Fathers who use violence: "Whole of family" approaches where there is ongoing contact with children

Fathers who use violence: "Whole of family" approaches where there is ongoing contact with children

Cathy Humphreys and Monica Campo

This webinar explored options for working with families where fathers who use violence continue to have extensive contact with children.

Fathers who use violence

This webinar was held on 6 July 2017.

A full recording of this webinar is available on our YouTube Channel.

The audio, transcript and presentation slides are available under Event Resources on this page.

Our service system has been configured on the basis that separation is the most effective safety strategy, and that gender specific services for men or women and their children are the interventions of choice. However, many women and children may not be in a position to separate from their abusive and violent partners, and some women and children’s wellbeing and safety may not be enhanced by separation.

The webinar explored evidence from five different areas of the service system that have substantial contact with families where fathers who use violence remain living in the home:

  • nurse home visitation;
  • restorative justice and family group conferencing;
  • couple counselling;
  • family services; and
  • child protection.

The webinar outlined emerging practices, with a focus on the developing area of "whole of family" approaches. A range of strategies to address the needs and safety of women and children who continue to have contact with fathers who use violence were also explored.

You may also be interested in our accompanying paper - Fathers who use violence: Options for safe practice where there is ongoing contact with children.

About the presenters

Cathy Humphreys

Cathy Humphreys is Professor of Social Work at the University of Melbourne. Cathy is also co-chair of the Melbourne Research Alliance to End Violence Against women and their children (MAEVe) and one of the lead investigators on the Safer Families Centre for Research Excellence led by Professor Kelsey Hegarty.

Her research in the domestic violence area includes projects on: substance use; mental health; child abuse; strengthening the mother–child relationship; and multiagency working and reform. She currently works on a range of projects including: Fathering Challenges, which examines responsible, reparative and responsive fathering in the context of domestic violence; the PATRICIA project, which explores the interface between child protection and domestic violence services; the Domestic and Family Violence and Parenting project led by Dr Rae Kaspiew, which explores the impact of DFV on mothering and fathering; the Caring Dads evaluation project; and Invisible Practices, which focuses on interventions with fathers who use violence.

Monica Campo

Dr Monica Campo is Education and Engagement Coordinator with the Women’s Legal Service Victoria, where she develops training and curriculum in family violence. Monica previously worked as a Senior Research Officer at the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) in research and knowledge translation in the areas of family violence, family law, and child welfare. Monica also undertakes consultancy work for community and not-for-profit organisations such as Our Watch, and lectures in sociology at the Australian Catholic University.