Building workforce capability is central to the long-term success of MARAM. Successful implementation of the reforms requires practitioners to be appropriately trained in their MARAM and information sharing responsibilities. Building workforce capability requires organisations to map their staff against the MARAM Responsibilities and to ensure that they are undertaking activities to equip staff to confidently perform their roles.
Workforce capability planning enables organisations to accomplish the changes required to meet their obligations under the MARAM and information sharing reforms.
This section details just some of activities undertaken by FSV, government and sectors to both support and create capable workforces to identify, assess and manage family violence risk. As lead in the reforms FSV is centrally developing training and strategies for delivery; departments and sector peaks support the tailoring and embedding of training in practice through various capability building measures.
Section A: Family Safety Victoria as WoVG lead
- In partnership with the DET, a Best Practice Education Model was developed for the VET sector; to support the VET system to deliver high-quality family violence training safely and effectively.
- Unaccredited victim survivor training continued to be delivered state-wide with 13,871 professionals trained in MARAM across all workforces, with 5,906 of these delivered by FSV.
- More than 700 learners have commenced training in ‘Identifying and Responding to Family Violence Risk’ at Registered Training Organisations.
Family Violence Future Prevention and Response Training Strategy
FSV developed a Training Strategy that articulates how the specialist family violence training sector and VET sector can work alongside each other to deliver skills development that is consistent and quality assured. This will guide government investment in training approaches directed towards the training needed for a broad range of workforces at every stage of their family violence skills development.
The Training Strategy proposes to draw on the strengths of the VET sector and the specialist family violence sectors to deliver a combined and complementary approach to family violence training, that is sustainable and consistent, in both its level of quality and the learning outcomes it delivers.
Unaccredited Training Delivery – Victim Survivor Focus
FSV supports the development and delivery of quality MARAM and FVISS training by maintaining central oversight and approval of training modules.
FSV worked closely with the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV) in the development of core modules for specialist family violence practitioners (comprehensive module) and the non-specialist sector (‘Screening and Identification’ and ‘Brief and Intermediate’ modules). These modules are then either offered directly to participants or first tailored by departments with workforce specific scenarios.
Table 8: Number of specialist practitioners undertaking MARAM unaccredited training modules during 2020-21
|Unaccredited MARAM training||Total number of workers trained 2020-21|
MARAM Comprehensive Family Violence Risk Assessment and Management (both newer and experienced practitioners)
1,900 Specialist Family Violence and Sexual Assault Practitioners Trained
MARAM Leading Alignment
357 Organisational Leaders Trained
Perpetrator-focused MARAM training
In February 2021, FSV commenced procurement work for the development of perpetrator-focused MARAM training. The training will build workforce capability in working with perpetrators and will be based on the perpetrator-focused MARAM Practice Guides.
The perpetrator-focused MARAM training will draw on expertise in three key skill sets of:
- specialist practice expertise in working with people who use violence
- instructional design
- Aboriginal cultural knowledge via ACCO involvement.
This model aims to support Aboriginal self-determination and embedding of cultural safety across training development from the outset, while also ensuring a strong grounding in practice and high-quality training design. It also aims to ensure existing elements of cultural safety for Aboriginal communities embedded across MARAM are emphasised in the training.
Accredited Training Courses
The first course in Identifying and Responding to Family Violence Risk 22510VIC (consistent with MARAM identification and screening responsibilities and covering family violence foundational knowledge) was available throughout 2020-21. Ten Registered Training Organisations commenced a mix of face-to-face and online delivery. More than 700 learners have begun the course since October 2020.
The course in ‘Intermediate Risk Assessment and Management of Family Violence Risk 22561VIC’ (consistent with MARAM ‘Brief and Intermediate’ responsibilities) was accredited by the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) in July 2020. The course is currently being reviewed to ensure consistency with the MARAM perpetrator-focused Practice Guides and will be submitted to VRQA for reaccreditation.
Best Practice Education Model for VET trainers
DET has led, in partnership with FSV, the development of a Best Practice Education Model for the delivery of family violence training across the VET sector. The model is to ensure that VET trainers will be equipped to deliver accredited training courses safely and effectively to learners who want to contribute to the primary prevention of family violence and violence against women and children and/or provide a family violence response aligned with the MARAM Framework. The model also recognises the experiences of Aboriginal people and includes a considered focus on ensuring trainers are equipped to provide a culturally safe learning environment. The model will also focus on trainer competencies required to teach accredited family violence courses in Victoria and recommend an implementation approach. This work will support the growth of trainer numbers and capability across the VET sector to deliver accredited family violence courses while retaining specialist expertise.
Section B: Departments as portfolio leads
- MARAM training is part of the DFFH’s Child Protection Beginning Practice program, the induction program for new Child Protection Practitioners (CPPs).
- The courts delivered foundational MARAM training in family violence risk identification, assessment and management to more than 90 per cent of the specialist and non-specialist staff with responsibilities under MARAM.
- In 2020-21, tailored MARAM online training comprising four modules at the Brief and Intermediate level was rolled out for AOD and mental health practitioners. A total of 1,458 workers completed this training. In addition, 1,406 maternal and child health practitioners completed tailored ‘Screening and Identification’ online training.
- E-learning courses on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Awareness are mandatory for all Justice Health staff.
- Corrections Victoria has commenced work with Good Shepherd on the development of a training session for staff to be facilitated at both women’s prisons.
- Approximately 8,600 education leaders and professionals from centre-based education and care services and schools have received training.
- More than 90 per cent of senior public housing staff have completed MARAM training.
- DJCS has committed to long term family violence reform through additional funding in the 2021-22 State Budget. This will ensure that the justice system is more integrated into the broader service system in family violence identification, risk assessment and management. Workforce capability will be enhanced with four MARAM trainers to deliver MARAM training and Family Violence Practice Leads in Corrections Victoria and Youth Justice to provide specialist expertise.
- 98 per cent of VSSR staff completed the accreditation-compliant modules ‘Introduction to LGBTIQ+ Inclusive Practice’ and ‘Putting LGBTIQ Inclusion into Practice’.
- VSSR expanded its case management system demographics to include additional fields to capture LGBTIQA+, CALD and disability information for callers/clients, and implemented commensurate practice changes to ensure service safety, inclusivity and accessibility.
- FSV engaged inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence to develop resources to assist The Orange Door practitioners to better engage with people from multicultural communities.
- The courts worked with Family Safety Victoria to ensure MARAM training had a strengthened focus on the intersection between Child Protection and family violence.
- CJS, including Corrections Victoria and Justice Health funded organisations have engaged in training relating to disability, LGBTIQA+ and broad, inter-generational issues relating to family violence.
- Youth Justice has enabled virtual and remote delivery of programs addressing intersectionality needs in custodial and community settings.
- Ambulance Victoria’s communications strategy includes advice on how to apply an intersectional lens – how to consider and respond to the barriers to access that overlapping aspects of a person’s identify can present, such as gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, age, visa status, et cetera. Additionally, to identify priority cohorts at risk of family violence, Safeguarding Care links reporting with the Cultural Safety and Equity Committee and supports the Complex Needs Patient Pathway.
DET has identified priority workforces and mapped their roles in identifying and responding to family violence and child wellbeing and safety needs, to assess training needs associated with implementing MARAM (and FVISS and CISS in the context of MARAM).
Since February 2020, DET has been delivering leaders briefings and professional workshops on information sharing and family violence reforms to support workforce preparedness. The workshops are complemented by a modular e-learning package covering the same content but allowing for more flexibility in self-paced learning to support school leaders and staff who are unable to attend the online sessions. Approximately 8,600 education leaders and professionals from schools and centre-based education and care services have received training.
The Victorian State Budget 2021-22 provides funding for an additional 21,000 education leaders and professionals to be trained in MARAM and the FVISS and CISS.
DFFH: Child Protection
MARAM in Child Protection training is a customised program that provides practice-informed learning for Child Protections practitioners. Training commenced in September 2020 and is delivered in three stages to most Child Protection practitioners with Intermediate responsibilities and in two stages to Child Protection support staff with Identification responsibilities.
‘Following the tailored training that we have rolled out to our Child Protection practitioners, I notice a shift when they start asking questions about integrating MARAM into their practice. At this point they feel challenged by the new information and how to apply it, but for me this is the first sign that they are starting their journey of practice change… and this is where our implementation approach to MARAM alignment comes to the fore in providing practice resources, including tailored tools that inform and embed practice change’
(Dr Anita Morris, Statewide Family Violence Principal Practitioner).
DFFH: Public Housing
In 2020-21, the department’s focus expanded to include further integration of MARAM into routine practice and to lift workforce capability through tailored resources and training. This includes the department’s decision to expand access to MARAM training to all public housing staff.
Actions taken by the department to support its public housing workforce to build the skills required to respond to family violence in accordance with the MARAM Framework include:
- Delivering two online forums at the end of 2020 to more than 80 of the department’s senior public housing staff.
- Developing guidelines with practice advice on how to engage victim survivors of family violence in a respectful, sensitive and safe way.
- Delivering tailored MARAM Screening and Identification training to approximately 90 per cent of the senior public housing workforce.
DFFH: Multicultural Affairs
Tailored Screening and Identification training for workers with Identification responsibilities was developed by Victoria’s peak body for child and family services, the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, in partnership with FSV. The ‘Screening and Identification for Workers in Multicultural Casework Services’ training was delivered onlinebetween 21 June and 16 July 2021 to 565 participants. A total of 140 people completed all three modules.
DH: Ambulance Victoria
Ambulance Victoria paramedics have highly developed technical skills and capabilities and are guided by specific practice standards, protocols and procedures and a workplace culture that supports continuous learning. The following are examples of recent activities to lift workforce capability to respond to family violence:
- a virtual ’Grand Round on the Vulnerable Patient’ tour was developed in partnership with Victoria Police and the Royal Children’s Hospital and was viewed by more than 600 staff
- three e-learning modules on the FVISS and CISS are available for Ambulance Victoria staff
- operational staff must complete a mandatory 45-minute family violence e-learning module by November 2021.
- a workforce-specific podcast on family violence called ‘Clinical Conversations’ led by the Ambulance Victoria Medical Director.
DH: Health Services
Tailored MARAM Screening and Identification training was developed and rolled out for Maternal and Child Health (MCH) nurses in 2020-21. The training was delivered by the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare and it featured case studies and scenarios developed specifically for the MCH nurses. A total of 1,406 MCH nurses completed the training. The training was designed to help MCH nurses confidently identify and respond to family violence risk and collaborate with specialist services. MCH nurses from Victoria’s three Early Parenting Centres also attended the MARAM Screening and Identification training.
DH: Mental Health
The following workforce capability strategies were delivered in 2020-21:
- facilitated tailored MARAM webinar training comprising four modules at the Brief and Intermediate level. A total of 766 mental health practitioners completed this training
- a tailored e-learning package and facilitated webinar training at the Intermediate level of family violence risk assessments was developed by the SHRFV team with funding from the department for hospital-based practitioners including mental health workers
- three e-learning modules about the FVISS and CISS were developed by the department for funded health and community services professionals, including mental health practitioners.
The Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJCS) is continuing to deliver ‘Foundational Family Violence Training’, which provides a thorough introduction to family violence and the gendered nature of the issue, upon which MARAM training can build.
The ‘Foundational Family Violence Training’ and additional training for managers has been developed by the Office of the Family Violence Principal Practitioner.
Also, DJSC is rolling out the following initiatives within specific portfolios:
- CJS, including Corrections Victoria and Community Correctional Services are working towards strengthening capability and increasing awareness of family violence in their workforces by supporting head office staff and managers, Community Correctional Services staff and managers, Adult Parole Board secretariat staff and prison staff to attend ‘Foundational Family Violence Training’.
- Justice Health and Health Service Provider staff can access an e-learning module on FVISS and CISS developed by Justice Health, and an ‘Introduction to Family Violence’ e-learning module developed by DJCS.
- Youth Justice developed a training package specifically for community-based case managers to build skills and readiness in responding to young people who use violence in the home and their families. This training package focuses on identifying family violence risk, managing young people in Youth Justice where family violence indicators are present, and providing family violence planning for young people with high-risk factors. The course seeks to equip staff with practical strategies to use when family violence risk is identified involving young people under Youth Justice supervision.
- Victim support officers require specific skills and competencies to support victims to manage the effects of family violence in dynamic and challenging circumstances. An agile and tailored training program was developed to assist delivery of high-quality victim support services in Victoria.
- Forensicare staff have a 50 per cent completion rate for ‘Foundational Family Violence Training’ (451 staff completed) and 70 managers have completed the ‘Manager Module FVISS and CISS’. The organisation has 23 family violence clinical champions and a family violence clinical champions community of practice). Forensicare is currently implementing family violence training for senior leadership and executive staff.
- Private prisons have continued to uplift their family violence staff capability. G4S has provided staff with a range of e-learning modules with a family violence element, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander inclusion and cultural safety, and understanding and creating value through diversity and inclusion. Modules on similar topics have also been included in training for new recruits. GEO has used its online communication platform to share a variety of family violence resources with staff. Training in family violence and cultural safety has been embedded in pre-service training, and cultural safety training has been rolled out to existing staff.
- Community Correctional Services (CCS) has had a rolling action plan in place since January 2019, to drive its work to align CCS policy, practice, and training with MARAM. This plan includes the design, development, and implementation of 11 learning products to uplift the capability of the existing CCS workforce to MARAM based training and embed MARAM aligned training in the CCS Learning and Development Model (LDM). The suite of products aim to ready CCS practitioners, and their supervisors to engage safely and proficiently with perpetrators and victim survivors of family violence as part of a best practice management model in CCS; and to manage the risks more broadly for victim survivors including children and the community. From July 2021 the Introduction to the MARAM Framework and Information Sharing eLearn (Learning Product 1) will be mandatory for CCS staff to complete. This will be the first MARAM aligned training product implemented in CCS. All staff in the outreach team of Ngwala Willumbong Aboriginal Continuity of Health Care (Ngwala) have participated in professional development by undertaking MARAM training, including FVISS/CISS. New staff are required to undertake MARAM training. Ngwala staff in other program areas, such as housing, are undertaking MARAM training. An Aboriginal-specific MARAM training program will be offered in October 2021. Staff attend training relevant to the strengthening of their practice and to their program area and client cohort.
DJCS: Consumer Affairs Victoria Funded Agencies
Training on intersectionality was delivered by Financial Counselling Victoria for the Financial Counselling Program and included content on Cultural Competence, Ethical Boundaries, Working with Interpreters, Parent Visas and Elder Abuse.
Regular collaboration with internal programs has increased understanding of intersecting needs such as homelessness, substance misuse and gambling, which when addressed, can improve safety and reduce family violence risk.
Financial Counselling Program case study:
A 39-year-old female client who identifies as both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, advised she wanted to leave a violent relationship and return to another state to live with family in her own community where she would feel safe and protected. The client declined a referral to The Orange Door or specialist family violence service due to her concern about community members becoming aware of her situation, particularly because she lived in a small regional rural community. The financial counsellor, closely supported by their manager, completed an Intermediate MARAM tool and assessed the client to be at serious risk. The client agreed to discuss a safety plan. The financial counsellor applied for Flexible Support Package funding through the local specialist family violence service on behalf of the client to assist her leaving. The financial counsellor also made referrals to services in the client’s new town to ensure she had support for housing, emergency relief funds and family violence services when she arrived.
FSV: The Orange Door
All staff joining The Orange Door are required to attend MARAM Comprehensive Training and complete e-learning on FVISS and CISS as pre-requisites to attending The Orange Door induction with FSV. Since February 2021, FSV has offered tailored training to complement the pre-requisite learnings. For example, in MARAM Comprehensive Training participants learn about comprehensive risk assessment, whereas in the tailored program they are taught how this assessment is embedded in the TRAM platform and recorded in the Client Record Management (CRM) system.
Two programs were developed and have been delivered to all new staff:
Table 10: Numbers receiving tailored MARAMIS training in The Orange Door
|Course||Number of staff trained February-10 August 2021|
MARAMIS in The Orange Door Induction Training
MARAMIS in The Orange Door Induction Training for new sites
Around 120 practitioners also attended an information sharing refresher training in the lead up to commencement of Phase 2 in anticipation of increased requests.
In areas where The Orange Door has not commenced, FSV is engaging services and the broader community in understanding The Orange Door concept, vision and service offer. Hub Leadership Groups and Operational Leadership Groups are established early to support their understanding of the relationship between MARAM reform and implementation in The Orange Door.
FSV: Risk Assessment and Management Panels
The second edition of the Risk Assessment and Management Panel (RAMP) Operational Requirements is currently being finalised. It outlines in detail the responsibilities of RAMP core members under MARAM and the FVISS and CISS.
The updated Operational Requirements also situate RAMPs’ approach to risk assessment and management within the MARAM Framework and extensively reference the MARAM Practice Guides, templates and tools. In 2020-21, DV Vic and DVRCV delivered 15 x 3.5 hour online ‘RAMP Induction’ training sessions.
The induction training ensures that RAMP members have a shared understanding of family violence and the requirements under MARAM, FVIS and CIS Schemes, the objectives and processes of RAMP and the role and responsibilities of RAMP members. Feedback on the induction was consistently positive.
The courts have invested in building workforce capability through the development and delivery of foundational MARAM and victim-survivor focussed training. Most specialist and non-specialist court staff across the Magistrates’ and Children’s Court of Victoria have now completed MARAM training.
Training 999 staff in the context of the changing court environment and operational challenges over the past year was a significant achievement for the courts.
The training program introduced staff to the MARAM Framework, staff roles and responsibilities, evidence-based risk, intersectionality and effective engagement skills to support engagement with victim survivors. Training was tailored for the comprehensive, intermediate and identify and respond workforces to reflect their different roles and responsibilities.
Table 9: MARAM Training delivery data for 20/21 financial year
|Identify and respond||Intermediate||Comprehensive||Total|
No. of sessions
No. participants completed
% workforce trained
At the Children’s Court of Victoria, the majority of hearings involve applications brought by the DFFH. The courts worked with Family Safety Victoria to ensure MARAM training included a focus on the intersection between Child Protection and family violence.
The Centre of Learning for Family Violence has continued to provide a suite of family violence training related to family violence risk identification, assessment and management. This includes the following courses:
Table 11: Victoria Police Family Violence Training 2020-21
|Course title||Total staff qualified||Unqualified employees (target audience)|
Assess Family Violence Risk Using the FVR
Quality Assurance for Compliance (FVR)
Sharing Information Under the FVISS/CISS
During the reporting period, relevant Victoria Police staff attended MARAM ‘Leading Alignment’ training, as per the table above, and MARAM Framework training to ensure alignment when operationalising it through deployment of the new Family Violence Report.
To ensure consistency in the application of the new Family Violence Report, mandatory force-wide face-to-face training was undertaken: 83 per cent of Victoria Police’s 15,000 strong operational workforce, including up to the rank of superintendent have completed the training. Family Violence Training Officers within each division are continuing to review practices and tailor education as needed within their local police area.
The purpose of the training is to have members understand what to consider when assessing family violence risk. This includes how to use the new Family Violence Report to assess risks, the importance and meaning of the family violence risk factors, perpetrator tactics and counter-intuitive victim behaviours.
Training was also undertaken on how to use Victoria Police’s Case Prioritisation Response Model (CPRM). The CPRM is a framework for the specialist Family Violence Investigation Units to identify and prioritise the highest risk cases and tailor risk management to prevent serious harm from re-occurring. The CPRM aims to ensure consistency of practice and delivers evidence-based identification of medium and high-risk family violence cases. The CPRM is borne out of Victoria Police’s drive to continuously improve its family violence response.
Section C: Sectors as lead
- Victims of Crime Helpline developed and delivered ‘Predominant Aggressor Identification’ training and workforce tools to assist in responding to L17 referrals.
- Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS) designed and delivered more than 60 hours of online curriculum to a pilot group of 24 YSAS practitioners across 19 YSAS sites Victoria-wide.
Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence (SHRFV)
The SHRFV initiative team developed an eLarning package and conducted training for practitioners who align with the Brief and Intermediate level of MARAM. The SHRFV e-learning package supports practitioners in their role assessing and managing family violence risk and supporting victim survivors. Workers in hospital settings were also able to access a tailored e-learning package and facilitated webinar training developed by the SHRFV initiative team.
A specialist supplementary e-learning module was developed and webinar training was also rolled out by the SHRFV initiative team for public antenatal settings.
Family Violence Principal Strategic Advisors
Family Violence Principal Strategic Advisors (PSAs) work to drive the local implementation of key family violence reforms in their area, build partnerships and collaborate across sectors, build workers’ capability and provide insight into operations, issues, functions and opportunities in their region.
PSAs are responsible for the delivery of the MARAM collaborative practice training module. In 2020-21, this saw 3,649 professionals trained in collaborative practice.
Victim Services, Support and Reform (VSSR)
The Victims of Crime Helpline is the only state-wide recipient of L17 referrals for male affected family members. The introduction of FVISS and CISS has promoted greater collaboration between the Victims of Crime Helpline and other prescribed Risk Assessment Entities (RAEs) and ISEs. This has further enabled the building of workforce capability around supporting male affected family members (AFMs) and determining the predominant aggressor. As part of MARAM alignment and capability building, VSSR practice requires that where a male AFM is reassessed as the predominant aggressor by the VoC Helpline they share the reassessment with The Orange Door, or Specialist Family Violence Services, which informs the VoC Helpline’s response to any further L17 referrals. The VoC Helpline also routinely shares reassessments with Victoria Police. The VoC Helpline receives voluntary information shares from The Orange Door where they have reassessed a male AFM as the predominant aggressor or before contacting a male AFM to gather information about their current risk status.
Youth Support and Advocacy Service
YSAS designed and delivered more than 60 hours of online curriculum to a pilot group of 24 YSAS practitioners across 19 YSAS sites Victoria-wide. This included the piloting of accredited modules ‘Identifying and Responding to Family Violence Risk’, CASA House’s ‘Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Assault’ and No to Violence’s (NTV)‘Engaging Men Who Use Violence’. YSAS adapted these resources for a youth-centred context and collaboratively delivered them with a YSAS project worker.
This pilot involved design and delivery of specialist content developed by YSAS on family violence and AOD use. The findings of this project are being incorporated into a broader family violence capability building project review by FSV under the Family Violence Reform Rolling Action Plan 2020-2023. This pilot has been highly successful and lead to a partnership with No to Violence (NTV).
Summary of progress
With more than 370,000 prescribed workers to receive MARAM training, it is inevitable that the rollout will take some time and progress will be at varying paces in different workforces. A balance must be struck between offering training quickly and the need to ensure training is suitably tailored to workforces and adapted to respond to feedback.
The COVID-19 pandemic response halted almost all MARAM training in March 2020, as the primary mode of delivery was face to face. The 2019-20 report noted the quick transition to online options, and this continued to be the mode of training delivery during the 2020-21 reporting period. The response to online delivery has anecdotally been positive and will inform a review of unaccredited training delivery scheduled to take place in 2021-22, and training strategies into the future.
Positively, several key stakeholders told us that moving training online improved the accessibility of MARAM training for staff in rural and regional areas and have advocated for a combination of online and face-to-face training to continue, even when social restrictions are no longer in place. The Department of Health and Human Services expressed support for continuing to provide online training due to the high satisfaction rates of participants to date.
(FVRIM Fourth Report)
The numbers able to attend training throughout this reporting period is a fantastic achievement during the changing levels of restrictions experienced during 2020-21. With the introduction of Phase 2 workforces from April 2021 it is anticipated that training numbers will continue to grow across the state.
 This project is action 2.9 of Strengthening the Foundations: First Rolling Action Plan 2019-22 to develop a ‘best practice’ teaching and assessment approach to delivering accredited family violence training.
Reviewed 10 February 2022