Invisible Practices Project Research

Stopping Family Violence has recently joined the advisory group associated with the invisible practices project in Western Australia.


Purpose and significance of this research

A significant amount of intervention with men who use violence and abuse in relationships does not occur in specialised men’s behaviour change programs but through child protection and family services interventions, yet these practices are neither documented nor evidence-based. With some exceptions, detail is generally lacking in this sensitive area of work about models for good practice that address the diversity of perpetrators seen by child protection and family service practitioners No standards and little guidance exists in most states.

This project aims to research a current practice and knowledge gap, namely the skills required by child protection and non-statutory service practitioners to work with fathers who use violence and to document the skills. It will provide a unique focus on research and workforce development.

Through collaboration between researchers, state child protection departments and NGOs in the four participating states (NSW, QLD, VIC and WA), it will shine a light on the ubiquitous but unacknowledged work of frontline practitioners in child protection and non-statutory services intervening with fathers who use FDV.

A key output will be the development of practice guidelines for how practitioners work with fathers who use violence and controlling behaviours.

Key questions of the action research project

The Invisible Practices project seeks to answer the following questions:

  1. What do practitioners require from their organisations and/or other organisations to support them in working with fathers who use violence?
  2. What evidence is there that the capacity building of the workshops, supported by coaching and supervision from the US-based Safe and Together Institute, provides increased experience of safety and support for practitioners?

Benefits of this research

This project has the potential to support the development of a more ethical service system response for women and their children who experience FDV. It also aims to benefit practitioners working with fathers who use FDV by giving them greater confidence (by grounding their practice in foundational principles); enhancing worker safety; and in sharing ways to influence organisational learning.

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