What is the Lighthouse Model?

lighthouse model

By Kayla Curtis

· Read time: 3 minutes

The Lighthouse Model was created by the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFOA) to help identify and streamline cases that have a safety risk.

It has been developed as a response to ever growing safety concerns in family law.

To ensure that family safety risks are managed early on in the court process, the courts developed the Lighthouse Model. 

The Lighthouse Model contains specific steps in order to manage and streamline matters that require urgent attention. The following steps are outlined on the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia website and include:

  1. Early risk screening through an online platform called the Family DOORS Triage
  2. Early identification and management of safety risks
  3. Assessment and triage of cases by a specialised team who will provide support and refer the party to appropriate services
  4. Safe, and suitable case management, including referring high risk cases to a dedicated court list, known as the Evatt List.

What is Family DOORS Triage?

The Family DOORS Triage is a screening tool aimed at identifying multiple risk factors in a small amount of time. It consists of a series of yes or no questions and takes roughly 15 minutes to complete.

The questionnaire can be completed on any tablet, computer, phone or laptop, ensuring that you can complete the questions when you are in a safe place. Although this questionnaire is not compulsory, it should be completed wherever possible to ensure matters that require urgent management are seen promptly. 

The DOORS screening tool was created for the Courts, in order to have “at risk matters” brought to the attention and correct management pathway of the Courts. The answers to the questionnaire are strictly confidential and inadmissible in court as evidence.

As stated above, your answers from the DOORS questionnaire are strictly confidential and will only be viewed by a Triage Counsellor and the Lighthouse team. This ensures that no one other than the Triage Counsellor and the Lighthouse team will be able to view your answers. 

Only one party to the matter needs to complete the Family DOORS Triage questionnaire, however if both parties to the proceedings complete the questionnaire, the Court will use the highest screen result to determine the appropriate case management pathway.

If neither party completes the Family DOORS Triage questionnaire, the matter will be managed in accordance with the practice directions of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. 

If you would like more information about the Lighthouse Model, please contact us today for a confidential discussion. 

If you are concerned about yours or your children’s safety in respect to going to court, chat to us today about how we can help put safety precautions in place for your visit to court or Family Dispute Resolution event. 

If you require additional supportive services such as counselling or monetary support, visit your local Centrelink or Salvation Army office.  

However, if you or your children are in immediate danger please dial 000 and ask for the police.

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