Family Violence Newsletter April – Family Violence Reform overview

Welcome to VAADA’s first AOD family violence newsletter

The current Family Violence reforms are being referred to as the biggest family violence reform in Victoria and impacts our practice in the AOD sector. VAADA has been funded to support the AOD sector with the implementation of some components of the family violence reforms and will keep the sector up to date with a regular newsletter. The newsletter will keep you informed on the developments of family violence practice in our work in the AOD sector.

This first edition will provide insight in the family violence reform history, an overview key stakeholders and VAADA’s role.

Family Violence Reform

The development of family violence services in Australia have a long history of reforms.  The most recent family violence reform is referred to as the most significant family violence policy and practice reform in Victoria. It is made up of several elements that on their own are significant reforms, such as the introduction of 17  Support and Safety Hubs  across Victoria, the rollout of the specialist family violence courts, housing and refuge reforms, police reforms, and the new information sharing schemes.

Australia’s first Royal Commission into family violence commenced in February 2015 and aimed to address the scale and impact of this family violence in Victoria. It was tasked with finding solutions to: prevent family violence, keep women and children safe, better support victim survivors and hold perpetrators accountable.
The Royal Commission’s report, the culmination of a 13-month inquiry, made 277 recommendations to transform Victoria’s response to family violence.

You can track the progress of each of the recommendations here.

Government key resources, plans and strategies:
There are a number of initiatives from both the Victorian and Australian Governments to address violence against women and children. Here you can find some of the key resources, plans and strategies from both state and federal governments.

Key Stakeholders

Victorian Government launched Australia’s first Royal Commission into Family Violence in February 2015 and is committed to ending family violence. It has invested in programs aiming to prevent family violence, protect and support victim survivors and make perpetrators accountable.

The Department of Health and Human Services: are responsible for many of the workforces that are prescribed in phase 1 of the information sharing reforms, including the AOD sector and play a substantial role in the implementation.

The Department of Education and Training: The Department of Education and Training (DET) are the lead agency in relation to the CISS reforms

Family Safety Victoria:  is an Administrative Office, established July 2017, attached to the Department of Health and Human Services, with dedicated responsibility for the delivery of key family violence reforms, including:

  • Is the lead agency on the FVISS and MARAM reforms
  • Establishing 17 Support and Safety Hubs across Victoria
  • Establishing a Central Information Point, which will allow police, courts and government services to track perpetrators and keep victims safe
  • Establishing and housing the new Centre for Workforce Excellence to build workforce capacity and capability in partnership with the sector.
  • The agency is working towards building the capacity of the workforce which has a role in ending family violence and improve information sharing. This will help to keep adults and children who experience family violence safe and provide them with the support they need to recover.
  • It is also working across government and with the community services sector to introduce new practices to make it easier for you to get the help, protection, and support you need. We will make sure victim survivors of family violence remain at the heart of these changes.

Specialist Family Violence Advisor Program: aims to build Family Violence capacity in the Alcohol and Other Drug and Mental health sectors, funded by the Victorian Government. DHHS practices over 17 regions in Victoria. Each region will have access to two Specialist Family Violence Advisor: one to be located in a major mental health service and one in a drug and alcohol service and encourage collaboration across three sectors, including family violence, mental health and AOD. The advisors will support staff to identify and respond to family violence with their clients, whether they are experiencing family violence or perpetrating family violence.

A comprehensive list of family violence services and relevant family violence services is available on our website

VAADA’s Projects

Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework

VAADA received funding from DHHS to provide practice guidance to the AOD sector with the application of the Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework (MARAM)

Information Sharing Schemes

VAADA received funding from DHHS to provide practice guidance to the AOD sector with the application of the

Responding to Family violence Capability Framework

VAADA received funding from Family Safety Victoria to support the AOD sector with the implementation of the Responding to Family Violence Capability Framework; providing the foundational skill set required to recognize and respond to family violence issues.

Practice Principles at the intersection of AOD and Family Violence

In line with the Royal Commission into Family Violence, the AOD sector and family violence sectors have been interacting and collaborating in a variety of ways and expressed a strong desire for a common language and practice principles where our work intersects. VAADA will work with the AOD sector to develop high level principles of practice at the intersection of family violence and AOD treatment.

May 2, 10.30am – 1.30pm VAADA will be running a workshop, facilitated by 360Edge, to explore the unique identity of AOD practice in relation to family violence practice and enquire into a set of principles for our work in this shared space. A number of  tickets  are still available. Book your ticket today here.

AOD Family Violence Network

To support the above projects, VAADA has created an AOD Family Violence Network, consisting of people working in the AOD sector with a specialist interest in family violence issues. Through face to face forums and online activities (such has: sharing of resources through an online platform), VAADA ensures an accurate reflection of the AOD lens throughout the implementation of the family violence reforms as well as provide practice support throughout the implementation of the reforms.

If you like to join this network or would like to access the online resources platform, please contact VAADA’s Family Violence Capability Project Lead Marije Roos on or 9412 5605.

Upcoming training opportunities

Information Sharing Schemes:

Following feedback on the 2-day 2018 training, further training covering the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS) and the Child Information Sharing Scheme (CISS) has been tailored and developed.

  • Online Information Sharing training modules are now all available via e-learning (
  • DHHS has developed a 1-day face-to-face training. This training has been piloted and will be available in both rural and metro areas, progressively rolled out from May 2019.
  • It is envisaged that a practitioner would undertake either the online or the face-to-face training.


Five MARAM training modules for professionals from prescribed framework organisations are being finalised, with the first due to start in May.  Professionals will undertake the module appropriate to their experience and role type. FSV commissioned Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV) to develop the training resources, which include:

  •  ‘Leading Alignment’ module, designed to support organisational leaders to manage alignment and staff with new responsibilities under MARAM
  • a two-day comprehensive module for the specialist end of the service system for newer workers
  • ‘Renewing Practice: CRAF to MARAM’ a one-day module for those who have completed CRAF 3
  • a brief/intermediate module
  • a screening and identification module

The modules build on existing information sharing training, including online e-learning modules. They will also complement a core knowledge family violence e-learning course currently being developed by DVRCV.

inTouch is running a free training session covering an introduction to family violence, barriers and challenges to seeking support, referrals and limitations of ethno-specific organisation. The session is open to staff and volunteers working with ethno-specific organisations or groups, and bicultural workers who are new to working with family violence. Registration is essential here.
When: 13May2019
Where: Gallery Room, Multicultural Hub, 506 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000

Women’s Health Victoria is running a workshop “Bystander Action to Prevent Violence Against Women”. This workshop is designed for all audiences, to build skills and confidence to take a stand and speak out against violence-supporting attitudes and behaviours. For more information and registration details, click here.
When: Thursday 11 April 2019
Where: Women’s Health Victoria, 255 Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000

DVRCV is hosting PreventX, a conference on the prevention of family violence and violence against women. It will bring together practitioners to multiply their impact by exchanging ideas and making connections. Find out more and register here.
When: Tuesday 21 May 2019
Where: Storey Hall, RMIT University, 336–348 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000

Women’s Health Victoria is running a workshop “Gender Equity in the Workplace”. Attendees can expect to explore gender, gender inequality, unconscious bias and workplace tools and strategies to promote gender equity in the workplace. This workshop is designed for all audiences interested in creating equal, safe and respectful workplaces, including managers and human resources staff. For more information and registration details, click here.
When: Thursday 11 April 2019
Where: Women’s Health Victoria, 255 Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000

DVRCV is offering accredited family violence training – CHCDFV001 Recognise and respond appropriately to domestic and family violence. This four-day course will give you the essential knowledge, skills and understanding to work effectively with women and their children affected by family violence. You will have opportunities to reflect on your practice and build on your knowledge and skills with current research and evidence. View upcoming course dates and locations here.

Project Respect is running FREE full-day workshops on supporting women in the sex industry and women trafficked for sexual exploitation. The aim of this training is to enhance knowledge and skills within the community sector to ensure frontline staff are informed of and responsive to the issues and experiences of women in the sex industry and women trafficked for sexual exploitation. These aims support the broader goal of enabling women in the sex industry to access community support services without experiencing stigma and discrimination. You can access the workshop calendar here.

Resources, courses and opportunities

Our Watch has developed Victorian media guidelines on “how to report on violence against women and their children”. View the resources here.

  • CARE Australia has launched a campaign on sexual assault in the workplace, #ThisIsNotWorking, which you can find out more about here.
  • DVRCV has launched Arc, a free smartphone app giving women experiencing family violence the opportunity to track details of intimate partner behavior that makes them feel scared, unsafe, undermined or intimidated. Check it out here.
  • The University of Melbourne is offering an 8-week graduate subject “Domestic and Family Violence” from April – June this year. It can be completed as a single subject for professional development or as part of a specialist certificate, graduate certificate or master’s qualification. Find out more here.