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Violence against women and their children affects everybody. It impacts on the health, wellbeing and safety of a significant proportion of Australians throughout all states and territories and places an enormous burden on the nation’s economy across family and community services, health and hospitals, income-support and criminal justice systems.

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News and events

ANROWS hosts events as part of its knowledge transfer and exchange work, including public lectures, workshops and research launches. Details of upcoming ANROWS activities and news are available from the list on the right.

ANROWS

About ANROWS

ANROWS was established by the Commonwealth and all state and territory governments of Australia to produce, disseminate and assist in applying evidence for policy and practice addressing violence against women and their children.

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Resources

To support the take-up of evidence, ANROWS offers a range of resources developed from research to support practitioners and policy-makers in delivering evidence-based interventions.


RF.19.02

RECOVER – Reconnecting mothers and children after violence: The child-parent psychotherapy pilot

Completed
March 2022

Developed in the United States, child–parent psychotherapy (CPP) is a therapeutic model of care for mothers and their children which aims to enhance relationships and reduce trauma.


The RECOVER study tested the feasibility of providing this model of care in Australia to mothers and their pre-school-aged children who are affected by intimate partner violence.

This study investigated the following:

  • Is the CPP model of care acceptable to clients in the Australian context?
  • Is it acceptable and feasible to implement this model in the Australian context?

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.

Methods

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.

Significance

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.


Downloads

RESEARCH REPORT

RECOVER – Reconnecting mothers and children after family violence: The child–parent psychotherapy pilot

Download

PRACTICE GUIDE

The child–parent psychotherapy model in an Australian setting

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Researchers

Project lead

Associate Professor Leesa Hooker, La Trobe University

Research expertise

Professor Sarah Wendt, Flinders University

Professor Cathy Humphreys, University of Melbourne

Professor Angela Taft, La Trobe University

Practice expertise

Emma Toone, Berry Street Childhood Institute

Budget

$188,800

This project is funded by ANROWS Research Fund to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (Philanthropic – Luke Batty Legacy).

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