Family Violence Newsletter June – Update on Family Violence reform in the AOD sector

Welcome to the second newsletter with VAADA’s latest updates in relation to the implementation of family violence reforms in the AOD sector.

In this edition, we draw your attention to the definition of family violence as per Victoria’s Plan for Change.

Training dates are available to familiarise yourself with the Information Sharing Scheme and MARAM. Further training relevant for the AOD sector, is still in development.


Ending Family Violence: Victoria’s Plan for Change

Ending Family Violence: Victoria’s Plan for Change” is a document that outlines a comprehensive understanding of family violence: ‘Family violence occurs when a perpetrator exercises power and control over another person. It involves coercive and abusive behaviours by the perpetrator that are designed to intimidate, humiliate, undermine and isolate; resulting in fear and insecurity. It covers a wide spectrum of conduct that involves an escalating spiral of violence. These behaviours can include physical and sexual abuse, as well as psychological, emotional, cultural, spiritual and financial abuse. Although every experience is unique, family violence is not a one-off incident for most victim survivors. It is a pattern of behaviour that can occur over a long period of time.’

Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework (MARAM)

Prescribed Organisations

The Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework (MARAM)  is developed in line with Recommendation One of the Royal Commission into Family Violence, and replaces the Common Risk Assessment Framework (CRAF). The Framework has been established in law under a new Part 11 of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008. AOD organisations are prescribed to align their policies, procedures, practice guidance and tools to the MARAM Framework. To access the list of all the organisations prescribed under MARAM and Information Sharing Schemes, click here.


The MARAM framework describes several responsibility levels. Organisations are expected to align with the relevant responsibilities. Family Safety Victoria (FSV) has created a resource that outlines the different responsibilities across workforces. The resource can be found here.

Practice Guidelines

MARAM practice guidelines will be launched shortly and provides guidance on working with people who experience family violence.  The MARAM Practice Guidelines for working with people who use family violence are currently in development and are expected to be released later in 2019.

MARAM Training

FSV commissioned Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV) to deliver training in the MARAM framework.  Two different training opportunities are now available:

  • MARAM Leading Alignment for senior leaders
  • MARAM Comprehensive Family Violence Specialist- Renewing Practice from CRAF to MARAM, a one-day training for professionals who work in a specialist capacity who have previously completed the CRAF training.

If relevant for your role, sign up for MARAM training: here

Upcoming additional MARAM training relevant for the broader AOD sector is being developed and will include:

  • a two-day comprehensive module for the specialist end of the service system for newer workers
  • a brief/intermediate module
  • a screening and identification module

Information Sharing Schemes

The Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS) was introduced in February 2018 to enable information sharing between prescribed organisations and professionals specifically to assess and manage family violence risk to children and adults.

The Child Information Sharing Scheme (CISS) was developed in response to numerous independent reviews and child death inquiries over the past decade, including the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. One of the key recommendations was to reform Victoria’s information sharing arrangements to improve wellbeing and safety outcomes for children, by addressing a risk-averse culture to sharing information. The CISS began on 27 September 2018 to allow information sharing between prescribed organisations and professionals specifically to promote children’s wellbeing and safety. All Victorian children and young people from 0 to under 18 years of age are covered by the new Scheme.


Access FSV Information Sharing Schemes online training modules: here

Opportunities to attend free DHHS one day core training are still available for staff who play a lead role in the roll out of information sharing reforms in your organisation (for booking use password: collaboration)

Core training dates and locations:

Wednesday 19 June Seymour book here
Friday 24 June Melbourne CBD (Stamford Plaza) book here
Friday 24 June Melbourne CBD book here
Friday 27 June Warrnambool book here

VAADA CISS and FVISS in AOD practice forum

Save the date: Monday July 29 2019.

VAADA is organising a full day forum for leaders on the practical application of the Child Information Sharing Scheme (CISS) and Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS) in AOD practice. Building on training provided by Family Safety Victoria (FSV),  the forum will reflect on:

  • How do the Schemes differ from already existing legislation?
  • What are ethical considerations of the AOD practitioner?
  • How can AOD service consumers benefit from the Schemes?
  • What information do other sectors hold and what are their considerations?

More information and an opportunity to register will follow closer to the date.

Practice Principles at the intersection of AOD and Family Violence

VAADA engaged 360Edge to consult key AOD practitioners and senior management working at the intersection of AOD and Family Violence on how practice in the AOD sector and the Family Violence sector interconnects.

From the consultation 360Edge will produce a first version of Practice Principles at the intersection of AOD and Family Violence.

VAADA will work with the wider Victorian AOD sector to further refine this piece of work.

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.  To ensure there is an accurate reflection of the AOD lens throughout the implementation of the reforms, VAADA will engage the sector via a range of activities, from face-to-face forums and an online information-sharing platform.

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.

Additional resources:

APSU’s PODCAST Straight from the Source: Tara talks about her childhood experience of family violence and the ongoing impact. Listen here

DVRCV has launched a new smartphone app, called Arc and is available for downloading. Arc enables women experiencing family violence to take control over their story by identifying, documenting and recording patterns of intimate partner behaviour that make them feel scared, unsafe, undermined or intimidated. Arc can be downloaded to an iPhone or android phone from the iTunes store, Google Play or other android app stores. For more information on Arc visit

1800RESPECT offers well-being and self-care strategies and as well as telephone and online counselling if you work with people who have experienced sexual, domestic and family violence and would like counselling, support, information or referral. Call 1800 737 732 or chat online here.

DVRCV looks at cross-sector collaboration to prevent family violence and invites the perspective of one of the AOD Specialist Family Violence Advisors: read more here.

“Hello Cass” is an SMS chat box providing discreet access to localised, accurate information and support for people experiencing or affected by family and sexual violence. Text ‘hello’ to 0417 398 744 to start chatting in private. Find out more here.

Emerging Minds – the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health provides: Building Blocks: free online training for anyone working with parents of children 0-12 years. Learn how to work collaboratively with parents to provide them with effective and quality information and resources to support their children’s social and emotional wellbeing. Access here.

Natasha Anderson is the youngest member of the Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council (VSAC) and draws on her lived experience to give children and young people a voice in family violence reform. The award-nominated animation ‘TASH’ tells Natasha Anderson’s personal story of family violence for the first time. Watch the trailer here.