AOD Family Violence Newsletter #3 October 2019

Welcome to VAADA’s third family violence newsletter which brings you the latest updates on the family violence reform activity in the AOD sector. It has been a busy time behind the scenes at VAADA and we have been working hard to bring you a number of exciting activities.

In this edition, we discuss some of the findings which emerged from VAADA’s report on the current state of the AOD sector, and provide updates on:

Building family violence capabilities in the AOD sector

Where is the AOD sector at?

Family Safety Victoria (FSV) has developed the Responding to Family Violence Capability Framework (Capability Framework), which was released in December 2017. In July this year, VAADA provided FSV with a comprehensive report on the current state of the AOD sector in relation to the Capability Framework (2019 Capability Framework Report). VAADA has now been tasked with developing a plan for the integration of the Capability Framework into the AOD sector.

In order to inform the 2019 Capability Framework Report, VAADA carried out consultations with the AOD sector. VAADA’s consultations revealed that the family violence reforms have been welcomed by the AOD sector. Many people who access AOD agencies have experienced family violence, in the past or more recently, either as a person using or experiencing violence.  Our sector sees value in sustainable implementation and recognises the reforms as part of a long-term process of culture change. There are a number of opportunities for the Capability Framework to be integrated across the AOD system exist across all system levels, from front-line worker to CEO, as well as government strategies. Significantly, VAADA’s consultations have identified that current AOD best practice is in line with many of the capabilities as described in the Capability Framework.

The 2019 Capability Framework Report identified a number of challenges for the implementation of the Capability Framework, such as:

  • The number of reforms currently affecting the AOD sector. Our sector is currently the subject of a range of interventions and investments by government aimed at facilitating culture change and improve practice
  • A lack of clarity around governance, both locally as well as state-wide
  • A lack of capacity amongst an already over-burdened and under-resourced AOD sector

With these barriers also come opportunities. With the responsibility for the design of an implementation plan for the integration of the Capability Framework into our sector, VAADA is advocating for stronger integration of the different reform investments and adopt a whole of reform approach. It is also provides an opportunity to build the relationship between AOD and family violence through the reform frameworks and tools.

Next steps: Sector consultations on VAADA’s implementation plan

As well as developing a plan for the integration of the Capability Framework into the AOD sector, VAADA is also providing practice guidance on how to apply MARAM and information sharing schemes. As part of the process of designing practice guidance tools and resources, VAADA seeks the feedback and input of the AOD sector (and allied sectors) and will be hosting a full day event to reflect on:

  • Latest updates on the family violence reforms
  • Working with family violence in the AOD sector: “VAADA statement of principles”
  • VAADA’s latest tools to support the practical implementation of the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme and Child Information Sharing Scheme.
  • VAADA’s findings in relation to current state of the AOD sector in relation to the capability framework
  • Opportunities and barriers for the integration of the Framework
  • Planning for the integration of family violence capabilities in AOD practice

This event will be held on 13 November 2019 in Melbourne, and you can register here.

The MARAM framework update

MARAM Victim Survivor Practice Guidance

The MARAM victim survivor practice guidance has been released and is available here.  The MARAM Practice Guides include the Foundational Knowledge Guide, and guides to the 10 MARAM Responsibilities:

    1. Respectful, sensitive and safe engagement
    2. Identification of family violence
    3. Intermediate risk assessment
    4. Intermediate risk management
    5. Seek consultation for comprehensive risk assessment/management and referrals
    6. Contribute to information sharing with other services
    7. Comprehensive risk assessment
    8. Comprehensive risk management and safety planning
    9. Contribute to coordinated risk management
    10. Collaborate for ongoing risk assessment and risk management.

The practice guidance supports AOD agencies and workers to understand the relevant level of responsibility under the MARAM Framework allocated to your specific role. Your organisation must decide how your role aligns with the MARAM and which of the responsibilities are relevant for your role.

This includes the level of responsibility you have for the identification, assessment and ongoing management of family violence risk. While the MARAM Victim Survivor Practice guides have been available for some time, the perpetrator-focused tools and practice guides are still in development.

Organisational alignment with MARAM

MARAM is a legislative instrument. For practice alignment, the Department of Health & Human Services is applying a ‘maturity model’ approach, meaning that the alignment between front-line practice and MARAM requirements will develop gradually over a longer time frame, as particular sector resources are made available by government. Specific expectations have not been formulated. A guide to embedding MARAM into your organisation is still in development, but in the meantime MARAM alignment training is available through the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV).

MARAM training opportunities

Various MARAM training is available through DVRCV.  The responsibilities are mainly targeted at specialist family violence services. However, parts of the AOD sector workforce do align with comprehensive risk assessment and management, and would suit the following training:

  • MARAM Comprehensive Family Violence Specialist – Renewing Practice from CRAF to MARAM
  • MARAM Comprehensive Risk Assessment and Management Module – 2 day training

DVRCV’s MARAM training which caters to the AOD workforce is still in development, and includes modules which cover the following topics:

  • MARAM identification of family violence
  • MARAM Intermediate Risk Assessment and Management

VAADA’s Events & Training Opportunities

Working with family violence in the AOD sector: practical application of the family violence reforms.

VAADA is collaborating with local Specialist Family Violence Advisors to facilitate a number of free events for Victoria’s AOD sector. These full day forums welcome front-line clinicians as well as managers, and provide an opportunity to reflect on the current family violence reforms with an AOD lens, discuss ways to develop our practice in order to increase treatment outcomes for our clients, using MARAM and information sharing schemes.  Click on the links below to register:


October 24: Turning Point Connect and Learn Webinar

VAADA, Turning Point and Odyssey House are working together to bring to you a webinar on 24 October 2019 titled Substance Use and Family Violence: Identifying and Understanding Substance Use Coercion for AOD Clinicians.

Through an exploration of substance use coercion, this webinar will provide participants with an understanding of how the use of substances in the context of an intimate relationship may co-exist with behaviours associated with a broader pattern of power and control found within intimate partner violence.



November 11: Demystifying Information Sharing

This session will be held at the Community Hub at The Dock in the Docklands, Melbourne. Tickets are $100.


After the success of VAADA’s information sharing workshop on 29 July 2019, which was run in conjunction with Our Curious Minds, we are facilitating another workshop on 11 November, 2019. This interactive workshop will again be jointly-facilitated by VAADA and Our Curious Minds, and is designed specifically for leaders in the AOD sector, who are responsible for guiding front-line staff in applying the new information sharing schemes. The workshop will provide practice guidance for the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS) and the Child Information Sharing Scheme (CISS) and use AOD-specific case scenarios to illustrate how schemes will benefit AOD service consumers. Only limited places are available.


November 13: Responding to Family Violence in the AOD sector, building a map for the integration of family violence reforms

VAADA is hosting a free full-day event at the Catholic Leadership Centre in Collingwood. This session is suitable for leaders in the AOD sector, as well as across sectors, to discuss:

  • Latest updates on the family violence reforms
  • Working with family violence in the AOD sector: “VAADA statement of principles”
  • VAADA’s latest tools to support the practical implementation of the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme and Child Information Sharing Scheme.
  • VAADA’s findings in relation to current state of the AOD sector in relation to the capability framework
  • Opportunities and barriers for the integration of the Framework
  • The integration of family violence capabilities in AOD practice


Other training opportunities

AIFS Webinar 16 October 2019

Working with parents affected by alcohol and other drug use: Considering the needs of children in practice.



Department of Health and Human Services

Free Information Sharing Training – Training for the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme and Child Information Sharing Scheme, with an introduction to MARAM, is available online.

Access online training


DHHS Family Violence Information Sharing Face-to-Face Training


Sale: 17 October. Register

Ballarat: 30 October.  Register


Safe and together

This US model derives its name from the concept that children are best served when we can work toward keeping them safe and together with the non-offending parent (the adult domestic violence survivor). The Model provides a framework for partnering with domestic violence survivors and intervening with domestic violence perpetrators in order to enhance the safety and wellbeing of children. The Safe and Together Institute offers four online training modules, containing:

  • Safe & Together: An Introduction to the Model
  • Multiple Pathways to Harm: A Comprehensive Assessment Framework
  • Working with Men as Parents: Fathers’ Parenting Choices Matter
  • Intersections: When Domestic Violence Perpetration, Substance Abuse, and Mental Health Meet

Each model is available for $50 USD. Find more information and register here

Four day face to face training opportunities in Victoria are available through Anglicare. The next training takes place in Bendigo from 16 to 24 October 2019. Register here



Free online training designed for frontline workers who are not able to attend a two-day face-to-face workshop, training enables workers to recognise the signs of domestic violence, respond appropriately and refer if necessary.

The course will take approximately 18 hours to complete and is provided over a set term of 10 weeks. Enrol here



The LOOKOUT provides an up to date calendar list is for short courses provided for and by agencies within the family violence sector in Victoria. Access the LOOKOUT calendar list here.



DVRCV offers a wide range of training to build family violence practice at


No to Violence

NtV offers a range of training packages, including:

  • Introduction to Working Safely With Men Who Use Family Violence – 2 day training
  • Active Bystander Training – 3-hour workshop.

Various dates are available. Find more information here



This one-day training workshop is designed for HR professionals who recognise that workplaces have a role to play in supporting employees experiencing mental health and family violence issues. It will equip attendees with an understanding of the knowledge, skills and best practice principles required to better respond to these complex issues. Currently, this as a customised workshop to suit the specific needs of your organisation and employees. Find more information click here.



360edge offers a range of training at



Free training sessions to help build the capacity of other professionals to better deliver support to women from refugee and migrant backgrounds who are experiencing family violence. Check out their training calendar here.



VACCA offers a range of training programs to community services organisations, government agencies and individuals working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and people. Their training programs aim to ensure that their work is culturally appropriate. Book here.