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

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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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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

Project length
2 years

Developed in the US, the Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) is a model of care for mother-child dyads which aims to enhance relationships and reduce trauma. The RECOVER study will test the feasibility of providing this model of care in Australia to mothers and their pre-school aged children who are experiencing domestic and family violence.


This study will investigate:

  • 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 will engage CPP practitioners and recruit mother-child dyads from rural and regional catchment areas of Victoria and South Australia.

A metropolitan Melbourne CPP pilot and evaluation is already taking place with grant funding from the Safer Families Centre for Research Excellence. It is intended that the findings from both rural and metropolitan sites will 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 will examine the acceptability of the CPP intervention to women with pre-school-aged children (3 to 5 years) and providers, and identify process issues including recruitment, retention, and barriers to implementation and sustainability. While the focus is on feasibility, intervention efficacy and the acceptability of instrument measures will also be 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. If feasible, findings will inform future trialling and expansion of CPP nationally.


Researchers

Project lead

Dr Leesa Hooker, La Trobe University

Research expertise

Professor Angela Taft, La Trobe University

Professor Cathy Humphreys, University of Melbourne

Professor Sarah Wendt, Flinders 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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