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Risk assessment : what is it and how can it be applied in family violence? Pauline Gulliver and Janet Fanslow

By: Gulliver, Pauline.
Contributor(s): Fanslow, Janet L.
Material type: materialTypeLabelArticleSeries: NZFVC Issues Paper.Publisher: Auckland, New Zealand : New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse, University of Auckland, 2015Description: electronic document (27 pages); PDF file: 377.33 KB; Word DOC file: 882.5 KB.Subject(s): RECOMMENDED READING | CO-LOCATION | DOMESTIC VIOLENCE | INTERAGENCY COLLABORATION | INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE | RISK ASSESSMENT | RISK MANAGEMENT | SUPPORT SERVICES | NEW ZEALANDOnline resources: Click here to access online Issues Paper, 9, October 2015Summary: Key messages •Risk assessment must be considered as a piece in the wider puzzle of risk management. •Adequate services need to be provided for those considered at “less” risk, so they receive an appropriate response. This also reduces the imperative for service providers to escalate a case, in order to get help for a person. •Effective risk assessment and management needs to be grounded in an integrated response system. This needs to have: - Underlying principles which shape how practitioners respond. - Training for practitioners in the effective conduct of risk assessment and the effective communication of results. - Appropriate risk assessment tools should be selected, with monitoring to ensure they are used as intended and that they support risk management decision making. - Clarity of roles and responsibilities for all components of the system. •Co-location of professionals for risk management appears very beneficial to facilitate adequate communication. Co-location: - Enhances the development of a unique culture which supports increased trust and information sharing between professionals from different agencies. - Facilitates the process of risk management planning by reducing turnaround times and enhancing access to services. - Where effective colocation is not achievable, clear roles, responsibilities, communication strategies and a common culture around family violence must be developed to ensure a consistent response is provided. •Effective communication of risk, using common language, is vital to ensure all professionals understand how an estimation of risk was derived. - Training is required across government agencies to ensure there is a consistent understanding of family violence – including understanding definitions and patterns of violence. - To develop a common language, training should be shared across government agencies, rather than being delivered within agencies. •Effective risk management requires a lead agency to take responsibility for the implementation of planned activities. This lead agency also needs to be tasked with the responsibility of regularly reviewing risk in light of developments. - Agencies need to be aware of each other’s roles and responsibilities within the risk management system. - Where limitations exist within the family violence risk management system, external resourcing may be required to ensure all risks are effectively addressed. Record #4837
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NZFVC Issues Paper, 9, October 2015

Recommended reading

Key messages
•Risk assessment must be considered as a piece in the wider puzzle of risk management.
•Adequate services need to be provided for those considered at “less” risk, so they receive an appropriate response. This also reduces the imperative for service providers to escalate a case, in order to get help for a person.
•Effective risk assessment and management needs to be grounded in an integrated response system. This needs to have:
- Underlying principles which shape how practitioners respond.
- Training for practitioners in the effective conduct of risk assessment and the effective communication of results.
- Appropriate risk assessment tools should be selected, with monitoring to ensure they are used as intended and that they support risk management decision making.
- Clarity of roles and responsibilities for all components of the system.
•Co-location of professionals for risk management appears very beneficial to facilitate adequate communication. Co-location:
- Enhances the development of a unique culture which supports increased trust and information sharing between professionals from different agencies.
- Facilitates the process of risk management planning by reducing turnaround times and enhancing access to services.
- Where effective colocation is not achievable, clear roles, responsibilities, communication strategies and a common culture around family violence must be developed to ensure a consistent response is provided.
•Effective communication of risk, using common language, is vital to ensure all professionals understand how an estimation of risk was derived.
- Training is required across government agencies to ensure there is a consistent understanding of family violence – including understanding definitions and patterns of violence.
- To develop a common language, training should be shared across government agencies, rather than being delivered within agencies.
•Effective risk management requires a lead agency to take responsibility for the implementation of planned activities. This lead agency also needs to be tasked with the responsibility of regularly reviewing risk in light of developments.
- Agencies need to be aware of each other’s roles and responsibilities within the risk management system.
- Where limitations exist within the family violence risk management system, external resourcing may be required to ensure all risks are effectively addressed. Record #4837

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