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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 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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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.


EXTERNALLY FUNDED RESEARCH PROJECTS

Strengthening Australia’s domestic and family violence workforce

Background

This project aims to generate an evidence base on the nature of domestic and family violence (DFV) work and the implications for the DFV workforce across victim, perpetrator and Aboriginal specialist services. Using the innovative method of rapid ethnography, this project expects to provide a comparative understanding of DFV work
and workforce practices and requirements. Expected outcomes include workforce development strategies that are responsive to the context and needs of DFV work. Given the high social, health and economic costs of DFV, investing in the DFV workforce has national benefits including improved services and better client and worker wellbeing.

Aim

This research is centred on exploring the nature of DFV work and what this means for strengthening and planning for Australia’s DFV workforce.
It aims to:
1. Generate a coherent, qualitative evidence base on the nature and experiences of DFV work across three key domains: victim services, perpetrator services and Aboriginal specialist services.
2. Conceptualise the DFV workforce with reference to the nature of the work across these three domains.
3. Recommend workforce development strategies that are responsive to the context and needs of DFV work.

Methods

The project will use a layered qualitative design informed by rapid ethnography. Rapid ethnography is a multi-method ethnography, generating extensive information from numerous sources and perspectives over a relatively short period of time. It is an intense, deliberate and theoretically engaged dive into key practice and analytical points of workers’ lives. Rapid ethnography is designed to explore and capture the complexities and conditions of work and facilitate interpretation of workplace culture and social organisation as well as individual practices. It generates the data to identify complex relationships between individual and agency practice and structural and discursive drivers. Each site will have three data collection processes: 1) agency and document analysis; 2) interviews; and 3) observation.

Significance

While DFV has been extensively theorised, little is known about the nature of the work and hence the workforce expected to deliver services. Descriptive statistics have captured the socio-demographic, credential and some work experiences but there is no comprehensive analysis or explanation of the nature and experiences of the work nor of the interrelationship between workers’ capacities, needs and experiences. Without detailed and contextualised data and related theorising of DFV work, the workforce cannot be fully realised, supported or strengthened. Policymakers, educators, managers and practitioners will continue to struggle to address the complexity of DFV if the nature of the work remains unknown and the work of the DFV workforce marginalised.

Funding Body

Australian Research Council (Project ID: DP210101214)

Funding Budget

$275,000

Project start date

February 2021

Expected completion date

February 2024
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