Best Practices in Dealing with Family Violence Matters

Best Practices in Dealing with Family Violence Matters

According to court data from the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, family violence is presented as a risk factor in 80% of parenting cases.[i] To help those working in the sector expand their skills, and in support of Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month, Smokeball and FamilyProperty have designed a complimentary six-part webinar series exploring these critical issues in the State of Family Law Series: Exploring Best Practice in Family Violence.

The Series brings together 14 expert speakers from across the family law and family violence sector to provide attendees with practical guidance, valuable insights, and relevant resources to support their work including developing a better understanding of the patterns, nature and dynamics of family violence, safety planning, dispute resolution, navigating the legal system, making financial claims, managing vicarious trauma, and more.

Fiona Kirkman, an Accredited Specialist in Family Law, Smokeball’s Global Family Law Evangelist, and Co-founder of FamilyProperty, created the series in response to common concerns from family lawyers across the country. “Family violence is on the rise in Australia,” says Fiona “with one in six Australian women and one in sixteen Australian men on the record as having experienced documented violence at the hands of a family member or partner[ii]. Reaching a point of mediation or legal action can often exacerbate fear and trauma for those involved, making it imperative for industry professionals to strive towards preventing any additional harm and ensuring the well-being of all parties.”

“By understanding different techniques and the support tools available, we hope to help parties and practitioners navigate the process in a safe and supported way. One of our goals at Smokeball and FamilyProperty is to provide legal practitioners with the tools and resources they need to manage family violence cases efficiently and effectively, while also ensuring the safety of their clients, and offering this legal education is another way to help achieve that,” she added.

Speakers include:

  • David Mandel, Executive Director, Safe & Together Institute. He was specifically engaged by the FCFCOA to undertake family violence-focused training.
  • Anne-Marie Rice, Executive Director National Registrar Practice and Operations and Senior Judicial Registrar, Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.
  • Brett McGrath, Senior Judicial Registrar, Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.
  • Kimberley Buttriss, Judicial Registrar, Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.
  • Michelle May AM KC, Barrister, Mediator and Former Judge, Lucinda Chambers
  • Anna Baltins, Solicitor in Charge of the Legal Aid NSW Domestic Violence Unit (DVU).
  • Dr Adrian Allen, Principal Clinical Psychologist, Healthy Mind Clinic.
  • Kavita Balendra, Barrister, 4 Wentworth Chambers.
  • Joplin Higgins OAM, Managing Director, Joplin Lawyers.
  • Steve Frost, Founding Director, Horizons Family Law Centre.
  • Kath Manby, Principal Family Lawyer, and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner, VM Family Law.
  • Ghania Dib, Principal and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner, GDA Lawyers.
  • Kasturi Wren, Principal, Law Advisory.
  • Fiona Kirkman, Global Family Law Evangelist, Smokeball, Co-Founder, FamilyProperty and Principal and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner, Kirkman Family Law.

Best Practices Dealing with Family Violence Matters

Series Sessions

Session 1: Understanding Family Violence, Screening, and Safety Planning

Understand the nature, dynamics, and patterns of family violence and the impact of family violence on children. Learn how to screen for family violence and develop a safety plan to protect victims and children. (Wednesday, 31st May 9-10.30 am AEST)

Session 2: Family Dispute Resolution in Family Violence Cases

Understand the unique challenges and considerations involved in representing a client in family dispute resolution with family violence issues. Learn how to effectively conduct mediations both inside and outside of the court process while ensuring the safety and well-being of all parties involved. (Wednesday, 31st May 1-2.30 pm AEST)

Session 3: FCFCOA Case Management and Processes - Identifying and Responding to Family Violence and other Family Safety Risks

Gain insights into the FCFCOA’s case management pathways and processes for family violence cases, including the Lighthouse Project, Evatt List, Magellan List, Family Advocacy and Support Service, and more. (Wednesday, 7th June 1-2.30 pm AEST)

Session 4: Acting for the Victim vs. Acting for the Perpetrator

Delve into the challenges lawyers face when representing victims and perpetrators of family violence, including cross-cultural considerations. (Wednesday, 14th June 1-2.30 pm AEST)

Session 5: Family Violence Financial Claims and the Intersection of Family Law and Personal Injury Law

Explore the intersection between family law and personal injury law in cases of family violence, including how to navigate the different legal systems and procedures. (Wednesday, 21st June 1-2.30 pm AEST)

Session 6: Ethics and Resilience in Family Violence Cases

Explore the ethical considerations when dealing with family violence cases and strategies for building resilience and managing vicarious trauma. (Wednesday, 28th June 1-2.30 pm AEST)

The series is free to attend, and each session provides attendees with the opportunity to claim 1.5 CPD points. Those who work in the field of family violence are encouraged to register for one or more of the webinar sessions and benefit from this valuable learning opportunity.

To register for the free webinar series, please visit:
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