Connect & Learn: “As an AOD clinician, what do I need to consider about working with clients who may be using family violence?”, presented by Cindy McKelvie, Stephen Herd, Meg Bagnall & Rachel Daniel on the 23rd November 2022

7 Dec 2022

Since the introduction of MARAM in 2018, the AOD sector has expanded their responsibilities to identify, assess, and respond to family violence risk within operations and service delivery.


To date, sector training and practice development has been directed towards identifying and responding to victim survivors of family violence, but expectations are shifting following the release of the adult person using violence practice guidelines. Formal MARAM training for working with adult people who use family violence are currently under development.
This webinar draws on MARAM practice guidance, relevant literature, and the knowledge, practice and experience of presenters to describe and position the role of AOD practice in working with adult people who use violence.

The webinar explores the clinical interaction with adult people who use violence, what accountability and visibility looks like as an obligation and in practice, and the benefits of collaboration to manage risk and to increase safety for victim survivors. The webinar highlights the importance of centering victim survivors in practice, while promoting curiosity as a means for a clinician to explore risk. As with working with victim survivors, working with adult people who use family violence requires interaction with the broader service system.
The webinar also stresses the importance of self-care through formal and informal means.

This work has been prepared as a collaboration of AOD Specialist Family Violence Advisors from the Specialist Family Violence Advisor Capability Building Program.

Watch the presentation

About the presenters

Meg Bagnall is a Specialist Family Violence Advisor in Alcohol and Other Drugs, auspice to Bendigo Community Health Services. Meg has worked with women and children for over a decade, with a majority focus on identifying, assessing and responding to family violence through work with both victim survivors, and people who use violence. Since 2019, Meg has supported the AOD sector in implementing and embedding the MARAM framework, work which has included the role out of the ISS through ISE’s within the AOD sector, and the reform of the VAOD assessment tools to screen, identify, and assess family violence risk.

Cindy McKelvie is a Specialist Family Violence Advisor in Alcohol and Other Drugs, auspice to The Salvation Army. Cindy has worked in a variety of roles with a focus on identifying, assessing and responding to violence through direct client work, supporting MARAM alignment, building capacity and research. Since the rollout of the MARAM framework Cindy has supported community health services and more recently, alcohol and drug services, to implement and embed the MARAM framework.

Rachel Daniel has over 30 years’ experience of working across multiple areas of the human and community services sectors in both government and not-for-profit agencies as a practitioner, coordinator and manager. I have had the privilege of working in Aged and Disability Services, Child Protection, Youth and Family Services and Corrections Victoria, before coming into her current role as the AOD SFVA in the Central Highlands Region. This role allows her to bring my years of experience and passion for best practice and working collaboratively for the best possible outcomes for the clients that we serve together. With a focus on client centred, trauma informed practice, Rachel believes that there is no substitute for collaborative practice.

Stephen Herd is an AOD Specialist Family Violence Advisor located within Turning Point, in the Inner East Melbourne region. Stephen has worked in the area of mens family violence for over 10 years, as a Mens Behaviour Change co-facilitator, counsellor and groups coordinator. More recently, Stephen has become a Social Worker, spent some time working in prisons and now well embedded