Fathering Challenges: Responsible, Responsive and Reparative Fathering

Project Details

This ARC Linkage project is aimed at improving the parenting experience of children whose fathers have used domestic and family violence (D/FV) and brings together:

  • researchers from The University of Melbourne, University of South Australia and Curtin University;
  • a consortium of 23 NGOs (see list below) and;
  • governments from Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.  

In an area where knowledge is partial and diverse explanations and approaches are taken in different sectors, the research design enables practice experience and research evidence to be drawn together to develop models of good practice, policy frameworks and the foundations for future comparative evaluation.

Emergent practices can be developed collaboratively while solving problems for which there are no definitive answers. (Jarche, 2010)

The project spans the areas inclusive of fathering, men who use violence and Aboriginal healing and time-out programs to address three key questions:

  • How, and under what circumstances are fathers who use violence parenting?
  • How do programs for fathering, Aboriginal men, and men who use violence address the issue of fathering in the context of family violence
  • What are the key fathering issues that need to be addressed within MBC, Aboriginal and fathering programs?

There will be two related outcomes:

  1. Foundational knowledge about how and under what circumstances fathers who have used D/FV are parenting
  2. Standards and guidance for practice in working with men where there is D/FV to improve the parenting experience of children and the safety of women.

Each phase of the project will have a lead Chief Investigator (CI) and researcher, although fieldwork will occur across states. 

Research program 2014

Evidence Review 1: Desk-based scoping review of program literature & materials (Status: draft competed)
Led by Prof Donna Chung, Curtin University

Evidence Synthesis 1 / Framework development:  Fathering in the Context of Domestic and Family Violence  (Status: V1 draft completed)
Led by A/Prof Leah Bromfield, University of South Australia

Study 1: D/FV and Fathering Program Practice Synthesis  (Status: in development and fieldwork about to commence)
Led by Prof Cathy Humphreys and Shawana Andrews, The University of Melbourne

Research program 2015

Evidence Synthesis 2: Aboriginal specific programs
Led by Shawana Andrews, The University of Melbourne

Study 2: Profiles of fathers who use violence-Administrative Data Analysis
Led by Prof Cathy Humphreys The University of Melbourne & A/Prof Leah Bromfield, University of South Australia

Study 3: Survey of fathers who use violence attending MBC, Indigenous or Fathering Programs
Led by Prof Cathy Humphreys & A/Prof Kelsey Hegarty, The University of Melbourne

Study 4: Young people's perspectives
PhD candidate Katie Lamb, Supervised by Prof Cathy Humphreys and A/Prof Kelsey Hegarty, The University of Melbourne

Research program 2016

Study 4: Interviews with women whose (ex) partners have attended Programs
Led by Prof Donna Chung, Curtin University & Shawana Andrews, The University of Melbourne

Evidence Synthesis 3: Developing Practice Standards
Led by A/Prof Leah Bromfield, University of South Australia

As documents are published they will be available in our public Dropbox folder which can be accessed by clicking here.

Researchers

    • Prof Cathy Humphreys
      Alfred Felton Chair of Child and Family Social Work
      Department of Social Work, University of Melbourne
    • Professor Kelsey Hegarty
      General Practice and Primary Health Care Academic Centre
      Director of Researching Abuse and Violence in Primary Care program
    • Shawana Andrews
      Indigenous Health Lecturer
      School of Health Sciences, University of Melbourne
    • Dr Kristin Diemer
      Senior Research Fellow, Department of Social Work
      School of Health Sciences, University of Melbourne
    • David Gallant
      Researcher, Department of Social Work
      School of Health Sciences, University of Melbourne 
    • Ms Katie Lamb
      PhD Student, Department of Social Work
      School of Health Sciences, University of Melbourne
    • Associate Professor Leah Bromfield
      Deputy Director, Australian Centre for Child Protection Hawke Research Institute, University of South Australia
    • Stewart McDougall, Research Assistant, Stewart.McDougall@unisa.edu.au
      Australian Centre for Child Protection, University of South Australia
    • Professor Donna Chung, donna.chung@curtin.edu.au
      Head of Social Work, School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University
    • Dr Alan Campbell, alan.campbell@curtin.edu.au
      Research Fellow, Social Work, School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University
    • Professor Nicky Stanley
      School of Social Work, University of Central Lancashire

Collaborators

This research project is being jointly conducted by the University of Melbourne, Curtin University and University of South Australia in collaboration with 23 government and non-government organisations including: No To Violence Male Family Violence Prevention Association (NTV) Inc, Department for Communities and Social Inclusion, Anglicare WA,Victorian Department of Human Services, Relationships Australia WA Inc, Communicare Inc., WA Department for Child Protection and Centrecare Inc.

The Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) provides the umbrella for 6 Aboriginal organisations including: Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency, The Healing Foundation, Children's Protection Society, Relationships Australia Victoria, and Ngwala.

The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare provides the umbrella for 9 Victorian community sector organisations including: Domestic Violence Victoria (DV Vic), Berry Street, Child and Family Services Ballarat, Kildonan Family Services, Anglicare Victoria, Family Life, Bethany Family Services, Salvation Army Westcare and Drummond Street Relationship Services

Funding

ARC

Research Group

Alliance to End Violence toward Women and Children



Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Child Health & Well-being, Practice and service improvement



Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Social Work