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The Royal Commission into Family Violence (the Royal Commission) was established in 2015 after a number of family violence-related deaths in Victoria – most notably, the death of Luke Batty.

The role of the Royal Commission was to find ways to prevent family violence, improve support for victim survivors and to hold perpetrators to account.

The Royal Commission found existing programs were not able to:

  • reduce the frequency and impact of violence
  • prevent violence through early intervention
  • support victim survivors
  • hold perpetrators to account for their actions
  • coordinate community and government services.

The Royal Commission identified 227 recommendations for the family violence system. Recommendation 1 was for the Victorian Government to review and begin implementing a revised family violence risk assessment and risk management framework, in order to deliver a comprehensive framework that sets minimum standards, roles and responsibilities for screening, risk assessment, risk management, information sharing and referral throughout Victorian agencies. The Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework (MARAM) is the response to Recommendation 1.

Section 193 of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic) requires a report to be tabled in Parliament annually on the progress of MARAM implementation[1]. This is the fourth report to be tabled.

Implementation of the reforms is structured with Family Safety Victoria as the lead. This requires Family Safety Victoria to design and develop the policies, resources and training for the reforms. Family Safety Victoria also oversees implementation across the Whole of Victorian Government (WoVG), through governance, reporting and annual surveys.

Departments are responsible for tailoring the policies, resources and training to their specific workforce needs, communicating about the reforms and responding to barriers in the workforces[2]. Sector peak bodies and leading organisations are funded to support implementation more directly with practitioners. Family Safety Victoria has funded 16 organisations in 2021–22 through ‘sector capacity-building grants’.

Those organisations are:

  • Adult Multicultural Education Services (AMES)
  • Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare (CFECFW)
  • Council to Homeless Persons
  • Dardi Munwurro
  • Djirra
  • Elizabeth Morgan House
  • Jewish Care
  • No to Violence (NTV)
  • Safe and Equal
  • Sexual Assault Services Victoria
  • Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA)
  • Victorian Aboriginal Community Services Association Limited (VACSAL)
  • Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association (VAADA)
  • Victorian Health Association (VHA)
  • Whittlesea Community Connections
  • Youth Justice.

Chapter 1 lists the portfolios providing reports. Chapter 2 is a note on the language used throughout the report, which aligns to MARAM. Chapter 3 summarises the legislative provisions, regulations and policies developed to create MARAM. Chapter 4 summarises the MARAM structure on a page, with further details available in Appendices 2 and 3.

Chapters 6 to 9 cover the 4 strategic priorities identified to support the changes necessary to implement MARAM. A chapter is dedicated to each strategic priority:

  • Clear and consistent leadership (Chapter 6)
  • Supporting consistent and collaborative practice (Chapter 7)
  • Building workforce capability (Chapter 8)
  • Reinforcing good practice and commitment to continuous improvement (Chapter 9)

Each chapter is then subdivided into the work undertaken by Family Safety Victoria as lead in the reforms, departments as lead to their workforces and sector (peak bodies and organisations) to support practitioners.

From 2021–22, Family Safety Victoria is no longer a separate administrative body, but is a division of the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing, where work to support Specialist Family Violence Services can now be found.

[1] Further information on legislative MARAM reporting requirements is detailed at Appendix 2.

[2] A full list of program areas with MARAM responsibilities is detailed at Appendix 6.