In Queensland there are almost 70,000 reported incidents of domestic and family violence each year and around fifty-percent of the families working with Child Safety have domestic and family violence as an indicator of harm to children. How legal and child protection practitioners conceptualise violence accountability and the capacity of survivors to protect themselves and their children significantly influences Children’s Court processes and safety planning.
The [Safe & Together model], developed by US expert David Mandel, has been adopted by Child Safety in Queensland and is assisting assessment and case planning approaches. Changes in expectations of perpetrators as promoted by the Safe & Together model will test and change approaches for all practitioners.
This Practice Paper chaired by Natalie Siegel-Brown, Public Guardian from the Office of the Public Guardian and hears from presenters:
- Zoe Rathus (Senior Lecturer, Griffith University Law School) about the child protection and family court interface, how behaviours of survivors and perpetrators can be misunderstood and how the system continues to “mother blame”,
- Stephen Lock (Principal Program Officer Walking with Dads Child Safety Programs) about the David Mandel Safe and Together model for working with perpetrators and their families which offers a new way of conceptualising violence accountability and impacts of domestic and family violence on survivors including children and how it is used in the Walking with Dads Project.
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