Evaluation of the 2012 Family Violence Amendments

Evaluation of the 2012 Family Violence Amendments

The findings of the extensive evaluation research program were presented in this seminar.

This event was held on Wednesday 25 November 2015.

Amendments to the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) in 2012 were intended to support better responses to parenting matters involving concerns about family violence and safety. The changes involved new definitions of family violence and child abuse, measures designed to support disclosure of concerns about these issues and provisions intended to ensure that greater weight was put on the need to protect children from harm where this concern conflicted with their right to a meaningful relationship with each parent after separation.

The Attorney General's Department provided funding for the Australian Institute of Family Studies to evaluate the impact of the these changes. The findings of the extensive evaluation research program, which included surveys with separated parents and family law system professionals and an analysis of data on parenting orders from family law court files, will be presented in this seminar.

The evaluation highlighted some positive changes, including an increased emphasis on identifying concerns about family violence and child abuse concerns across the system and some subtle changes in parenting arrangements. However, the findings show that the family law system still has some way to go in developing more effective responses to these issues. The seminar will be presented by Dr Rae Kaspiew, who led the Evaluation of the 2012 Family Violence Amendments team.

About the presenters

Dr Rae Kaspiew is a leading socio-legal researcher with particular expertise in family law and family violence. She manages the Family Law and Family Violence research program at AIFS.

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