Centre’s work on Adolescents using violence in the home

The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare (the Centre) has received funding from Family Safety Victoria (FSV) to undertake a program of work that will contribute to the evidence base in relation to adolescents using violence in the home (AVITH) and strengthen workforce capability.

In 2019-20, the Centre undertook extensive cross-cultural consultation to identify the latest research and promising practice in the child and family services sector and identify knowledge strengths and gaps. As part of this work, we developed a guide to promising practice which reviewed existing programs and practice approaches. This will shortly be available on our dedicated AVITH page on the OPEN portal.

In 2020-21, we have been working with FSV to develop an AVITH-focused MARAM Practice Guide. The purpose of the guide is to increase understanding of this issue – within and across multiple sectors that engage with young people who use violence in the home – and its complexities, and the need for more nuanced, strengths-based, and trauma-informed responses.


Project update – AVITH-focused MARAM Practice Guide

Welcome to the first of several blogs and resources about the great work being done by practitioners in Victoria, who are working with young people using violence in the home (AVITH). This blog by Grace Jones, will be of interest to anyone who wants to know more about the practice approaches of the Family Violence Therapeutic Intervention and Adolescent Family Violence providers, the development of the AVITH-focused MARAM Practice Guide, and the good AVITH practice approaches being delivered in Victoria.

My background

My name is Grace Jones, and I am currently undertaking a four-month secondment with the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare in the area of adolescents using violence in the home (AVITH). This is the first of several blogs I will be doing in the next few months. I hope you will join me on the journey to explore the latest work being done in the AVITH space.

Who am I?

  • Senior Caseworker at Barwon Child, Youth & Family in the Step Up–Building Healthy Relationships team.
  • I have always had a strong interest in working in the adolescent space – It is key to supporting early intervention and positive trajectories for young people who may not be on the best path when they come in contact with services.
  • I believe that every young person, regardless of their current circumstance deserves to be heard, feel safe and supported to remain positively engaged with their community.

I’ll write about the Step Up model in another blog, but for now I am going to share with you the AVITH work I am doing at the Centre.

AVITH MARAM Practice Guide Development Timeline

The feedback process emphasised the need for a strong therapeutic and trauma-informed approach when engaging the adolescent and their family using the AVITH MARAM tools, developed as part of the guide.

My role will be to work with participants in the user testing to capture what is being learnt and facilitate opportunities for this to be shared.

Participants in the user testing will receive:

  • a copy of the second draft of the AVITH-focused MARAM Practice Guide and Tools
  • a series of questions to guide implementation
  • a set of questions to consider throughout the use of the tools
  • a template to use for providing feedback and lessons learnt during the testing of the tools.

This work over the next few months will help the Centre further refine the Guide and Tools. Once all documents have been finalised, and endorsed by FSV, we will provide a summary report of findings to be shared through OPEN.

I will also be supporting new providers of AVITH interventions and programs in their implementation of therapeutic interventions. We will run several different activities to contribute to the growing evidence base of interventions that work in AVITH, such as webinars, practice leadership activities and collection of de-identified case studies for a ‘Snapshot of Good Practice’.

I hope you will join me on the journey as we explore what is being done in the AVITH space in Victoria.

For any further information, queries or if you have anything you would like to contribute to this space, feel free to contact michele.lonsdale@cfecfw.asn.au