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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 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

Violence prevention and early intervention for mothers and children with disability: Building promising practice

This project explored effective practice in early intervention violence prevention and response, with a specific focus on the experiences and voices of women and children with disability (8–18 years) who are at risk of domestic and family violence (DFV).

Involving an advisory group of four women with disability, the multi-method study comprised:

  • a review of evidence of proven and promising practice in early intervention violence prevention for families with a child or parent with disability
  • a review of DFV, child protection and wellbeing, and disability policy nationally (with a more detailed focus on New South Wales)
  • qualitative research about the experience and implementation of early intervention services, using the Family Referral Services (FRS) in New South Wales as a case study.

The research revealed that a holistic approach to safety and a focus on barriers to support (rather than impairment) is key to responding to the needs of families where either mothers or children have disability. Positive practice principles that were identified include timely responses and scaffolded planning, personalised and flexible support, building and sustaining local sector relationships, improving service coordination and building cultural safety with Aboriginal families.

The report recommends strengthening of practice design and delivery for DFV and early intervention services through building workforce capacity and training based on the identified principles for positive practice. Building skills in workers and organisations would enable confident and appropriate responses to the needs of families with disability who are at risk of, or experiencing, violence.

 

Publication details

This work is part of the ANROWS Research reports series. ANROWS Research reports (Horizons) are in-depth reports on empirical research produced under ANROWS’s research program.


Authors

PROFESSOR SALLY ROBINSON
College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR kylie valentine
Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney

DR BJ NEWTON
Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney

DR CIARA SMYTH
Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney

MS NATALIE PARMENTER
Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University


ISBN: 978-1-925925-45-6 (print) | 978-1-925925-46-3 (online)

99 pp.

 

Suggested citation

Suggested citation:

Robinson, S., valentine, k., Newton, B. J., Smyth, C., & Parmenter, N. (2020). Violence prevention and early intervention for mothers and children with disability: Building promising practice (Research report, 16/2020). Sydney: ANROWS.

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