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  • Author: Anna Bornemisza

ESTIE: The Evidence to Support Safe and Together Implementation and Evaluation Project

ESTIE  is an action research study that is simultaneously investigating and developing practitioner and organisational capacity to drive improvements in collaborative and holistic service provision for children and families living with DFV where parental issues of mental health and/or alcohol and other drug use co-occur.


Chief Investigators:  Cathy Humphreys; Margaret Kertesz;
Jasmin Isobe (UoM); Erin Links (UoM); Cherie Toivonen (CLT Byron Consulting); Lesley Laing (University of Sydney)

Funders: NSW Ministry of Health

Project Dates: 2020 -2022

Contact: Margaret Kertesz

Safe and Together Addressing ComplexitY focusing on children – STACY for Children

STACY for Children (2019-20) involved two studies that investigated whether there was emerging evidence that the Safe & Together™ Model leads to better outcomes for children and families living with DFV and parental issues of alcohol and other drug misuse and/or mental health problems. Study 1 focused on interviews with those working and living at the intersections of these issues. Study 2 used child-case-level, de-identified administrative records to investigate whether the availability of the Safe & Together approach to practice was associated with positive outcomes for children and families in an Australian trial site where it had been proactively implemented.

Principal Investigator: Cathy Humphreys
Lucy Healey; Margaret Kertesz; Arno Parolini; Wei Wu Tan; Jasmin Isobe; Colleen Jeffreys; Anna Bornemisza; Larissa Fogden (UoM)
Susan Heward-Belle; Lesley Laing; Cherie Toivonen (University of Sydney);
Menka Tsantefski; Patrick O’Leary; Amy Young (Griffith)

Funder: ANROWS

Queensland Department of Child Safety,
Youth and Women,
Odyssey House,
Anglicare Victoria,
Jannawi Family Centre

Project Dates: 2019-2020

Contact: Cathy Humphreys


Spiteri‐Staines, A., Diemer, K., Absler, & D., Humphreys, C., (2019) Keeping Safe Together: Independent evaluation, Summary of Findings and Recommendations. Melbourne, University of Melbourne.

Summary of Findings and Recommendations of the Keeping Safe Together independent pilot program evaluation. The document describes key findings for children and young people, women and men.

Researchers: Spiteri‐Staines, A., Diemer, K., Absler, D., & Humphreys, C.

Year: 2019

Diemer, K., Humphreys, C., Fogden, L., Gallant, D., Spiteri-Staines, A., Bornemisza, A., & Vercoe, E. (2020). Caring Dads Program: Helping fathers value their children (Research report, 02/2020). Melbourne, VIC.


In Australia, there are few services helping men who have used violence that specifically focus on improving parenting practices. Caring Dads is Australia’s first evidence-based behaviour-change program helping fathers who have used violence to improve their relationship with their children. In an evaluation of the trial conducted by the University of Melbourne, the Caring Dads program has been shown to have a positive impact on fathers’ parenting and co-parenting practices, reduce the risk of children’s further exposure to domestic and family violence, increase fathers’ ability to identify the impact of their aggressive behaviour on their children, and improve men’s responses to people more generally.

Researchers: Diemer, K., Humphreys, C., Fogden, L., Gallant, D., Spiteri-Staines, A., Bornemisza, A., & Vercoe, E.

Year: 2020