In August 2020, the Family Law Courts (the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court) launched The Lighthouse Project, being piloted through a handful of Registries, of which Brisbane is one.
It is the Court’s recognition that the intersection between Family Violence and the Family Law system is complex and requires specific and detailed attention.
The Lighthouse Project is a screening and management program to assess risk to families within the system and having a focus on improving outcomes for families in the family law system.
The project involves:
- Early Risk Screening through a secure online platform
When an Application for Parenting Orders is filed through the online court portal, the parties will be asked to complete a confidential and secure questionnaire via the Family DOORS Triage.
The Family DOORS Triage system has been specially designed for Family Law and considers a range of safety risks that arise frequently in family law matters. The answers to the questionnaire are referred to a highly skilled team of family counsellors who will assess risk as being HIGH, MEDIUM and LOW risk.
High-Risk cases will be referred for immediate action through a video, telephone or face to face conference with a family counsellor. The Counsellor will provide a detailed risk assessment, safety and wellbeing plan for the person and referrals to appropriate support services.
Medium Risk cases will be offered safety planning and service referrals and will be considered for a range of case management pathways based on the individual needs of the case.
Low-Risk cases will be processed through court-ordered dispute resolution.
- Case Management
After assessment through the Family Doors Triage system, the matter will be dealt with by a dedicated team of highly skilled professionals including registrars, family consultants and support staff with specialized training in family safety risks and family violence.
- The Evatt List
Those families assessed as being High Risk and most vulnerable will have their matter managed through the Evatt List which focuses on early information gathering and intervention, through a judge-led support team. This team will have specialized training and experience in working with families who are at high risk.
Why The Lighthouse Project?
It is the Court’s response to calls for the family law system to deal with family violence and risk better. These calls have been made in a number of reports and commissions over the last 10 years.
It is a detailed and dedicated response to a growing crisis in our community, with statistics showing that women, men and children are at increased risk of death or injury at the hands of their partner or parent.
How can Gold Coast Family Lawyers help?
When taking instructions from you, concerns about family violence and risk of abuse and harm are discussed such that we can assess the best way to proceed with your matter. Upon receiving instructions from you to commence proceedings we will work with you to complete the necessary screening questionnaire through The Lighthouse Project and be with you every step of the way through your parenting matter.