The Family Law DOORS screening tool (McIntosh, 2011) was created by Professor Jennifer McIntosh, Director of Family Transitions. The DOORS screening tool is a three-part framework that assists separating parents and family law professionals to detect and respond to both wellbeing and safety risks. Professor McIntosh piloted earlier versions of this screening tool with Relationships Australia SA.
The Family Law DOORS tool is complemented by the Family Law DOORS Handbook. This Handbook, written by Professor Jennifer McIntosh (Family Transitions) and Dr Claire Ralfs (CEO, Relationships Australia SA and Director, Australian Institute of Social Relations) (McIntosh & Ralfs, 2012), supports practitioners in using the DOORS screening tool. The Handbook provides a review of the evidence underpinning DOORS, including the ten risk domains for which the tool screens. It also provides information regarding follow-up response tools and decision-making support, and discusses effective strategies for engaging clients in relation to risk evaluation and response.
The DOORS tool can be completed via software, on paper or a mixture of the two.
The DOORS software allows:
- a parent to self-complete the screening tool, and
- a fully automated report to be generated for the professional, with tailored follow up prompts.
The DOORS can also be completed face-to face, providing the professional with immediate, tailored prompts for follow up.