Territory Families Minister Dale Wakefield to open child protection symposium

Thursday, 19th October 2017

Child protection, domestic violence, and legal services need a greater understanding of how domestic violence impacts parenting to help authorities better ensure the safety of women and their children.

This is the key finding from two significant new reports commissioned by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS). The authors of the reports will present their research on Friday in Darwin at a national symposium to be opened by the Northern Territory’s Minister for Territory Families Dale Wakefield.

The research report PAThways and Research Into Collaborative Inter-Agency practice (The PATRICIA Project) was led by University of Melbourne’s domestic and family violence experts Professor Cathy Humphreys. Domestic and Family Violence and Parenting was led by Dr Rae Kaspiew from the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

The symposium will also feature a panel discussion on collaboration featuring representatives from Northern Territory–based services Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, Children’s Ground, and Domestic Violence Legal Service.

ANROWS CEO Dr Heather Nancarrow said “We are excited to bring this important research to the Northern Territory as it releases its new strategy on how to address domestic and family violence”.

The reports’ findings include:

  • Children whose parents have a history of domestic violence had poorer levels of wellbeing, even after their parents have separated.
  • Increased collaboration between child protection and specialist domestic violence services should be supported with formal protocols, joint training, and agreements about information sharing.
  • Child protection and family law services should include greater focus on the implications of family violence, offering a more individualised and nuanced assessment of a child’s needs that is informed by relevant experts.
  • The fragmented system of service delivery to women and children affected by violence is open to exploitation, as are other aspects of the system, including private law, mediation, family dispute resolution, and adversarial processes for making parenting arrangements.
  • Programs that engage fathers who use violence should be developed further to address the impact of abuse on children.

Dr Nancarrow will be available for interview. Professor Humphreys and Dr Kaspiew will present their findings and will also be available for interview.

WHAT:                                 Child protection and domestic violence: Meeting the challenges of collaboration

WHEN:                                 8.30 am – 4.15 pm, Friday 20 October 2017

WHERE:                               YWCA Darwin, Barbara James House

                                               9 Mirambeena Street, The Gardens


Media enquiries:                 Michele Robinson, Director Evidence to Action, ANROWS

                                            Phone: +61 417 780 556  |   Email: michele.robinson@anrows.org.au