Getting help should not depend on the particular entry point chosen by the victim
All services that come into contact with family violence victims should be equipped to identify, and in some cases, assess and manage risk, and to ensure that victims are supported.
The Victorian Government committed to a significant reform program to achieve its vision of a Victoria free from family violence. MARAM is a central plank of this agenda. As alignment with MARAM becomes deeply embedded in workforces, it is intended to facilitate whole-of-system accountability for identifying, assessing and managing family violence risk, shifting away from an expectation that this responsibility will be carried by specialist family violence services or by victim survivors themselves.
A significant start has been made on alignment with MARAM. The case studies within this report highlight that many Victorians are experiencing a changed service response — a response that is better informed by an understanding of the drivers of family violence, that identifies and assesses risk to victim survivors (including children) using up-to-date evidence-based risk factors, and bases risk assessment and management on more risk relevant information that is shared under new legislative authorities.
However, more work is needed to ensure that no matter where a victim survivor engages with services, there is an appropriate, consistent, capable response.
Centralised and tailored resources are being made available for workforces, as is centralised and tailored family violence training. Further roll-out of both training and resources is expected over the next reporting period. Some agencies and business units, for example Victoria Police and Youth Justice, are beginning to operationalise MARAM within their workforces. As this agency level work ramps up over the coming years, maintaining and improving alignment with the system-wide MARAM principles, pillars and responsibilities will be a key area of focus.
Evaluations are already underway which will identify key learnings from the early implementation of MARAM and the information sharing schemes, and enable those learnings to be applied to future implementation activities, supporting a focus on continuous improvement.
Key challenges over the next two to five years are:
- embedding MARAM within all Phase 1 workforces so that family violence becomes fully integrated into practice. Many Phase 1 organisations are now approaching the task of mapping MARAM responsibilities to employees and operationalising MARAM, following the recent release of the MARAM practice guides. Further embedding activities will follow with the release of perpetrator-focused MARAM Practice Guides
- the introduction of Phase 2 (and in due course, potentially Phase 3) organisations. On average these workforces have a lower level of family violence literacy than Phase 1 organisations, with a greater number of employees and potential reach to the public. Ensuring viability and integrity of training modules and resources will be crucial for these workforces to align to MARAM. The demand for resources will grow as more workforces are prescribed
- ensuring the quality of data collection and monitoring to inform the legislated five-year review. The evaluation will provide insight on the impact of the reforms on both workforces and people affected by family violence, and will be a key input to setting future priorities
Ongoing commitment and focus is required to ensure MARAM is implemented effectively across the entire service system, supporting a genuinely united effort to keep people safe and lessen the toll of family violence on our community.
Reviewed 26 February 2020