Author:
Family Safety Victoria
Date:
15 June 2023

MARAM practice guidance

Find the latest news and information about the MARAM practice guidance for Quarter 4 2022-23.

What MARAM practice guidance is being developed?

Family Safety Victoria (FSV) is developing MARAM practice guidance for:

  • direct risk and wellbeing assessment of children and young people victim survivors

  • identifying and responding to young people using family violence in the home and in intimate partner/dating relationships (recognising young people using violence often experience family violence risk).

This new practice guidance will support workforces prescribed under the MARAM Framework to respond to children and young people as victim survivors in their own right and support their wellbeing in the context of family violence. The guidance will support professionals to respond to young people using violence with a trauma and violence-informed, and age and developmental stage lens. The practice guides and tools are anticipated for release in 2024.

What has been achieved so far?

In 2022-23, 41 consultation sessions were held with over 500 professionals across MARAM prescribed workforces to support the development of the child and young person-focused MARAM practice guidance.

The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, YSAS, Safe and Equal were engaged to contribute to the development of the Practice Guides, with much of their work contributing to the project now completed. In addition, FSV engaged RMIT and Monash University to undertake research reports.

In December 2022, RMIT published the report ‘Adolescents using Family Violence (AFV) MARAM Practice Guidance Project 2022: Review of the Evidence Base. The report reviews the evidence base in relation to tools currently used to assess adolescent violence in the home (AVITH), adolescent intimate partner or ‘dating’ violence and harmful sexual behaviours.

In March 2023, Monash University published their report, ‘Young people’s experiences of identity abuse in the context of family violence: A Victorian study’. The report provides analysis of Victorian responses received to Monash University’s national survey on children and young people’s family violence experiences, use of violence, service, and support needs. The survey was completed in 2021 as part of a national study funded by ANROWS. The Victorian sample includes responses from 1454 Victorian young people aged 16-20 years old. The report builds on the I Believe You report published by Monash University in February 2023, and supports further understanding of the voice and experience of children and young people experiencing family violence. The findings from each report will directly inform the practice guidance and tools by incorporating young people’s experience of barriers to help seeking and service engagement, and experience of family violence that targets the young person’s identity and/or culture.

In May 2023, FSV engaged Swinburne University and Safe and Equal to commence development of the MARAM child and young person family violence risk and wellbeing identification and assessment tools.

In June 2023, FSV further engaged a consortium of VACCA and Yoowinna Wurnalung Aboriginal Healing Service (YWAHS) to work on content across the draft practice guidance, co-lead consultations with key stakeholders, engage with and draw upon children and young people’s voices, contribute to tool and template development and support user testing processes. This approach will ensure that consultation and user testing is culturally safe and an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lens is centred throughout the development of the Practice Guides and tools.

FSV has also established a Youth Advisory Group, from participants in the I Believe you research project, to ensure the findings from the research is embedded in the practice guidance and tools.

What is happening now?

FSV and project partners are drafting content across the 10 MARAM responsibilities and updating the Foundation Knowledge Guide.

Swinburne University is undertaking an evidence review to support the development of child and young person family violence risk and wellbeing identification and assessment tools. Findings from this study, alongside RMIT’s review, will be used to help shape both the content and design of the new MARAM tools, which will be tested and refined over the coming months.

In August 2023, Safe and Equal are holding a series of consultations with specialist family violence services focusing on direct engagement, risk assessment and risk management with children and young people independently, as well as alongside a parent/carer.

FSV is undertaking targeted consultation focusing on language and practice related to identifying use of harm as separate to use of family violence by young people, and approaches to accountability with young people using family violence.

What is planned next?

For the remainder of 2023, Swinburne University and Safe and Equal, will be finalising the research methodology for development, testing and refinement of the child and young person tools. The development phase will be completed by the end of 2023, following a comprehensive, iterative process of feedback gained from subject matter experts. Draft practice guidance will be developed by FSV with VACCA, YWAHS and Safe and Equal, alongside the tool development.

FSV will be testing draft material in consultation with workforces later in 2023. If you would like to be involved in consultation, please contact infosharing@familysafety.vic.gov.au.

MARAM non-accredited training

Find the latest news and information about MARAM non-accredited training for Quarter 4 2022-23.

What training is being developed?

FSV is continuing development of 3 Adults Using Family Violence (AUFV) training packages to support professionals across MARAM prescribed workforces. The training suite covers identification, intermediate and comprehensive responsibilities.

What has been achieved so far?

FSV has engaged No to Violence to deliver the new training packages, and planning is underway to commence delivery to of the identification-level training from September 2023.

A series of subject matter expert workshops for the development of Intermediate and Comprehensive training packages concluded in August 2023 with representation from:

  • Boorndawan William Aboriginal Healing Service

  • No to Violence

  • Safe and Equal

  • Uniting Vic. Tas

  • Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency.

What is happening now?

Draft intermediate and comprehensive training packages are now being prepared, and will be shared with government departments and sector partners for review prior to being piloted in October 2023.

What is planned next?

  • Commencement of delivery of identification training from September 2023

  • Intermediate and comprehensive training package piloting in October 2023

MARAM accredited training

Find the latest news and information about the MARAM accredited training for Quarter 4 2022-23.

What is MARAM accredited training?

The Centre for Workforce Excellence (CWE) in DFFH is working in partnership with the Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions (DJSIR) to develop vocational education and training (VET) courses in family violence. The training aims to build the knowledge, skills and capabilities of existing and future workforces to respond to and contribute to the prevention of family violence. These courses are the first accredited training courses to be directly based on the Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management (MARAM) Framework.

Through these courses, individuals will be able to access MARAM aligned, accredited family violence training through registered training organisations (RTOs), TAFEs and dual sector universities, either during their career trajectory or before they enter the workforce as part of their pre-service education and training.

Through these courses, individuals will be able to access MARAM aligned, accredited family violence training through registered training organisations (RTOs), TAFEs and dual sector universities, either as part of their career trajectory or before they enter the workforce.

What has been achieved so far?

On 1 April 2019, the Course in Identifying and Responding to Family Violence Risk (22510VIC) was accredited by the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA). The single-unit course is currently being delivered by TAFEs, RTOs and dual sector universities, and is free for participants. The course can be taken either as a standalone course or as a course unit (VU22733) within a broader range of VET courses. The course covers foundational family violence knowledge and MARAM responsibilities aligning to MARAM identification-level.

New teaching and learning resources for VU22733 have been developed to complement course delivery. These include additional case studies, new assessments, and facilitator and learner guides for TAFEs and RTOs.

In May 2022, redevelopment of the Course in Intermediate Risk Assessment and Management of Family Violence Risk (22561VIC) commenced to reflect new MARAM practice guidance relating to working with adults using violence. The course has been re-accredited by the VRQA with the revised title Course in Intermediate Risk Assessment and Management of Family Violence (22625VIC). It was made available for delivery from 1 July 2023.

In April 2023, the Course in Contributing to the Prevention of Family Violence and Violence Against Women (22621VIC) was accredited by the VRQA. This is a two-unit course which includes VU22733 as a pre-requisite. It was made available for delivery from 1 May 2023.

What is happening now?

Redevelopment of Course in Identifying and Responding to Family Violence Risk (22510VIC) is underway and will be finalised prior to the end of its accreditation period on 31 March 2024.

New teaching and learning resources are being developed to complement the refreshed Course in Intermediate Risk Assessment and Management of Family Violence Risk (22561VIC) and are expected to be finalised in late 2023.

What is planned next?

More family violence training courses are planned to commence development in late 2023, including the Course in Comprehensive Risk Assessment and Management of Family Violence. New teaching and learning resources will be developed to complement the newly accredited Course in Contributing to the Prevention of Family Violence and Violence Against Women.

MARAMIS resources

Find the latest news and information about the MARAMIS resources for Quarter 4 2022-23.

What is the MARAM video series?

The MARAM video series is 17 impactful videos to support prescribed workforces to better understand MARAM reforms more broadly including the key concepts and responsibilities that apply to their role. These videos are available on the Victorian Government website and YouTube(opens in a new window).

How were the videos developed?

FSV appointed Gozer Media to undertake the video production work. FSV engaged with four organisations (VAADA, NTV, Safe and Equal and Elizabeth Morgan House) to support development of role play videos showing risk assessment and management in practice.

What videos are available?

The series includes two types of videos:

  • MARAM animation series: Six short videos on specific MARAM practice topics, for example Structured Professional Judgement. You can view them on the Vic Gov website or on YouTube.

  • MARAM victim survivor and person using family violence series: Eleven longer role play scenarios between a practitioner and client, including graphics with key topics raised. You can view them on the Vic Gov website(opens in a new window) or on YouTube(opens in a new window).

MARAMIS fact sheets

MARAMIS fact sheets were developed to support people receiving services from the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) but are relevant to a broad range of workforces.

The fact sheets outline the Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management (MARAM) Framework and Information Schemes in everyday practice. The fact sheets are translated into 6 commonly used languages including Dinka, Somali, Simplified Chinese, Oromo, Arabic and Vietnamese. The fact sheets are also translated into easy English to reflect the diverse communities that we support.

Access the fact sheets here

MARAM maturity model

Find the latest news and information about the MARAM maturity model for Quarter 4 2022-23.

What is the MARAM maturity model?

The MARAM maturity model will be a key supporting resource of the MARAM Framework. The model provides a means for organisations to self-assess their level of alignment to MARAM and help them take improving steps. It will sit alongside the MARAM Practice Guidance and Organisational Embedding Guide, which support organisations to understand what steps they should take to align with MARAM and provide guidance on risk assessment and management responsibilities.

What has been achieved so far?

External human-centred design consultant Paper Giant has built on early material developed by FSV, to finalise research activities and co-designed maturity model resources in consultation with 8 Sector Champion organisations.

Three draft resources have now been produced as a result of these activities:

  • MARAM maturity model on a page

  • MARAM maturity model roadmap

  • Interactive self-assessment and action planner

What is happening now?

The maturity model project resources are being tested to assess the effectiveness before finalisation in 2024.

The testing will occur as part of a MARAM Alignment pilot partnership with the principal strategic advisors (PSA) from the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Family Violence Partnership and Primary Care Connect (auspice agency for Goulburn Integrated Family Violence Committee).

In September and October 2023, the PSA partnership will host workshops and communities of practice between implementation and executive leaders to build multi-agency collaboration to support organisations with their MARAM alignment and use of the model resources.

FSV’s internal project team is also progressing testing of the model resources by key sector and department stakeholders, including peak organisations and Aboriginal Community-Controlled Organisations as part of the Sector Grants initiative.

Five-year legislative review (MARAM, FVISS and CIP)

Find the latest news and information about the 5-year legislative review for Quarter 4 2022-23.

What is the 5-year legislative review?

The Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor (FVRIM) was appointed to undertake an independent 5-year legislative review of Part 5A (the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS) and the Central Information Point (CIP)) and Part 11 (MARAM) of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008. The review aimed to determine if the provisions are being applied as intended, and are effective or otherwise in meeting their objectives.

What has been achieved so far?

The FVRIM sought the views of organisations, individual practitioners, advocates and others who may be impacted by the provisions through written submissions and consultations. The final report and Victorian Government response was tabled in Parliament on 17 August 2023.

The final report and Government response can be found here: Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme reviews | Victorian Government (www.vic.gov.au).

The Victorian Government will commence planning for implementing commitments made in the Victorian Government response.

Five-year evidence review (MARAM Framework and practice guides)

Find the latest news and information about the 5-year evidence review for Quarter 4 2022-23.

What is the 5-year evidence review?

The Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic) requires a review of the Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework (MARAM) evidence base every 5 years.

The first of these reviews will examine the Framework and key supporting resources, including victim survivor-focused MARAM Practice Guides and tools, published in 2019.

The review will:

  • assess whether the approved framework reflects the current best practice evidence for family violence risk assessment and family violence risk management

  • recommend if any changes are required to ensure the approved framework is consistent with those best practices.

What has been achieved so far?

In November 2022, FSV engaged Allen & Clarke Consulting to undertake the 5-year evidence review. Key activities have included completion of a draft literature review, stakeholder consultations during May and June 2023 and commencement of second phase consultations to test emerging findings and recommendations in late July 2023.

In May 2023, FSV also engaged Monash University to undertake a data review. The data review will determine what MARAM risk factor data is available across the system and then analyse this data to better understand the links between MARAM risk factors and seriousness of risk and lethality. The project commences with a feasibility study involving key informant interviews with data custodians (currently underway).

What is planned next?

Allen & Clark Consulting’s second phase consultations are continuing in August 2023, to test findings and recommendations via a survey with the same stakeholders engaged in the first phase of consultation in May to June.

Final reports on the reviews conducted by Allen & Clarke Consulting and Monash University will be provided to FSV by the end of 2023 and detail findings and recommendations and inform continuous improvement of the MARAM Framework.

Family Violence Capability Frameworks

Find the latest news and information about the Family Violence Capability Frameworks for Quarter 4 2022-23.

What are the Family Violence Capability Frameworks and why are they being reviewed?

The Family Violence Prevention and Response Capability Frameworks provide the foundational skill set required to both deliver prevention of family violence and violence against women initiatives and respond to all forms of family violence.

The review is intended to reflect the capability uplift required by reforms and learnings undertaken since the frameworks’ release, including capturing new evidence and best practice, whilst also seeking to establish an implementation approach that clarifies and increases their utility across the workforce. The review will consider the alignment between the prevention and response frameworks, recognising that prevention and response work is distinct but complementary.

What has been achieved so far?

In January 2022, a partnership between the DFFH Centre for Workforce Excellence (CWE) and Safe and Equal was established. Following this, a working group of key specialist peaks and a selection for ACCOs was established.

To date, a desktop review has been completed along with key informant interviews across departments, agencies and peaks, including ACCOs, victim survivor advocacy groups and relevant workforces.

Since October 2022, workforce consultations have taken place across prevention and response. Together, the desktop review and consultations have informed a conceptual framework for the prevention and response frameworks, as well as an initial draft of the response capability framework.

What is happening now?

CWE and S+E have completed consultations across sectors and workforces and finalised an initial draft of the response capability framework. Currently CWE are seeking internal feedback from key stakeholders August and September. Following this, CWE will reach out to critical friends for input and review. We will continue to incorporate stakeholder feedback throughout the drafting process.

Critical stakeholder meetings are underway to develop the structure of the prevention capability framework to directly inform drafting of the document. A concept diagram is also in development aimed at linking prevention and response frameworks.

What is planned next?

Following input from internal stakeholders the response framework will be circulated to critical friends for review.

Drafting of the initial draft of the prevention framework is due to be completed in the coming months.

MARAM tools in TRAM

Find the latest news and information about MARAM tools in TRAM for Quarter 4 2022-23.

What is the TRAM?

Tools for Risk Assessment and Management (TRAM) has been developed by Family Safety Victoria as an online platform for use across the service system. TRAM contains the adult and child victim survivor MARAM risk assessments and safety plan, and in future it will host the remainder of the MARAM resources, currently in development. This platform is used across The Orange Door network and by some community agencies.

What is the Predominant Aggressor Identification Tool in TRAM?

The Predominant Aggressor Identification Tool will support specialist family violence services in their alignment to MARAM. The tool provides a structure to support the accurate identification of the predominant aggressor, using information sharing, direct assessment and structured analysis.

What has been achieved so far?

The MARAM Adult Using Family Violence Comprehensive Assessment Tool was released onto TRAM on Friday 30 September 2022 for use by Specialist Perpetrator Intervention Services.

The MARAM Predominant Aggressor Identification tool has also been released for those agencies onboarded to TRAM.

What is happening now?

Since the last update, FSV has supported new services wanting to adopt the use of TRAM to support their risk assessment and management practice. FSV has run onboarding and training sessions with agency leaders and practitioners on how to use TRAM.

FSV invites questions about TRAM and the use of new tools and how agencies can adopt TRAM. Please contact tram@familysafety.vic.gov.au to find out more.

What is planned next?

FSV is working with Safe and Equal to plan for the release of the Predominant Aggressor Identification Tool in SHIP. Specialist family violence services will receive support to implement the tool in their practice. Further information about the tool release and associated organisational support will be available in due course.

Family Violence Industry Plan: Second Rolling Action Plan

Find the latest news and information about the Family Violence Industry Plan: Second Rolling Action Plan for Quarter 4 2022-23.

What is the Second Rolling Action plan, and why is it needed?

The 10-Year Family Violence Industry Plan, Building from Strength, is being implemented through a series of 3 Rolling Action Plans (RAPs). The first RAP covered the period 2018-2022 and has now concluded. The second RAP, covering the period 2023-2026, is nearing finalisation. It will guide the family violence workforce reform agenda over the next 3 years.

What has been achieved so far?

Development work on the second RAP began in 2022. Work over the first part of 2023 has focused on developing ideas for testing with family violence and sexual assault stakeholders, with consultation sessions occurring in April. Additionally, we have been finalising the acquittal of actions under RAP 1, and developing new actions for inclusion in RAP 2.

What is happening now?

The second RAP is now going through the final stages of development and approval, with planning around implementation is currently underway.

What is planned next?

  1. Implementation planning of the second RAP will continue, in addition to the development of launch and promotional materials.

  2. Public release of the RAP 2 document and RAP 1 acquittal is planned for later in 2023.

DFFH MARAM implementation

Find the latest news and information about the Department of Families Fairness and Housing's MARAM implementation activities for Quarter 4 2022-23.

Based on the success of the 2022-23 pilot of the ‘MARAM Identifying and responding to Financial Abuse’ workshops, the DFFH MARAMIS team has again funded South East Community Links (SECL) to deliver additional workshops for DFFH client facing services in 2023-24. The MARAM aligned training supports DFFH frontline workforces gain confidence identifying financial abuse and applying relevant MARAM responsibilities to support their clients. The workshops explore what financial abuse is, how it presents as a form of family violence, how to respond to financial abuse and what supports are available.

A short video has been developed to further support workforces in responding to financial abuse beyond the workshop and is due for release in September 2023.

For further information you can email the DFFH information sharing and MARAM implementation team at infosharing@dhhs.vic.gov.au.

Safe and Equal will develop 3 new training packages in 2023-24 aimed to increase DFFH policy and practice leaders’ understanding of the MARAMIS reforms.

The packages are:

  • eLearn module development for DFFH Leading Alignment Executives and Policy Makers
  • workshop development for DFFH Leading Alignment Executives, Policy Makers, Information Sharing (General, Child Protection & Housing).

For further information you can email the DFFH information sharing and MARAM implementation team at infosharing@dhhs.vic.gov.au.

Victoria Police MARAM implementation

Find the latest news and information about Victoria Police's MARAM implementation activities for Quarter 4 2022-23.

Misidentification of predominant aggressor

As reported in Quarter 1, the Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor (FVRIM), conducted a system-wide review on the accurate identification of predominant aggressor. Victoria Police supported and engaged with the FVRlM during their review and initiated an internal pilot between October to December 2022 to help members consider the factors that can cause misidentification.

Victoria Police remain committed to continuous practice improvement to reduce the likelihood of misidentification. A program of work continues to be progressed in consultation with the organisations and services that make up Victoria’s integrated family violence service system, focusing on improving training, policy, and guidance to strengthen the protection of adult and child victims. Learnings from the internal pilot will continue to be used by Victoria Police to strengthen police responses to family violence.

Implementation of PACPAFV sites

Victoria Police continues to work in partnership with Dhelk Dja to achieve better outcomes for Aboriginal people in Victoria. Police are committed to working collaboratively to reduce harm to the Aboriginal community and we have expanded the number of Police and Aboriginal Community Protocols Against Family Violence to ensure state-wide coverage. With self-determination being a key feature to protocol development we will continue to build positive relationships between police and Victorian Aboriginal communities. It is anticipated by December 2024, there will be 17 established protocols across Victoria.

The rollout of PACPAFVs will strengthen local processes and will ensure state-wide cultural awareness training is occurring in all regions where sites are situated. This will support police to build their understanding around how to respond in a culturally appropriate manner and will enable police to identify family violence risk indicators in alignment with the MARAM Framework.

Protecting children protocol

An updated Protecting children protocol was released in January 2023. This protocol is an update of the 2012 Protecting children: protocol between Department of Health and Human Services – Child Protection and Victoria Police and the 2014 Addendum to protecting children protocol: preventing sexual exploitation of children and young people in out-of-home care.

The protocol and the addendum were combined to improve readability and discovery of relevant content. This includes updates to terminology to reflect current usage as well as updating roles and responsibilities for signatory agencies. The protocol provides guidance for child protection practitioners, Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care (ACAC) staff and Victoria Police to enable effective and collaborative responses whilst ensuring agencies have a shared understanding around roles and responsibilities relating to risk assessment and safety planning which is consistent with the intent of the MARAM.

Department of Health MARAM implementation

Find the latest news and information about Department of Health's MARAM implementation activities for Quarter 4 2022-23.

Department of Health MARAM Implementation

Publication of factsheet - MARAM secondary consultations and referrals - advice for health professionals

The Department of Health published a new factsheet for health professionals with advice about secondary consultations and referrals under the Family Violence Multi Agency Risk Assessment and Management (MARAM) Framework.

The factsheet summarises MARAM Practice Guide - Responsibility 5: Secondary consultation and referral, including for comprehensive family violence assessment and management response and advises health professionals can seek advice and support about how to recognise and respond to family violence via a secondary consultation. It also provides advice about making a referral and includes:

  • how a secondary consultation can assist who to seek a secondary consultation with
  • how to make referrals
  • advice on consent

The factsheet is on the Department of Health family violence webpage along with other resources about MARAM and information sharing. See MARAM resources – factsheet - MARAM secondary consultations and referrals - advice for health professionals.

For further information, please contact: infosharing@health.vic.gov.au

Department of Justice and Community Safety MARAM implementation

Find the latest news and information about Department of Justice and Community Safety's MARAM implementation activities for Quarter 4 2022-23.

Youth Justice funded programs - Skills Workshop

Understanding effective capability building to support MARAM implementation through the experiences of victim survivors

The Department of Justice and Community Safety’s Family Violence and Mental Health Branch, in collaboration with Youth Justice, have developed the MARAM in-focus skills workshop: Young people and family violence for Youth Justice funded program workforces.

This online workshop aims to support Youth Justice funded program workers to understand existing MARAM practice guidance within the context of their work with young people.

The 4-hour session will support Youth Justice funded programs to continue to build MARAM aligned practice through contextualising practical skills.

The sessions will run from October with tickets limited to Youth Justice funded program staff.