Perth Family Lawyers are excited to introduce you to the Lighthouse Project – the new family violence and risk screening initiative.
The Lighthouse Project will allow the Family Court to screen for risk and focus on public health and improved outcomes for families involved in the family law system.
The Commonwealth Government announced that it will provide funding for a risk screening and triage pilot in the Adelaide, Brisbane and Parramatta registries of the Courts. The pilot is currently being implemented under the Lighthouse Project.
If the pilot is successful, Perth Family Lawyers expect that the screening process will be introduced in the Family Court of Western Australia in the future.
The Court is preparing to officially commence this new screening process later this year, however a final date will be largely dependent on legislative amendments which will ensure that the information generated and obtained during the family safety risk screening process is both confidential and inadmissible.
About the Project
The Lighthouse Project will deliver numerous benefits to litigants and practitioners, including:
- Better risk screening and early identification of at-risk clients.
- Tailored court processes and support to those litigants experiencing family violence.
- Easier access to justice.
- Improved outcomes for litigants with more information available to the Court from the first stages.
- Improved case management decisions leading to a reduction in the number of adjournments and court events required.
- Opportunities to settle early using alternative dispute resolution for suitable matter.
How does the Lighthouse Project work?
- Screening: When an Application or Response for parenting only orders is filed with the Court, parties will be asked to complete a questionnaire via a confidential and secure platform known as Family DOORS Triage. This has been developed specifically for the Courts and can be completed from any device, PC, mobile or tablet. Responses to the questionnaire are confidential and are only used to assist for risk screening and to identify suitable case management to improve the safety and wellbeing for children and families.
- Triage: A dedicated, specialised team will assess and direct cases into the most appropriate case management pathway based on the level of risk. The team is comprised of highly skilled registrars, family counsellors, and support staff with detailed knowledge in family violence and family safety risks. The team will triage matters and identify parties who may require additional support and safety measures.
- Evatt List: A specialist court list developed and designed to assist families who have been identified as being at high risk of family violence and other safety concerns. The Evatt List focuses on early information gathering and intervention, through a judge-led support team. The team has specialised training and is experienced in working with families where high risk safety issues have been identified.
Our solicitors at Perth Family Lawyers appreciate the importance of this initiative as it provides protection to vulnerable parties and children in family law proceedings. The Lighthouse Project will play a central role in the Courts’ responses to cases which may involve family violence and determining the urgency and resources provided to such cases. It will significantly improve the safety of litigants who may have experienced family violence and children who may have experienced associated risks such as child abuse.
If you are experiencing family violence, we urge you to contact our offices as soon as possible to book an appointment with one of our dedicated family law solicitors. Perth Family Lawyers can provide you with professional legal advice and guide you through your next steps. Call (08) 9325 8675 today or obtain further information on our website www.perthfamilylawyers.com