RECOVER – Reconnecting mothers and children after violence: The child-parent psychotherapy pilot
Through research partnerships, the RECOVER study engaged CPP practitioners and recruited mother–child dyads from rural and regional catchment areas of Victoria and South Australia.
A similar pilot and evaluation was already taking place in 2018 in Melbourne with grant funding from the Safer Families Centre for Research Excellence. Further recruitment took place between 2019 and 2020 with the addition of ANROWS funding in the form of legacy funds from the former Luke Batty Foundation. The findings from both rural and metropolitan sites can inform the design of a national, multisite randomised controlled trial of the CPP intervention.
Using a mixed method, pre–post design this feasibility study examined the acceptability of the CPP intervention to women with pre-school-aged children (3 to 5 years) and providers, and identified process issues including recruitment, retention, and barriers to implementation and sustainability. While the focus was on feasibility, intervention efficacy and the acceptability of instrument measures were also assessed using maternal and child health outcomes and functioning, and mother–child attachment measures.
More Australian research is needed to fully understand parenting in the context of abuse and what works to help women and children recover. Dyadic psychotherapeutic interventions may be most effective given that the CPP methodology offers an early intervention pathway to mitigate the long-term effects of IPV on families and developing children. These findings can inform future trialling and expansion of CPP nationally.
Associate Professor Leesa Hooker, La Trobe University
Professor Sarah Wendt, Flinders University
Professor Cathy Humphreys, University of Melbourne
Professor Angela Taft, La Trobe University
Emma Toone, Berry Street Childhood Institute
This project is funded by ANROWS Research Fund to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (Philanthropic – Luke Batty Legacy).