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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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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.


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

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people are overrepresented in child protection systems in Australia, including in Queensland. These same children and young people also experience high rates of domestic and family violence (DFV), which is often a leading cause for their family’s engagement with child protection services. 

Little has been done to understand what works to support First Nations children and young people to heal from their experiences of violence. This research project explores how services and systems can better respond to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people exposed to DFV who come to the attention of child protection systems.

Led by the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak (QATSICPP), a team of First Nations researchers, supported by non-Indigenous researchers, utilised a participatory action research methodology – ensuring cultural safety and adherence to cultural values and protocols, including co-creation of knowledge.

This report, the first in a series for this project, presents the results of a literature review and the findings from the initial cycles of action research conducted with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander chief investigators, community researchers and practitioners working in eight community-controlled child and family services across Queensland.

The literature review and the outcomes of the initial action research cycle confirmed that the experience of DFV in childhood is resulting in negative lifelong outcomes for First Nations children, including increased interactions with the child protection and justice systems. The researchers also found that these responses (child protection and justice) are not adequate or culturally safe. To support healing for these children and young people, the report recommends:

  • holistic healing opportunities
  • culturally strong and community-led whole-of-family support
  • therapeutic healing circles and camps
  • connection to and knowledge about traditional cultural values, systems and traditions
  • a framework of perpetrator accountability
  • system changes include procuring place-based and healing responses for  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled services that support self-determination, and working collectively with the whole family.

Additionally, cultural capability across the service system needs to be enhanced, and structural racism needs to be eliminated in order to reduce the load on existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services.

Future publications from this research project, due in 2022, will consist of a research report on the remaining action research cycles and a framework for working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people who have experienced DFV and have also come in contact with the child protection system.

 

 

Publication details

Authors

GARTH MORGAN
CEO, QATSICPP

CANDICE BUTLER
Director, Innovations and Practice Development, QATSICPP

RENO FRENCH
Policy Officer, QATSICPP

TAMARA CREAMER
Policy Officer, QATSICPP

LISA HILLAN
Director, Policy Research Evaluation, QATSICPP

EVA RUGGIERO
Policy Officer, QATSICPP

JENNIFER PARSONS
Training and Development Officer, Mulungu Aboriginal Primary Health Care Service

GARETH PRIOR
Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Worker, Girudala Community Cooperative Society Limited

LELA IDAGI
Family Wellbeing Program Manager, Girudala Community Cooperative Society Limited

RACHEL BRUCE
Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Worker, Mura Kosker Sorority Inc

TRACY GRAY
Domestic and Family Violence Practice Development Officer, Remote Area Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Care Advisory Association Inc

THOMAS JIA
Family Wellbeing Service Wuchopperen Health Service Ltd

MARY HOSTALEK
Family Wellbeing Service Wuchopperen Health Service Ltd

JAMIE GIBSON
Family Wellbeing Service Wuchopperen Health Service Ltd

BEVERLEY MITCHELL
Specialist Domestic and Family Violence Worker, Goolburri Aboriginal Health Advancement Co Ltd

TRAVEN LEA
Chief Health Officer, REFOCUS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation

KRISTY CLANCY
Family Wellbeing Service, Townsville Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service

URSULA BARBER
Domestic Violence Specialist, Central Queensland Indigenous Development Ltd

PROFESSOR DARYL HIGGINS
Director, Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University

ALEX CAHILL
Research Officer, Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University

SEBASTIAN TREW
Research Officer, Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University


ISBN:978-1-922645-28-9 (paperback)
ISBN: 978-1-922645-29-6 (PDF)
52 pp.


Suggested citation

Morgan, G., Butler, C., French, R., Creamer, T., Hillan, L., Ruggiero, E., Parsons, J., Prior, G., Idagi, L., Bruce, R., Gray, T., Jia, T., Hostalek, M., Gibson, J., Mitchell, B., Lea, T., Clancy, K., Barber, U., Higgins, D., … Trew, S. (2022). 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 (Research report, 06/2022). ANROWS.

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