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2. Embedded Practice

Solid foundations ensure that your transactional use of Penelope is sound and efficient. But Penelope can do so much more! To ensure that team leaders and practitioners embrace the full potential of Penelope, embedded tools are required which allow each individual service to track the difference they are making to their clients.

Deanna Rohrsheim is the Team Leader for the Together4Kids program at Relationships Australia (SA), which supports children who are or have been homeless. In the following video, Deanna talks about how Penelope assists the team in establishing goals with clients and measuring the impact of service and support from Relationships Australia (SA) and other associated organisations:

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The Australian Institute of Social Relations together with partners continues to develop a range of tools which are embedded into Penelope for both effective and efficient practice, including:

Family Law DOORS (Detection of Overall Risk Screen)

Prof. Jennifer McIntosh (La Trobe University/Family Transitions) and Dr. Claire Ralfs (Relationships Australia (SA)) have developed an empirically based standardised front line screening framework called the Family Law DOORS (Detection Of Overall Risk Screen). The Family Law DOORS screening tool was created by Prof. Jennifer McIntosh*, with a comprehensive handbook and training resources co-authored by Dr. Claire Ralfs**.   The DOORS is an exciting new framework for considering and systematically identifying multiple and related risks for separating families.  It includes screening of safety and mental health risks, parenting stress, and developmental risk for children. Every question is evidence based.

The DOORS offers a shared language for risk identification and response across the family law field. It guides practitioner response to safety and wellbeing risks, including referral and follow up.

In contrast to specific domestic violence screens, the DOORS takes a broad definition of risk, covering adult, infant and child wellbeing, conflict and communication, parenting stress, and collateral stressors, encouraging the practitioner to evaluate the contribution of all these factors to imminent personal and interpersonal safety risks.

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Access to training videos and further information is available at

The Family Law DOORS. Copyright © Commonwealth of Australia 2012 and Family Transitions 2011

Safety Management

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Dr. Claire Ralfs has worked with Relationships Australia (SA) to develop a safety management framework which includes effective policy, a collective response based on multidisciplinary collaboration and consistent information resources (collection, analysis and reporting) which has been embedded into Penelope.  These standardized safety processes provide an effective framework to respond to suicide risk, family and domestic violence, child safety and other safety concerns.

Wellbeing PACES

The Wellbeing PACES has been developed for counselling services. The PACES tool integrates industry-leading scales, including domains from the Family Law DOORS and the Kessler 10, under five domains: Physical, Agency, Connectedness, Emotional Wellbeing and Safety. The PACES tool facilitates positive engagement with counselling clients, ensures holistic screening is conducted and enables outcomes to be monitored. The comprehensive information collected through PACES means it is suitable for use across health and relationship counselling programs including gambling help, relationship counselling and community mental health services.

Presenting Needs and Flexible Demographics Reporting Tool

The Penelope Excellence Consulting team has built a flexible statistical reporting tool from the ground up which allows managers to ask a range of questions of Penelope about clients, services, presenting needs, needs addressed etc.

Other commonly used tools

Penelope Excellence Consulting is currently working with Athena software to license and embed commonly used tools like:

  • Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ)
  • Kessler 10 (K10)
  • Karitane Parenting Confidence Scale
  • Bitsea
  • Outcome Rating Scale (ORS)
  • Session Rating Scale (SRS)

Find out more about each of the 3 stages:

  1. Solid Foundations
  2. Embedded Practice
  3. Understanding Social Impact

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