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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.

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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.


The Patricia Project – ANROWS Compass Issue 03/2017


Introduction

PAThways and Research In Collaborative Inter-Agency practice (the PATRICIA Project) is an action research project focused on the collaborative relationship between specialist communitybased domestic and family violence (DFV) support services for women and their children, and statutory child protection (CP) organisations.

The PATRICIA Project drew together a diverse range of participants from five states of Australia (New South Wales [NSW], Queensland [Qld], South Australia [SA], Victoria [Vic.], and Western Australia [WA]). The PATRICIA Project comprised five components of research, each with its own methodology, set within an action research framework (see Figure 1) that facilitated a process of changing things while simultaneously studying the “problems” of developing collaborative work and strengthening perpetrator accountability (Wicks, Reason, & Bradbury, 2008). The intended outcome was to use evidence to foster greater collaboration to support the safety and wellbeing of women and their children, and strengthen accountability for perpetrators of DFV.

The PATRICIA Project found that no “silver bullet” emerged as the one factor that made a difference to collaborative processes between DFV specialist organisations and child protection departments. Instead, a complex array of factors enabled or challenged the collaborative working. Some of these elements would be common across all collaborations; others were specific to the statutory and DFV context.

The following Compass publication provides resources to guide policy and practice in two main sections. Part 1 provides the Collaborative Practice Framework for Child Protection and Specialist Domestic and Family Violence. The framework was designed to build, maintain, and sustain collaboration where DFV involving children was identified. It pays particular attention to the safety of women and children and the complex array of factors which need to be addressed to support collaboration between the DFV and CP sectors. Part 2 summarises the recommendations for policy and practice emerging from the whole project.


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