When did the initiative commence?

In 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) piloted Risk Assessment and Management Panels (RAMPS) in the City of Hume and the City of Greater Geelong. They were tasked with identifying and responding to families at high risk.

Following the success of the pilots, RAMPs were rolled out across the state. In addition to the Hume Moreland RAMP, a North East RAMP was established in the northern metropolitan region.

What need does the initiative respond to?

The initiative aimed to assist:

‘women and women with children at high risk of family violence. The [initiative] was also designed to increase accountability by men who use violence, and to contribute to greater service system integration, in response to family violence. The [initiative] was intended to focus on the extreme end of the family violence continuum where men perpetrate serious injury and harm, and lethality, on women and women with children.’ (Evaluation of the family violence Strengthening Risk Management Demonstration Projects in Victoria 2013)

What organisations are involved in the initiative?

Berry Street’s Northern Domestic and Family Violence Service (NFVDS) is funded to coordinate the northern metropolitan region RAMPs.

The RAMPs consist of core and associate members. Members include representatives from family violence services, Victoria Police, Corrections Victoria, DHHS Child Protection, Child FIRST, men’s behaviour change programs, local hospitals, Maternal and Child Health Services, Centrelink, the Office of Housing, mental health services and alcohol and other drug services. Other services are invited on a case-by-case basis including Aboriginal and homelessness services.

What does the initiative do? Who does it support?

Under the RAMP model, member agencies propose high risk cases for other agencies to consider. The Common Risk Assessment Framework (CRAF) is used to determine which cases are ‘high risk’. Besides members, other agencies that may be able to provide information about particular cases are invited to relevant panel meetings. Participating agencies present information about the cases from their internal records and the panel works together to develop an action plan to reduce the risk to affected family members. Cases are then reviewed and discussed at subsequent meetings.

The majority of RAMP cases are referred by consent of the women experiencing the violence. Police often initiate these referrals. In all cases, the lead agencies advocate on behalf of the woman at the centre of the process.

How is the initiative resourced/funded?

Approximately $1m was initially allocated to the pilot panels over two years. The pilot was later extended for another year. In 2014, the Victorian government committed another $12.5 million to fund 17 RAMPs—one in each DHHS area across Victoria.

How should clients be referred into the program?
For more information, or to discuss a referral, contact the RAMP Coordinator at Berry Street on (03) 9450 4700.