Message from the Minister for Prevention of Family Violence

I am pleased to present the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management (MARAM) Framework annual report for 2020-21.

This report outlines activities by Victorian government departments, sector peaks and individual organisations to align policies, procedures, practice guidance and tools with the MARAM Framework.

MARAM is a foundational and critical element of family violence reform, enabling a consistent and collaborative response to family violence. It is referenced in this report along with the two complementary reforms of the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS) and the Child Information Sharing Scheme (CISS).

I want to acknowledge the incredible commitment across government, our sector partners and broader service system to deliver this critical work, while at the same time managing and prioritising responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ending family violence remains a Victorian Government priority and implementing MARAM is a core element to achieve this. That’s why in the Victorian State Budget 2021-22, we invested $96.985 million in MARAM and the FVISS and CISS reforms over the next four years:

This includes:

  • $35.1 million over four years to develop and deliver training, resources and tools to support implementation of the FVISS, the CISS and the MARAM Framework
  • $15.3 million over four years to meet the demand for information sharing from courts, Victoria Police and Child Protection
  • $17.2 million over four years for expert reform coordination teams in Family Safety Victoria (FSV) and the Department of Education and Training (DET)
  • $29.4 million over four years for a range of change management, leadership strengthening and cross-sectoral collaboration activities to support universal health and education workforces.

The Family Violence Reform Rolling Action Plan 2020-23 will guide us through the next three years. It includes MARAM and Information Sharing as one of 10 priorities.[1] Other priorities under the plan include:

  • Committing to a community-led response to end family violence against Aboriginal people, underpinned by self-determination.
  • Improving access to safe and stable housing options for victim survivors.
  • Developing a system-wide approach to keeping perpetrators and people who use violence accountable, connected and responsible for stopping their violence.
  • Delivering an accessible and visible service for people experiencing family violence and children and families in need of support through The Orange Door Network.

The recruitment and retention of highly skilled and supported staff in specialist family violence and sexual assault services is essential for MARAM’s broader implementation across the service system. The success of our family violence reforms depends on the strength of the workforces that deliver them, and significant work is being undertaken under the Building from strength: 10-Year Industry Plan for family violence and response[2] to create a flexible, dynamic, and highly skilled workforce.

In the past year, work under the 10-year plan has included the introduction of mandatory minimum qualification requirements over a five-year transition period (in response to recommendation 209 of the Royal Commission into Family Violence). The policy outlines the qualifications required for new specialist family violence practitioners commencing employment in services funded by the Victorian Government from 1 July 2021.

The launch of the successful Family Violence Attraction and Recruitment Campaign and the development of a Jobs Portal for family violence roles has directly promoted the profile of work in the specialist family violence sector.

I would like to thank all ministers with framework organisations within their portfolios on the continued work being undertaken to align to MARAM during the 2020-21 financial year. This report is consolidated from my own portfolio report and the reports provided by:[3]

  • the Hon Jaclyn Symes, Attorney-General
  • the Hon James Merlino MP, Minister for Education, Minister for Mental Health
  • the Hon Lisa Neville MP, Minister for Police
  • the Hon Luke Donnellan MP, (former) Minister for Child Protection, (former) Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers
  • the Hon Martin Foley MP, Minister for Ambulance Services, Minister for Health
  • the Hon Melissa Horne MP, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation
  • the Hon Natalie Hutchins MP, Minister for Crime Prevention, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Youth Justice, Minister for Victim Support
  • the Hon Richard Wynne MP, Minister for Housing
  • the Hon Ros Spence MP, Minister for Multicultural Affairs
  • Ms Ingrid Stitt MLC, Minister for Early Childhood.

I acknowledge the work of specialist family violence and sexual assault services and The Orange Door Network for the exemplary work they have continued to perform in response to family violence throughout these difficult times.

I also wish to acknowledge the work of peak bodies, Principle Strategic Advisors (PSAs), Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) and other leading organisations across the state of Victoria. I would like to thank these organisations for leading the implementation of MARAM and the information sharing reforms and for the ongoing support that they have given other services.

Lastly, I thank all those across government, and sector colleagues across community services, police, justice, education and health for their continued work and dedication in improving our response to family violence, noting this has continued to take place despite the profound impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The collaboration as evidenced throughout this report helps drive the success of the reforms and reinforces the government’s commitment to ensure that safety of victim survivors is everyone’s responsibility.

[1] Victorian Government 2020, Family violence reform rolling action plan 2020-2023…

[2] Victorian Government 2017, Building from strength: 10-year industry plan for family violence prevention and response…

[3] Ministers listed were the portfolio ministers for the reporting period.