MARAM Framework principles
- Family violence involves a spectrum of seriousness of risk and presentations, and is unacceptable in any form, across any community or culture
- Professionals should work collaboratively to provide coordinated and effective risk assessment and management responses, including early intervention when family violence first occurs to avoid escalation into crisis and additional harm.
- Professionals should be aware, in their risk assessment and management practice, of the drivers of family violence, predominantly gender inequality, which also intersect with other forms of structural inequality and discrimination.
- The agency, dignity and intrinsic empowerment of victim survivors must be respected by partnering with them as active decision-making participants in risk assessment and management, including being supported to access and participate in justice processes that enable fair and just outcomes.
- Family violence may have serious impacts on the current and future physical, spiritual, psychological, developmental and emotional safety and wellbeing of children, who are directly or indirectly exposed to its effects, and should be recognised as victim survivors in their own right.
- Services provided to child victim survivors should acknowledge their unique experiences, vulnerabilities and needs, including the effects of trauma and cumulative harm arising from family violence.
- Services and responses provided to people from Aboriginal communities should be culturally responsive and safe, recognising Aboriginal understanding of family violence and rights to self- determination and self-management, and take account of their experiences of colonisation, systemic violence and discrimination and recognise the ongoing and present day impacts of historical events, policies and practices.
- Services and responses provided to diverse communities and older people should be accessible, culturally responsive and safe, client-centred, inclusive and non-discriminatory.
- Perpetrators should be encouraged to acknowledge and take responsibility to end their violent, controlling and coercive behaviour, and service responses to perpetrators should be collaborative and coordinated through a system-wide approach that collectively and systematically creates opportunities for perpetrator accountability.
- Family violence used by adolescents is a distinct form of family violence and requires a different response to family violence used by adults, because of their age and the possibility that they are also victim survivors of family violence.
Source: adapted from Victorian Government, Victorian Government Gazette, No S 445, 25 September 2018, pp. 1–2.
MARAM responsibilities for risk assessment and management
|Risk assessment and management responsibilities||Expectations of framework organisations|
Responsibility 1: Respectful, sensitive and safe engagement
Ensure staff understand the nature and dynamics of family violence, facilitate an appropriate, accessible, culturally responsive environment for safe disclosure of information by service users, and respond to disclosures sensitively.
Ensure staff recognise that any engagement of service users who may be a perpetrator must occur safely and not collude or respond to coercive behaviours.
Responsibility 2: Identification of family violence
Ensure staff use information gained through engagement with service users and other providers (and in some cases, through use of screening tools to aid identification/or routine screening of all clients) to identify indicators of family violence risk and potentially affected family members.
Ensure staff understand when it might be safe to ask questions of clients who may be a perpetrator, to assist with identification.
Responsibility 3: Intermediate risk assessment
Ensure staff can competently and confidently conduct intermediate risk assessment of adult and child victim survivors (using structured professional judgement and appropriate tools, including the Brief and Intermediate Assessment tools).
Where appropriate to the role and mandate of the organisation or service, and when safe to do so; ensure staff can competently and confidently contribute to behaviour assessment through engagement with a perpetrator, including use of the Perpetrator Behaviour Assessment, and contribute to keeping them in view and accountable for their actions and behaviours.
Responsibility 4: Intermediate risk management
Ensure staff actively address immediate risk and safety concerns relating to adult and child victim survivors, and undertake intermediate risk management, including safety planning.
Those working directly with perpetrators attempt intermediate risk management when safe to do so, including safety planning.
Responsibility 5: Seek consultation for comprehensive risk assessment, risk management and referrals
Ensure staff seek internal supervision and further consultation with family violence specialists to collaborate on risk assessment and risk management for adult and child victim survivors and perpetrators, and make active referrals for comprehensive specialist responses, if appropriate.
Responsibility 6: Contribute to information sharing with other services (as authorised by legislation)
Ensure staff proactively share information relevant to the assessment and management of family violence risk, and respond to requests to share information from other information sharing entities, under the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme, privacy law or other legislative authorisation.
Responsibility 7: Comprehensive assessment
Ensure staff in specialist family violence positions are trained to comprehensively assess the risks, needs and protective factors for adult and child victim survivors.
Ensure staff who specialise in working with perpetrators are trained and equipped to undertake comprehensive risk and needs assessment to determine seriousness of risk of the perpetrator, tailored intervention and support options, and contribute to keeping them in view and accountable for their actions and behaviours. This includes an understanding of situating their own roles and responsibilities within the broader system to enable mutually reinforcing interventions over time.
Responsibility 8: Comprehensive risk management and safety planning
Ensure staff in specialist family violence positions are trained to undertake comprehensive risk management through development, monitoring and actioning of safety plans (including ongoing risk assessment), in partnership with the adult or child victim survivor and relevant support agencies.
Ensure staff who specialise in working with perpetrators are trained to undertake comprehensive risk management through development, monitoring and actioning of risk management plans (including information sharing); monitoring across the service system (including justice systems); and actions to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions, through formal and informal system accountability mechanisms; and including services responses that support perpetrators’ personal accountability, to accept responsibility for their actions, and work at the behaviour change process.
Responsibility 9: Contribute to coordinated risk management
Ensure staff contribute to coordinated risk management, as part of integrated, multi-disciplinary and multiagency approaches, including information sharing, referrals, action planning, coordination of responses and collaborative action acquittal.
Responsibility 10: Collaborate for ongoing risk assessment and risk management
Ensure staff are equipped to play an ongoing role in collaboratively monitoring, assessing and managing risk over time, to identify changes in assessed level of risk and ensure risk management and safety plans are responsive to changed circumstances, including escalation. Ensure safety plans are enacted.
Source: adapted from Victorian Government, Victorian Government Gazette, No S 445, 25 September 2018, pp. 5–6.
Reviewed 18 August 2023