Invisible practices: Intervention with fathers who use violence

Project Summary - PI.17.06

Perpetrator interventions strategic research priority 3.2 Best practice models for family and domestic violence perpetrators 

Utilising an action research framework, this project will establish Communities of Practice (CoP) (n=10-12) in each participating jurisdiction, bringing together child protection and family support service practitioners working with fathers who use domestic and family violence.  The CoPs will both harness and build upon the expertise of practitioners through the mentoring of David Mandel and use of the Safe and Together training and resources.  The CoP learnings and practice developments will be evaluated through: documentation of learnings gathered by state based researchers working ethnographically with the CoP; Time 1 and Time 2 questionnaires to practitioners and a comparison group; semi structured interviews with participants; and synthesis of analysis of videos and case reports submitted to David Mandel.

Proposed outcomes include:

  • Increased workforce capacity for two key sectors responding to fathers who use DFV.
  • Supporting the development of evidence informed standards and guidelines for front- line practitioners in collaboration with No To Violence and the Australian Child Safety Alliance.
  • Strengthening the Australian evidence base for of the Safe and Together approach.
  • Supporting the development of outcome measures for Child Protection and family support services that address women and children’s safety.


Project Lead

Prof Cathy Humphreys, University of Melbourne

Research expertise

  1. Professor Marie Connolly, University of Melbourne
  2. Dr Lucy Healey, University of Melbourne
  3. Professor Donna Chung, Curtin University 
  4. Mr Damian Green, Curtin University
  5. Professor Patrick O'Leary, Griffith University
  6. Dr Menka Tsantefski, Griffith University
  7. Dr Lesley Laing, The University of Sydney 
  8. Dr Susan Heward-Bell, The University of Sydney

Policy expertises / Government partners

  1. Ms Sherilee Mitchell, WA Department for Child Protection and Family Support
  2. Ms Jan Snell, Department of Health & Human Services, VIC
  3. Ms Deb Tsorbaris, The Centre for Excellence in Child & Family Welfare
  4. Ms Kate Alexander, NSW Department of Family and Community Services
  5. Professor Muriel Bamblett, VIC Aboriginal Child Care Agency
  6. Ms Kate Cherry, QLD Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services

Research partners

  1. Australian Child Safety Alliance (ACSA)

Project length

1.5 years