considerations. 

    3. Embedding tools into existing practice

    Organisational leaders will need to consider whether to adopt MARAM tools in full, or embed them into existing tools. This guidance outlines important considerations. 

    4. MARAM policy and procedure examples

    MARAM requires organisations to update their policies, procedures, practice guidance and tools. This guidance contains some example scenarios of family violence encounters within an organisation, and what policies, procedures, practice guidance and tools may need updating or creating to align to MARAM. 

    5. External partnerships

    Building partnerships for the purposes of secondary consultations, referrals, information sharing and multi-agency is integral to MARAM alignment. This guidance provides a suggested approach. 

    6. Supporting staff: family violence leave policy considerations

    Managers will not only need to support staff members in responding to family violence experienced by service-users, but may also need to support staff members who are experiencing or choosing to use family violence. This guide sets out considerations for a staff family violence leave policy.

    It should be read in conjunction with this accessible workplace safety plan which can be downloaded in Word or as a PDF.

    7. Executive briefing slides 

    These slides may be downloaded and adpated by those responsible for alignment to brief organisation executives.

    8. MARAM Responsibilities Mapping Tool

    An excel template with a suggested approach for recording staff roles and determining MARAM responsibilities. 

    MARAM alignment checklist

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

    MARAM alignment checklist (online version) 

    MARAM responsibilities: decision guide for organisational leaders

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

  • 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. 

    This version of the MARAM victim survivor practice guides is the full version for printing and individual chapters and tools can be found below.

    The MARAM Practice Guides: Chapter Summaries provides a high-level overview and introduction of the key concepts in the Foundation Knowledge Guide and the Responsibilities for Practice Guides 1-10. Please note, this document does not replace the need to refer to the guides themselves for information on how to undertake practice.

    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 Adult Brief Assessment Tool reflecting high-risk factors only. 

    Appendix 6 contains the Adult Intermediate Assessment Tool.

    Appendix 7 contains the Child Victim Survivor Assessment Tool.  

    Appendix 8 contains the Adult 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: 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. This guide explains the key practice of seeking secondary consultations and making referrals to respond to further risk assessment and management, and to respond to co-occuring issues.

    Responsibility 6: Information sharing with other services 

    This guide is for all professionals to use when family violence is present and/or assessed and you determine that information,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.

    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: Contribute to coordinated risk management  

    This guide supports all professionals to understand the role of coordinated risk management, and linkages to ongoing collaborative risk management (covered under Responsibility 10) as an integral part of family violence responses.

    Thiis guidance helps identify the processes required for effective multi-agency collaboration and risk management.

    Responsibility 10: Collaborate for ongoing risk assessment and risk management 

    This guide supports all professionals to understand the role of  collaborative risk assessment and management as an integral part of multi-agency 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.

    Perpetrator focused tools and practice guidance (in development)

    Family Safety Victoria is 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. 

    It is anticipated that the non-specialist assessment tool and practice guides will be finalised in February 2021 and the specialist assessment tool and practice guides will be finalised in April 2021.

  • MARAM training

    For Specialist Family Violence Practitioners who wish to register for MARAM training, please visit the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria website.

    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.  

    For more information on MARAM training please visit our training page

    Overview of MARAM training modules 

    A summary of MARAM training modules. 

    Training decision tree 

    For help selecting the right MARAM training:

  • Update on commencement of MARAM phase 2 

    In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, phase two of the Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework (MARAM), the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS), and the Child Information Sharing Scheme (CISS) will now begin in in the first half of 2021. 

    Phase two is the next proposed list of organisations that will be prescribed under the MARAM, FVISS and CISS reforms. Prescription of workforces has been phased to support implementation, with phase one commencing September 2018. Phase two reflects universal workforces such as hospitals and health, along with education workforces. The phase two commencement delay will support the critical role educators and universal health services play in Victoria. 

    Existing legislative frameworks for appropriate information sharing remain in place in cases where there are concerns for the safety of children and victim survivors of family violence. Mandatory reporting also remains in place where there are concerns for the safety of children. 

    Preparation for the commencement of phase two in 2021 is continuing. Government departments and agencies will continue to develop a range of supports, such as toolkits, online briefings and workshops to support the implementation of phase two of CISS, FVISS and MARAM Framework. 

    Existing online learning options are available on the training for information sharing and MARAM website.  

  • MARAM coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic practice notes and factsheets

    Family Safety Victoria is developing a series of MARAM Practice Notes and Factsheets to support targeted responses to family violence, including sexual assault, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  

    MARAM alignment during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

    This factsheet outlines guidance on the ongoing project of MARAM alignment for prescribed organisations and services in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

    MARAM practice notes during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic isolation and quarantine period

    A series of MARAM Practice Notes will be released to support professionals to respond to increased family violence risk during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic period. Specialist victim survivor, perpetrator-focused and adolescent family violence MARAM Practice Notes are available.

    Further work is underway to scope guidance supporting universal services (including strengthening collaborative practice) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic period and targeting identified sectors and communities at increased risk.

    Each Practice Note is a ‘live’ document and will be updated as issues and system changes occur during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic period. 

    July update: Updated referral information in each guide. Tier 2/3 Practice Note now has the victim-focused immediate risk and safety plan templates included in the document.

    MARAM practice notes coronavirus (COVID-19) video

    A video - MARAM Practice Notes: Covid-19 -  has been produced to provide an overview of the minimum response for victim-survivors and perpetrator MARAM Practice Notes. 

    Family violence response during coronavirus (COVID-19) video series

    This video series - Family violence response during coronavirus (COVID-19) - produced in July 2020 provides an overview of how the government has been working with the family violence sector and across government departments and agencies to respond to family violence since the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.

More information

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

Reviewed 02 March 2021

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