Chapter 10: Next steps

The state budget for 2021-22 allocated $97 million over four years across relevant government departments and agencies to fund the continued implementation of MARAM, FVISS and CISS, with a focus on Phase 2. This funding amount is in response to the increase in organisations prescribed to MARAM under Phase 2 of the reforms and will support the development and delivery of training, resources and tools, change management and implementation activities, response to an increase in information sharing requests and to support the leading the reforms.

This section identifies work that is planned as the reforms continue to roll out over the next few years.

Family Safety Victoria

Key priorities for 2021-22 for FSV include:

  • Evaluations: Undertaking the five-year reviews of MARAM, FVISS and the CIP and acting on findings and accepted recommendations. The findings will be tabled in Parliament in August 2023. FSV will also continue to respond to the recommendations from the Cube Group report of the early implementation evaluation of MARAM and the recommendations of the Monash University review of the FVISS.
  • MARAM Maturity Model: The MARAM Maturity Model will provide common language for organisational improvement and set out clear expectations for alignment by prescribed framework organisations. FSV has commenced development of the MARAM Maturity Model beginning with research and initial stakeholder engagement. FSV anticipates significant stakeholder engagement in 2021-22.
  • Practice Guidance: The Identification and Intermediate MARAM Practice Guides and tools for working with adults using violence were published online in July 2021. The resources include an updated Foundation Knowledge Guide that incorporates new practice concepts for working with people using violence, chapters covering MARAM Responsibilities 1–6, 9 and 10 focusing on working with people using violence, and new Identification and Intermediate Assessment Tools and risk management templates. Work will also continue on delivering the Comprehensive Practice Guides and tools for working with adults using violence, as well as the development of the MARAM Practice Guides for Adolescents Who Use Family Violence and in respect of children experiencing family violence.
  • Perpetrator-focused training development and delivery: The development of a non-accredited MARAM perpetrator-focused training package to further build the skills and shared practice approaches of professionals engaging with adults who use violence will complement and add value to the existing suite of training focused on victim survivors. Three training modules are anticipated to be completed by mid-2022, including one on identification, one on intermediate risk assessment and management and one on comprehensive risk assessment and management.
  • Central Information Point: Work to support and improve the operation of the CIP will continue, including continued service delivery to The Orange Door Network as it rolls out across the state and to all RAMP areas to increase perpetrator accountability and enhance the safety of victim survivors. The expansion of CIP will support the intake and high-risk service responses of the family violence system to effectively assess and manage family violence risk. Continued system integration will support operational efficiencies through the partial automation of data sharing from CIP partner agencies to support more timely access to information by practitioners. A further and ongoing review of the data sourced from CIP Partner Agency systems will occur to ensure continued alignment with MARAM.

Department of Education and Training

Key priorities for 2021-22 for DET include:

  • Work with FSV on improving response and support to children as victims in their own right to collect additional information and data:
    • on family violence indicators observable in education and care settings
    • relating to early intervention for children or young people as users and/or victims of family violence
    • existing and emerging issues for MARAM and information sharing schemes implementation and use in education and centre-based care services
    • from or about diverse cohorts of children at all ages.

This activity will contribute to the evidence base for more effective and earlier identification and interventions with children affected by family violence.

  • Engage with The Orange Door, specialist and youth services, peak bodies and other departments at a regional and central level to collaborate on effective MARAM and information sharing practice and resource development and engage with academia to use and further develop evidence for practice in this area.
  • Collaborate with FSV and DFFH to build on the work undertaken for the Child Protection Reporter Project in 2018. Further work could consider the role of both DET and DFFH where family violence is identified as a concern for children and young people, including to prevent cumulative harm.

Department of Justice and Community Safety

Key priorities for 2021-22 for DJCS include:

  • Undertake better identification of perpetrators of family violence in the corrections IT systems with funding dedicated to the CV Family Violence Flag Project.
  • Continued family violence training across the justice portfolio with funding to backfill prison staff to attend family violence and MARAM training related training over the next two years.
  • Incorporate perpetrator-focused practice guidance and tools into current work practice across all portfolios.
  • Provide three Family Violence Practice Leads and a CISS/FVISS Project Officer to give authoritative and subject matter expertise and input into industry and departmental training, practice manuals, guidelines, and case studies for male victims of family violence, and adolescents who may use violence.
  • Youth Justice will continue to work with FSV to develop and finalise the Adolescents using Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management (MARAM) practice guidance and any required supplementary resources. Once the Adolescents using Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management (MARAM) practice guidance is finalised, Youth Justice will review existing practice advice and training, and update to ensure alignment between the two practice guides.
  • Initiate the establishment of a state-wide memorandum of understanding between VSSR and The Orange Door Network to facilitate secondary consultations and information sharing and allow for greater understanding across both services.
  • Work with legal services, specialist family violence services and The Orange Door Network to ensure clear referral pathways to FCP and TAAP. This work aligns with an activity in the Rolling Action Plan 2021-23 on improving referral pathways with legal services and financial counsellors.

Department of Families, Fairness and Housing

Key priorities for 2021-22 for DFFH include:

  • SAFER children framework commenced for the child protection workforce in November 2021. SAFER incorporates MARAM risk assessments, ratings and risk management. Improvements to the child protection case recording system, CRIS, has made it easier for child protection practitioners to integrate MARAM assessments and easier to share those assessments. Child protection have new guidance, resources and support via updates to the Child Protection Manual and a new SharePoint site with practice resources including practice tools and videos. Further MARAM specific training to complement the SAFER training will be delivered to Child Protection beyond 2021.
  • Update the Disability Client Record Information System to improve storage, organisation and reporting of information relating to MARAM-practice. This may be in the form of added functionality to the system for practitioners to upload screening and identification case notes, information about consent, or when risk relevant information is shared.
  • Finalise the new Public Housing Operational Guidelines and Practice Advice and a plain English factsheet about MARAM and information sharing that will include information about record keeping.
  • Incorporate perpetrator-focussed practice guidance and tools into current work practice across relevant portfolios.
  • Continue to support Phase 2 organisations to develop a shared understanding of family violence, including the structural inequalities and barriers that affect people from diverse communities and at-risk age groups such as children, young people and older people. Continue engagement through meetings and webinars to build a shared understanding of family violence risk and impact, encourage attendance at MARAM training, to build confidence in the use of the relevant risk assessment tools.

Department of Health

Key priorities for 2021-22 for DH include:

  • Establish a dedicated MARAM and Information Sharing team in the department to support the implementation of the reforms across department program areas and funded organisations.
  • Develop and roll out customised MARAM webinar training for practitioners in Aboriginal MCH services, Alcohol and Other Drugs services, mental health services and Community Health services.
  • Development of a ‘Screening and Identification’ MARAM e-learning package tailored for health workforces.
  • Continuation of the Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence (SHRFV) initiative with a focus on supporting the implementation of MARAM and the Child and Family Violence Information Sharing Schemes in health services.
  • Integrate MARAM and information sharing into Ambulance Victoria’s clinical governance structure to ensure appropriate and ongoing leadership, project and clinical governance, and a focus on continuous improvement.

The Courts

Key priorities for 2021-22 for the courts include:

  • Planning for the introduction of the specialist and non-specialist perpetrator guidance and tools. This will include capability planning and the development of a tailored training package to support the roll out of the perpetrator guidance and tools across the courts.
  • Targeted professional development in line with the Responding to Family Violence Capability Framework to provide ongoing learning and capability uplift for practitioners. Offerings will include requesting and sharing information under the FVISS and CISS to build staff confidence and knowledge in these critical court functions.
  • Continued engagement with FSV and other agencies on the development, design and testing of MARAM guidance and tools for adolescents who use violence in the home.

Victoria Police

Key priorities for 2021-22 for Victoria Police include: