From 28 November 2022, the “Lighthouse Model” will expand to commence operation in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia at Newcastle. The Lighthouse Model focuses on providing safety to children and families, and improve outcomes for families in the family law system.
Under this system, when an application is filed with the Court seeking parenting only, or parenting and financial orders, the parties will be asked to complete a Family Law DOORS Triage risk screening. This form has been specifically developed for use in the family law system, and aims to assess the risk to the parties and their children of issues that frequently arise in family law proceedings including; family violence, mental health issues and drug or alcohol misuse. The completed screening form is considered confidential and is inadmissible in Court.
The risk screening responses allow the Court to identify any family safety risks and are reviewed by Court officers to assess the steps needed for future management of the case. This may include placing the matter into the Evatt List.
The Evatt List is the Courts’ specialist list for those matters that are considered to be of the highest risk, with a focus on family violence and other family safety risks. The Evatt List ensures that families are provided with appropriate support to safeguard against family violence and associated risks. It also ensures cases are managed through the Court process as efficiently and effectively as possible.
One of the key objectives of the Evatt List is to ensure that parties and/or children are identified as being at high risk, that they are provided with greater Court resources to support them, and to provide safeguards around risk, while closely managing the matter as it progresses through the Court system.
The case management approach focuses on ensuring that critical and in-depth information is gathered and collated from a variety of sources (such as police, child welfare and Court Child Experts) which helps to identify important issues for the first return listing, and throughout the course of the matter.
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