Feeling unsafe? Find support services   emergency? call 000


Our research

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.


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 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.



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.


Supporting family reunification in child protection


There is substantial evidence that the Victorian child protection system (VCPS) is failing vulnerable families, particularly with family reunification following the removal of children to out-of-home care. This project will undertake a statewide study of the experiences of families seeking reunification within the VCPS.
Child protection clients are especially vulnerable, with a majority of clients being victims and survivors of family violence and experiencing severe social and economic disadvantage. Despite having access to legal representation, these women struggle to obtain the supports they need to address protective concerns identified by child protection and ensure their own safety.


The project aims to:
- generate new insights into the barriers and enablers to reunification of mothers and children removed from parental care due to protective concerns
- build understanding of current policy and practice issues related to permanency and reunification in the VCPS.


The project will use qualitative methods, including interviews with affected parents and focus groups with community legal centre lawyers who represent clients seeking reunification with their children.


This study will enable mothers with lived experience, and the legal practitioners who support them, to share their reflections on seeking family reunification within the VCPS. It will build an evidence base for policy change through documenting the barriers and enablers to mothers’ compliance with court-ordered conditions necessary to achieve reunification within the legislated timeframe to be used in policy and law reform advocacy. This project enables community legal centres to extend their work with vulnerable clients by providing mothers with an opportunity to contribute directly to research outcomes and bring to light the impacts of systemic disadvantage.

Funding Body

Victorian Law Foundation Knowledge Grant

Project start date

February 2021

Expected completion date

May 2022
Back to top