Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


6000 level

Course handbook


This course provides the advanced skills and knowledge required by family dispute resolution practitioners performing complex family dispute resolution, using a variety of facilitative processes within the family law environment, to create an environment that supports the physical and emotional protection of vulnerable parties. Students must work in a setting (either voluntary or paid) which provides access to approximately 20 hours of supervised clinical assessment with clients.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Semester 2 - 2014.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Conduct assessments in accordance with the requirements of the family law context.

2. Apply requirements and regulations of the Family Law Act.

3. Assess suitability of dispute for resolution processes in the context of domestic and family violence.

4. Identify and appropriately manage the safety of participants in dispute resolution when family violence is present.

5. Implement procedures to manage violent, controlling, intimidating behaviours that may occur in dispute resolution processes

6. Manage case work activities in the context of the family law environment

7. Work effectively within a multidisciplinary team.

8. Expand upon specialised skills required for the workplace, including application of clinical supervision to support professional practice;

9. Reflect on, and apply, practically what has been learnt theoretically within this course.


  • Assessment including:
  • Identification of specific client needs within family law context
  • Engagement of voluntary and involuntary clients.
  • Utilise child focused approaches in interviews.
  • Explaining the family law system including Family Court processes and requirements.
  • Responding appropriately to distressed clients.
  • Provide options relating to preventative support relating to relationship issues.
  • Provide referral options for post separation services.
  • Standard protocols for screening for family violence.
  • Seeking specialist assistance for screening as appropriate.
  • Ensuring appropriate protocols are in place before entering into agreements to act as a third party.
  • Impacts of dynamics of family violence on the dispute resolution process.
  • Impact and risk of dispute resolution process on the safety concerns of family members.


  • Application of requirements and regulations of the Family Law Act within organisational contexts, including:
  • Acting as expert witness.
  • Preparing accurate reports.
  • Analysing information to determine action.
  • Observe and report where required by legislation or organisational policy.
  • Make appropriate referrals to legal practitioners to ensure parties are informed of legislative rights and responsibilities.
  • Advocate appropriately in court in accordance with specified job role.


  • Taking appropriate measures to ensure the safety of participants in the dispute resolution process where family violence is present, including:
  • Using security protocols.
  • Establishing a climate for disclosure of family violence and current safety concerns.
  • Using personal protective and screening measures.
  • Referral to appropriate support programs.
  • Suspending or terminating dispute resolution to protect participant safety.


  • Procedures to manage behaviour that may occur during dispute resolution process, including:
  • Identifying behaviours of intimidation, control and manipulation used in sessions.
  • Establishing understanding of rules for respectful and safe participation in the process.
  • Implementing strategies to ensure equal participation and expression of key concerns and issues by each party.


  • Case management in the context of the family law environment, including:
  • Following procedure in accordance with organisational policy and legislative requirements.
  • Preparing case plans.
  • Researching and identifying appropriate client support systems
  • Providing appropriate information to clients about family law processes and support options.
  • Managing power imbalances in family group interactions with services.
  • Procedures for filing and service of court documentation in accordance with legal requirements and job role.


  • Working within a multidisciplinary team:
  • Establishing effective working relationships with other specialist staff in the Family Law System.
  • Negotiating with other sections of the Family Law System.
  • Promoting inter-professional cooperation and client engagement with other professionals as appropriate.

Assumed knowledge

Undergraduate degree in relevant discipline and relevant professional experience in the field. Students must work in a setting (either voluntary or paid) which provides access to approximately 20 hours of supervised clinical assessment with clients.

Assessment items

Professional Task: Clinical Assessments

Written Assignment: Essays / Written Assignments

Online Learning Activity: Online Group/Tutorial Participation and Contribution