23 April 2018

Fathers who use violence: Options for safe practice where there is ongoing contact with children

This paper from AIFS focuses on fathers who use violence and investigates strategies that address the issues for children, women and men who are continuing to live with domestic and family violence. There are several key messages in the paper. For example, non-offending parents, (mainly mothers) are not always in a position to separate from an abusive partner. Statutory child protection workers are required to work with families even when there are risks of harm. All other workers in the interventions reviewed circumscribe work through risk assessment processes. Whole of family approaches that engage each member of the family where there is domestic and family violence and focus on parenting represent emerging practice, with some promising developments. Workforce development is critical in an area where skilled work is essential to support the safety and wellbeing of all involved. The documentation of evidence of domestic violence and the specific detail of the impact of poor fathering and the undermining of the mother-child relationship are crucial aspects of the child protection investigation. Without this evidence, the child's case for protection and support will be significantly undermined.