Investigators:

Prof Morag McArthur, Prof Daryl Higgins

Dr Debbie Scott (Monash University, Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre)

Funding Source:

Department of Social Services (DSS), Australian Government

Aim:

The risk factors for child abuse and neglect, and the intersection of family and domestic violence services with related systems such as statutory child protection services, is a key objective in the National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children 2009-2020. Additionally, the Victorian Government's 2015-16 Royal Commission into Family Violence noted that children are 'frequently marginalised' in current responses to family violence, and there is a need for stronger links between child protection, specialist family violence services, and other service providers which respond to family violence.

DSS commissioned this study to:

  • Develop a profile of the children and families reported to child protection with issues of domestic and family violence;
  • Identify and map service responses, including the use of safety plans and other actions taken, such as referrals; and,
  • Identify implications for how community-based and government services can better recognise and respond to violence.

Part 1 of the study will include a quantitative analysis of child protection files, in which researchers will analyse and compare characteristics between families where family violence has been identified; and those where no family violence has been identified, in two jurisdictions. Part 2 will include qualitative interviews with child protection practitioners and non-government agency workers, to understand the nature of interventions and decision-making, and implications for safety and well-being of both mothers and children.

This project aims to be completed by June 2018.

For more information about this project, contact Morag McArthur.

 

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