Level 1 tools—Adult and child DFV routine screening

The Level 1 routine screening tools (PDF) (or DOCX) are designed to support you to identify whether a person is at risk of—or is experiencing—domestic and family violence (DFV) and what to do if they are. The Level 1 tools are not designed to screen for risk in a person suspected of using violence.

The tools includes information on how to screen for DFV in adults and children.

For more information refer to the Level 1 tools fact sheet.

Watch the below introductory video about the Level 1 tools, which includes information on how Level 1 responses fit within the Integrated Service Systems Framework, the adult and child screening tools, and the intersectional approaches to risk screening.

Who should use the Level 1 tools

The Level 1 tools can be used by anyone who might come into contact with someone experiencing DFV. This could include:

  • health workers
  • community workers
  • education staff
  • aged care professionals
  • family and children’s support workers
  • community Elders
  • housing providers
  • businesses, such as hair salons, banks etc.

When to use the Level 1 tools

The Level 1 tools help you to identify ‘red flags’ that may suggest a person is at risk of—or experiencing—DFV. You may use the tools when a person exhibiting signs of DFV presents at a healthcare, educational or other community-based service, or a business. Some agencies/organisations may decide to use routine screening questions for all people accessing their services for the first time.

There are 2 sets of Level 1 tools:

  • The Adult DFV routine screening tool should be used to screen for DFV in adults. It can be used to screen for intimate partner violence risk in young people—typically aged 13 and over—however it is not designed for screening young people who may be using violence.
  • The Child DFV routine screening tool should be used to screen for children aged under 13 who have experienced—or may be experiencing—DFV.

How to use the Level 1 tools

There are 3 key steps to using the Level 1 routine screening tools:

  • Step 1: Identify the signs of DFV.
  • Step 2: Ask the questions.
  • Step 3: Act on the information.

Your safety is a priority when screening for DFV risk. If a client becomes threatening and you fear for your safety, do not continue the screening process. You should not attempt to engage a person who you suspect of using violence. This requires specialist DFV knowledge to ensure the victim-survivor is not unintentionally put at increased risk.

If the victim-survivor does not want further referrals or support

There can be many reasons why a victim-survivor does not want further referrals or support. Sometimes victim-survivors can be fearful of the consequences of reaching out for support, they may distrust governments and other support services, or they may minimise the abuse because they feel there is no way out of the abusive situation.

It is important to respect the victim-survivor’s wishes as they are the experts in their own experience of DFV. In most situations you are required to obtain informed consent before referring an adult victim-survivor to another agency or sharing a client’s information with other service providers.

If the person does not want you to take any immediate action, you should reassure them that supports are available should they need them in the future. You can continue to play a role in regularly checking in and monitoring for changes in what you perceive to be their level of risk.

In certain situations, you may have serious concerns regarding the individual’s safety. In such cases you may be able to share their information without their consent. This must always be in accordance with the provisions in the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012—read the Overview of the tools fact sheet to find out more about information sharing—and agency protocols. If DFV is disclosed in relation to a child, you may still have mandatory reporting obligations which require you to take action, even without consent. Read the Children and young people fact sheet for more information on mandatory reporting obligations.

Fact sheets