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Review and begin implementing the Common Risk Assessment Framework

Recommendation 001 - Implemented

The Victorian Government review and begin implementing the revised Family Violence Risk Assessment and Risk Management Framework (known as the Common Risk Assessment Framework, or the CRAF) in order to deliver a comprehensive framework that sets minimum standards and roles and responsibilities for screening, risk assessment, risk management, information sharing and referral throughout Victorian agencies.

The revised framework should incorporate:

  • a rating and/or weighting of risk factors to identify the risk of family violence as low, medium or high
  • evidence-based risk indicators that are specific to children
  • comprehensive practice guidance.

The framework should also reflect the needs of the diverse range of family violence victims and perpetrators, among them older people, people with disabilities, and people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, culturally and linguistically diverse and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities.

What we are doing

The Family Violence Risk Assessment and Risk Management Framework (the Framework) has been redeveloped to address the opportunities, gaps and issues identified by the Royal Commission into Family Violence, together with the recommendations made in the Coronial Inquest into the Death of Luke Geoffrey Batty, and the 2016 Monash University review.

As outlined in Recommendation 2, on 21 March 2017 the government introduced the Family Violence Protection Amendment (Information Sharing) Bill 2017 into Parliament to embed the redeveloped Framework into legislation at Part 11 of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008. The Bill has passed Parliament and was given Royal Assent on 14 June 2017. This establishes the Framework as a legislative instrument and empowers the relevant Minister to approve the Framework and prescribe organisations to align their policies, procedures, practice guidance and tools to it.

A new Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework (the MARAM Framework) will provide policy advice to organisations prescribed under regulations to align to the Framework. Revision of the recognised and emerging evidence-based risk factors, and development of a suite of risk assessment tools based on these factors, will support workers to understand the level and nature of family violence risk.

The redeveloped Framework will provide operational practice guidance tiered to workforces that will apply a broad range of family violence, child and family services, justice, health and other services to ensure all workers have the skills to undertake risk assessment and management at the level appropriate to their agency and role.

To support this, the Framework will set minimum requirements and responsibilities for screening, risk assessment, risk management, information sharing and referral, across all levels and presentations of risk.

To better support consistent understanding of specific risks, needs, impacts and management approaches, operational practice resources will also be developed for practitioners working with:

  • children
  • diverse and vulnerable communities
  • perpetrators.

The Family Violence Steering Committee, Aboriginal Co-Design Forum and other key advisory groups will also provide important advice on the redevelopment of the Framework given the impact it will have across the services sector.

Where we are up to

The new Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management (MARAM) Framework has been significantly improved and strengthened in response to the issues identified by the Royal Commission.

The MARAM which is anticipated to commence on 27 September 2018, aims to increase the safety of adults, young people and children experiencing family violence and provide a stronger focus on perpetrator accountability, and includes a stronger focus on the broad range of experiences of family violence.

The redevelopment includes:

1. a ministerially approved Framework legislative instrument

2. a MARAM Framework policy document, that supports determination of responsibilities for services across the system in relation to family violence risk assessment and management practice

3. a new suite of identification, screening and risk assessment tools, including self-assessment

4. a new online system to host the assessment tools (Tools for Risk Assessment and Management-TRAM)

5. operational practice guidance, including core knowledge, assessment and management, and perpetrator behaviour assessment and management

6. organisational embedding tools and guidance

Embedding the Framework as a legislative instrument in the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (FVPA) will support consistent use of the Framework, and the supporting MARAM Framework, across a broader range of organisations and sectors.

The Framework legislative instrument outlines ten principles underpinning the redeveloped Framework. The principles support four ‘pillars’, against which prescribed organisations are required to align. The MARAM Framework mirrors the pillars articulated in the legislative instrument and provides further detail and guidance to support alignment.

The pillars consist of:

1. Pillar 1: Shared understanding of family violence, to provide information on what constitutes family violence, underlying drivers, prevalence and impact.

2. Pillar 2: Consistent and collaborative practice, to ensure prescribed organisations assess risk through structured professional judgement, use assessment approaches that are consistent with evidence-based risk factors, understand the continuum of risk management responses, including strengthening formal and informal collaborative arrangements.

3. Pillar 3: Responsibilities for risk assessment and management, to describe the range and increasing level of responsibilities of prescribed organisations in risk assessment and management practice across the system. The pillar guides organisations to determine their roles in the system, and the family violence responsibilities they are expected to enact in practice.

4. Pillar 4: Systems, outcomes and continuous improvement, to outline how prescribed organisations can contribute to continuous improvement through data collection, monitoring and evaluation of tools, processes and implementation of the Framework.

The MARAM builds on a review of contemporary international evidence, recognising a wider range of risk indicators including for children, diverse communities and at-risk age groups, across identities, family and relationship types and will be support by comprehensive practice guidance.

The redevelopment will not include a weighted tool, as there is currently not the evidence base to support this initiative.

Timeframe

Implemented.

Who is leading the change

Family Safety Victoria