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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.

KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER

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.


RP.20.04

Service system responses and culturally designed practice frameworks to address the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children exposed to domestic and family violence

Complete
February 2023

One of the major underlying causes of contact for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people with the child protection and youth justice systems in Queensland is the impact of DFV in their lives. This research project generated new, community-led knowledge about the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people who experience DFV and come to the attention of child protection systems and how to provide effective child focused service and system responses.


As a result of this project, two new research reports and one practice framework have been published. The first, ‘New Ways for Our Families’ contains a literature review that reflects the current state of knowledge, confirming that the experience of DFV in childhood is resulting in negative outcomes for First Nations children that are carried into adulthood. It also found that the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Islander children who come to the attention of child protection systems due to DFV are generally absent. Further, current system responses fail to keep children emotionally and culturally safe, and instead cause further harm.

The second report, ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup’ further unpacks the harms caused by systems and presentsd the findings from a series of action research cycles conducted with community members, practitioners, other stakeholders including people with lived experience. Key recommendations from this research include the need for significant system wide changes for policy and practice that elevate the voices of First Nations communities  including reframing child protection systems to be child and family wellbeing focused and ensure effective resourcing is provided for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to receive support.

The practice framework presents  a child centred, trauma informed, strengths and evidence-based approach to provide guidance to practitioners and policy makers to holistically respond to First Nations children’s experiences of DFV and thereby increase safety for them and their communities. The research was locally based and culturally safe, engaging community-based researchers across eight Queensland FWS locations in regional and remote locations.


Research aim/s

The research identifies the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people who experience DFV and who intersect with child protection systems, and outlines effective service responses using Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and wisdom.

Methods

Researchers utilised an action research methodology and recruited and supported local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-based researchers to engage stakeholders, community leaders, children and families to understand the nature, experiences and impacts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander childhood exposure to DFV.

Action research meetings identified critical elements of success, challenges and barriers, and cultural wisdom that has enabled effective strategies to be developed and address DFV for children and families.

Significance

A practice framework for prevention and early intervention was developed for use by Aboriginal Controlled Organisations, other service providers and policy makers to support children to be safe, physically, culturally and spiritually.
Using existing networks within the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak (QATSICPP) and the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC), the team will disseminate findings and resources across service systems.


Researchers

Project lead

Garth Morgan, CEO, QATSICPP

Candice Butler, Director, Innovation and Practice Development, QATSICPP

Research team

Jenny Parsons, Project Officer, QATSICPP

Eliza Miller, Project Officer, QATSICPP

Reno French, Project Officer, QATSICPP

Lisa Hillan, Director, Policy Research Evaluation, QATSICPP

Research partners

Professor Darryl Higgins, Director, Institute of Child Protection Studies (ICPS), Australian Catholic University

Alex Cahill, Research Officer, ICPS, Australian Catholic University

Seb Trew, Research Officer, ICPS, Australian Catholic University


Downloads

RESEARCH REPORT

New Ways for Our Families: Designing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural practice framework and system responses to address the impacts of domestic and family violence on children and young people

Download

RESEARCH REPORT

You can’t pour from an empty cup: Strengthening our service and systems responses for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people who experience domestic and family violence

View more
see also

PRACTICE GUIDELINES

Healing our children and young people: A framework to address the impacts of domestic and family violence

View more

Budget

$122,287

This project is funded by Australian Commonwealth, state and territory governments under ANROWS’s 2020–2022 Core Grant round.

See also

Research

Core research

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COLLECTION

Children, young people and parenting

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COLLECTION

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities

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COLLECTION

Reports and resources for peak or advocacy body

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SUPPORT

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