In Victoria, the Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management (MARAM) framework is used to ensure all services are effectively, collaboratively and consistently responding to family violence risk.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted MARAM reforms on multiple fronts – from what needs to be considered during risk assessments and safety planning, to the delivery of MARAM training, and the speed at which MARAM reforms are being rolled out.
To help you wrap your head around everything you need to know, we have put together a concise summary of key MARAM-related developments (as of July 7th 2020) below.
Resources to support MARAM risk assessment and management
Victim survivors are facing increased family violence risk and barriers to support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recognising this, Family Safety Victoria (FSV) have developed a series of “MARAM Practice Note” resources. These outline the minimum steps professionals – across men’s behaviour change, specialist family violence, key support agencies, and mainstream and universal services – must take when responding to family violence during the pandemic.
They can be downloaded via The Lookout’s MARAM practice notes page.
MARAM training for experienced family violence practitioners
All specialist family violence professionals in Victoria must complete MARAM training.
The Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria has recently begun delivering its MARAM Renewing Practice training online. This training is suitable for experienced family violence specialists who have extensive experience and have previously completed specialist CRAF training. You can learn more and sign up to this training via DVRCV’s training website.
MARAM training for non-specialist services
The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare has also started delivering online MARAM training to select allied workforces. These include:
- MARAM Brief & Intermediate level training for Child FIRST, family services, alcohol and other drug, homelessness and mental health workers.
- MARAM Screening & Identification level training for care services.
- MARAM Screening & Identification training for maternal child health workers.
You can find out more about this training and whether it’s relevant to you here.
Information sharing entities database
Information sharing is one way in which services can work together to keep victim survivors safe and hold perpetrators accountable under the MARAM Framework.
FSV have developed a database that compiles a list of organisations prescribed under the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme and Child Information Sharing Scheme.
The database also tells you what kind of information sharing entity (ISE) they are, including whether they are risk assessment entity or a central contact point for information requests. The database will be updated in regular intervals but is not a live list.
Remember: as per the Ministerial Guidelines, if you do not have an existing relationship with someone requesting information, continue to verify their identity before sharing anything with them (e.g. by asking them to send an email from their official work account or by calling their switchboard at their organisation).
If an organisation’s contact information isn’t stored in the database, refer to the organisation’s website for public contact details.
If you are not sure if you or another organisation is prescribed, call the Information Sharing and MARAM Enquiry Line 1800 549 646 or email email@example.com
Resources to support MARAM alignment
Prescribed organisations and services are required to ensure their policies, procedures, practice guidance and tools are aligned with the MARAM framework.
Recognising the diverse obstacles organisations are facing at the moment, FSV have developed a factsheet for organisational leaders on how to do MARAM alignment as part of business continuity planning in the COVID-19 context. The factsheet is available here.
An update on reform implementation
The MARAM Framework and Information Sharing Schemes are being rolled out in gradual phases.
FSV has recently announced that due to COVID-19, phase two of implementation will be delayed until the first half of 2021. This next phase will see universal workforces – such as hospitals and health and education workforces – prescribed under the framework.
To stay up to date with the progress of the reform implementation, sign up to FSV’s e-newsletter.
For more information on MARAM developments, plus access to MARAM tools and resources, go to the Victorian Government’s website.