Safe & Together Addressing ComplexitY for Children (STACY for Children): Key findings and future directions
This is an edited summary of key findings from ANROWS research project “Safe & Together Addressing ComplexitY for Children (STACY for Children)”.
This project analysed the impacts on children of the implementation of the Safe & Together Model™ in speciality DFV services, NGO family services, alcohol and other drug services, mental health services and statutory child protection agencies located across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
- Practitioners using the S&T Model reported an increase in the degree to which they recognised the centrality of children in perpetrator patterns of power and control.
- Practitioners trained in the S&T Model also recognised the multitude of ways that children are impacted by DFV, parental AOD use and MH issues.
- The young people, mothers and fathers interviewed identified positive differences in approach between workers trained in the S&T Model and workers with whom they had had previous experiences.
- Effective child-focused practice at the intersections of DFV, AOD and MH does not become embedded in organisational and practice culture without an authorising environment that involves DFV-informed and child-focused policies and procedures. It also requires the training of staff at all levels to increase both skills and confidence.
- The analysis of available family risk evaluations showed that DFV was most often reported in combination with other risk factors.
- Through an analysis of child protection administrative data, this research found indicative evidence that the introduction of a DFV-informed approach was associated with positive changes in the child protection process. However, further research is needed to confirm these results.
- MH, AOD and DFV organisations should proactively develop policies for their staff that facilitate conversations about the role of their clients as mothers/fathers and increase the visibility of children.
- Sector leaders and agency managers need to adopt a policy position that keeps children safely with their non-offending parent (usually mothers) as the default starting point for practitioners in their agencies.
- There is an urgent need to address the serious service gap in MH services for children and young people living with DFV.
ANROWS Research to policy and practice papers are concise papers that summarise key findings of research on violence against women and their children, including research produced under ANROWS’s research program, and provide advice on the implications for policy and practice.
Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. (2020). Safe & Together Addressing ComplexitY for Children (STACY for Children): Key findings and future directions (Research to policy and practice, 22/2020). Sydney: ANROWS.