Current Research

The Unfit Parent: Six Myths Concerning Dangerousness and Mental Illness, Van Brunt, Brian, Zedginidze, Anna A and Light, Patti A
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‘There is a pervasive assumption that mental illness equates to dangerousness and violence as it applies to parenting. We examine this assumption and present a comprehensive literature review of how issues of mental illness impact violence and dangerousness. A range of issues is explored, including the unpredictability of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, stress from mental […]

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Parents in Dispute : Putting Children First : Summary report of a programme delivered by the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships in partnership with Cafcass, and funded by the DWP –
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The programme worked with a difficult to engage population – namely separated parents who were in entrenched conflict, for whom repeated court intervention had been unsuccessful in resolving conflict or improving their capacity to co-parent effectively Click here for details.

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Nineteen child homicides: What must change so children are put first in child contact arrangements and the family courts
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Women’s Aid has published new analysis of case reviews in England and Wales where children were killed by perpetrators of domestic abuse. Key themes identified include the importance of recognising the harm domestic abuse can cause to children. Recommendations include ensuring children are put first in the family courts. Click here to download the report […]

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Equally protected? A review of the evidence on the physical punishment of children (NSPCC)
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This report reviews the latest evidence on the physical punishment of children. Key findings include experienced physical punishment being related to depressive symptoms and anxiety amongst children. The review by University College of London (UCL) was commissioned by NSPCC Scotland, Barnardo’s Scotland, Children’s 1st and the Children’s Commissioner for Scotland. Download the full document in […]

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Children’s Contact Services : Key Issues (CFCA), Joanne Commerford and Cathryn Hunter – October 2015
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This paper is intended for those working in Children’s Contact Services (CCSs) as well as those working in areas that intersect with CCSs such as family mediation, family law and counselling. It identifies the characteristics of families using CCSs, and key issues in service provision that were identified through a search of Australian and international […]

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Evaluation of the 2012 Family Violence Amendments- a Synthesis Report (October 2015)
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Rae Kaspiew, Rachel Carson, Jessie Dunstan, Lixia Qu, Briony Horsfall, John De Maio, Sharnee Moore, Lawrie Moloney, Melissa Coulson and Sarah Tayton This report sets out the overall findings of the Evaluation of the 2012 Family Violence Amendments. The evaluation examined the effects of amendments to the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) that were intended to […]

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Advocacy for safety and empowerment: State of knowledge paper – Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS), Holder, Putt et al- 4 September 2015
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This paper analyses critical, policy, service and research literature on responses to Aboriginal women experiencing family and domestic violence in Australia; focusing on non-legal and non-clinical services and women’s specialist services in regional and remote settings. Download PDF: advocacy-for-safety-and-empowerment-state-knowledge-paper  

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Conceptualising the prevention of child sexual abuse: final report – Australian Institute of Family Studies, Melbourne, Quadara, Antonia and others, 2015
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Research report / Australian Institute of Family Studies ; no. 33. Part A. Background literature / Vicky Nagy and Natalie Siegel — A1. Background data — A2. Reviewing the literature on child sexual abuse — A3. Relationships and contexts of child sexual abuse perpetration (by adults) — A4. Mapping risk factors — A5. Theories on […]

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Facilitating the participation of children in family law processes: Southern Cross University, Lismore, Felicity Bell 2015
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This report reviews the literature on children’s participation in family related proceedings and their relationship with their lawyers. Topics include children’s ability to understand the role of child representatives, lawyers’ understanding of their role, effective forms of communication with children, confidentiality, how much should lawyers disclose to children, and issues of systems abuse and re-traumatisation. […]

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Longitudinal Study of Australian Children- Annual Statistical Report 2014: Australian Institute of Family Studies
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‘The LSAC Annual Statistical Report 2014 provides an overview of the data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children and includes chapters on a variety of issues, including: Children’s views about parental separation  Transition to secondary school Children’s early home learning environment Early onset of crime & delinquency among Australian children Educational expectations of Australian children & their […]

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Enhancing the implementation of the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle: Child Family Community Australia (CFCA) Paper No. 34, Australian Institute of Family Studies
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‘The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle was developed in recognition of the devastating effects of the forced separation of Indigenous children from their families, communities and culture. The purpose of this paper is to explore the contemporary understanding of the Principle, and review the multiple and complex barriers at the policy and […]

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Family Law Council interim report into family law and child protection systems
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Media Release Attorney-General for Australia Minister for the Arts Senator the Hon George Brandis QC http://www.attorneygeneral.gov.au/Mediareleases/Pages/2015/ThirdQuarter/21-August-2015-Family-Law-Council-interim-report-into-family-law-and-child-protection-systems.aspx FULL TEXT I am releasing the Family Law Council’s interim report into Families with Complex Needs and the Intersection of the Family Law and Child Protection Systems. In October last year, I issued terms of reference to the Council […]

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