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  • Author: Rhys Lawry

Stop It Now!

Abstract:

Stop It Now! is an early intervention program that operates in North America, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and the Netherlands, and has also previously operated on a small scale in Queensland, Australia. The central aim of the Stop It Now! service is to protect children and prevent child sexual abuse.

Stop It Now!’s key feature is a confidential phone helpline that provides information and support for people who are worried about their own sexual thoughts and behaviours in relation to children, as well as parents, family-members, and professionals who are concerned about actual or potential child sexual abuse. The service is staffed by highly skilled practitioners with expertise in working with people who may have perpetrated child sexual abuse. The University of Melbourne is undertaking the evaluation of Stop it Now! Australia in partnership with Jesuit Social Services.

Researchers:

Dr Gemma McKibbin, Julie Green, Prof Cathy Humphreys

Funders/Partner organisation:

Funding: Westpac grant

Partners: Jesuit Social Services, Google

Project Dates: Jan 2021 – Dec 2023

Contact: Dr Gemma McKibbin
T: 0437 281 543
E: gemma.mckibbin@unimelb.edu.au

DICE: Disrupting child sexual exploitation

Abstract:

The DICE project builds upon the work of Power to Kids as well as other multiagency initiatives such as the work of the Victorian Office of Professional Practice (Enhanced Response Model and Sexual Exploitation Protocol), to address the need for further development of a collaborative prevention and disruption approach to child sexual exploitation.

The project aims to explore implementation of three primary elements of an enhanced CSE response – trauma-informed disruptive policing; multiagency working; and attention to children and young people going missing from residential and home-based statutory care as a consequence of CSE – across sites in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland and with support from Department of Social Services (DSS), the Australian Federal Police, and the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE).

Researchers:

Prof Cathy Humphreys, Dr Gemma McKibbin, Prof Stuart Ross, Julie Green (all University of Melbourne), Prof Ben Mathews, (QUT) Assoc. Prof Susan Heward-Belle (University of Sydney), Assoc. Prof Lisa Gold (Deakin University)

Funders/Partner organisation:

Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage grant with 11 partners:

Project Dates: Feb 2022 – Feb 2025

Contact: Dr Gemma McKibbin
T: 0437 281 543
E: gemma.mckibbin@unimelb.edu.au

KODY. An all-of-family response to co-occurring substance use and domestic violence: protocol for a quasi-experimental intervention trial.

Abstract:

This study aims to build on the existing evidence by trialling the KODY program which addresses harmful substance use by men who also perpetrate domestic violence; the safety and wellbeing of women and children; the needs of children in their own right, as well as in relationship with their mothers; and the development of an ‘all-of-family’ service response. The evaluation of these innovations, and the ramifications for policy development to support less fragmented service system responses, provide the rationale for the study.

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Authors: Dr Margaret Kertesz, Prof Cathy Humphreys, Larissa Fogden, Dr Katreena Scott, Dr Anne-Marie Laslett & Dr Menka Tsantefski

Year: 2022

Citation: Kertesz, M., Humphreys, C., Fogden, L., Scott., Laslett, A-M. & Tsantefski, M. (2022) KODY, an all-of-family response to co-occurring substance use and domestic violence: protocol for a quasi-experimental intervention trial. BMC Open, 291  https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-022-12529-x

Power to Kids: Process & Outcomes Evaluation

Abstract:

The Power to Kids program seeks to strengthen prevention and early intervention efforts in response to sexual exploitation, harmful sexual behavior and dating violence in residential care. This is achieved through: upskilling carers about sexual health and safety knowledge; building carers capabilities to prevent, identify and intervene early when they see indicators of abuse; and increasing children and young people’s understanding of healthy relationships and sexual safety. Power to Kids was piloted in MacKillop Family Services’ residential homes and is now being implemented across all MacKillop residential care homes. This process and outcomes evaluation aims to explore the implementation and impacts of Power to Kids as it is upscaled across MacKillop residential care.

Researchers: Dr Gemma McKibbin, Esther Gallois, Anna Bornemisza, Prof Cathy Humphreys

Funders/Partner organisation: Mackillop Family Services

Project Dates: Jan – Dec 2022

Contact: Dr Gemma McKibbin
T: 0437 281 543
E: gemma.mckibbin@unimelb.edu.au

Work With Us: Power to Kids – PhD Studentship

Overview

A full-time graduate research studentship is available for a suitable PhD candidate in the Power to Kids action research project. The studentship is offered by MacKillop Family services (MacKillop) in collaboration with the University of Melbourne. We are seeking a PhD candidate with an interest in research focused on prevention and response to child sexual abuse and domestic and family violence, as well as on the out-of-home care sector.

Benefits

The PhD studentship is valued at $40,000 per annum and is indexed and tax exempt. This studentship is for three years and can potentially be extended for up to six months, subject to satisfactory progress toward timely completion.

Closes: Wednesday 23 March 2022

Position description

“Never waste a crisis”: Domestic and family violence policy and practice initiatives in response to COVID-19 (DAHLIA-19)

Abstract:

This report describes the activities undertaken in 2020-21 by the University of Melbourne with Kids First and Odyssey Across the world, the risks of experiencing DFV have increased due to restrictions put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. While a number of policy initiatives and innovative practices have emerged to address these heightened risks, not much is known about their impact. ANROWS and the University of Melbourne have been working in partnership on DAHLIA-19, an international research study exploring domestic and family violence service provision – and in particular, innovative practice – in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The research has taken place in Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa, and is funded by the UKRI’s Economic and Social Research Council. This report looks broadly at Australian initiatives that were implemented during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic up until June 2021 highlighting innovations and practices within the sector and considerations for policy and practice moving forward.

Download a PDF of this report

Researchers: McKibbin, G., Humphreys, C., Gallois, E., Robinson, M., Sijnja, J., Yeung, J. & Goodbourn, R. 

Year: 2021

Citation: McKibbin, G., Humphreys, C., Gallois, E., Robinson, M., Sijnja, J., Yeung, J. & Goodbourn, R. (2021) AUSTRALIAN COUNTRY REPORT “Never waste a crisis”: Domestic and family violence policy and practice initiatives in response to COVID-19 (DAHLIA-19) Sydney: ANROWS

Kertesz, M., Fogden, L. and Humphreys, C. (2021) The KODY Project: Report on the development of an all-of-family intervention at the intersections of DFV and AOD. Melbourne: University of Melbourne.

Abstract:

This report describes the activities undertaken in 2020-21 by the University of Melbourne with Kids First and Odyssey House Victoria to develop KODY, an all-of-family intervention at the intersections of DFV and AOD. These activities were supported by a Learning Systems Grant Report for the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare. The report includes an overview of the practice-research partnership, achievements of the KODY Project, the program theory of change, marketing materials and outcomes evaluation measures.

Download a PDF of this report


Researchers: Kertesz, M., Fogden, L. and Humphreys, C.

Year: 2021

KODY: Researching an all-of-family program in family violence & substance misuse

The KODY research project (Kids First (Caring Dads) and Odyssey House Victoria (Kids in Focus) surrounds the innovative KODY intervention which aims to address the combined impact of harmful behaviours, drugs and alcohol on family relationships. The KODY program takes an all-of-family approach incorporating a group program for men, AOD counselling and family support within a collaboration between Kids First Australia and Odyssey House. The research project, led by academic researchers and practice leaders, investigates how we address the families living at the intersection of violence and substance misuse; the combined impacts of DFV and AOD for families; how AOD is used as a tactic of power and control in men’s perpetration of DFV and in their parenting; and the implications for service responses and policy development. The research project involves the following components:

  1. Trial of the KODY program including process and developmental evaluation.
  2. Outcomes evaluation of the KODY program including refinement of outcomes measures.
  3. An all-of-family approach to multisectoral AOD and DFV responses.
  4. Safe integration of children’s perspectives into practice.
  5. Cross-sectoral collaboration strategies and implications for policy.

The KODY research includes two PhD projects:

  • Larissa Fogden – Investigating children’s experiences of the father-child relationship in the context of family violence and parental substance misuse.
  • Van Nguyen – A systemic approach to advancing cross-sector collaboration between domestic and family violence (DFV), and alcohol or other drugs (AOD) services.

Researchers:

Prof. Cathy Humphreys, Dr Margaret Kertesz, Larissa Fogden, Van Nguyen, Esther Gallois (University of Melbourne)
Prof. Katreena Scott (Western University)
Dr Anne-Marie Laslett (Latrobe University)
Dr Menka Tsantefski (Griffith University)

Funders: Australian Research Council (Project ID: LP200200847)

Partner organisations: Kids First Australia, Odyssey House Victoria, Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing

Project Dates: 2021-2024

Contact: Dr Margaret Kertesz
Email: mkertesz@unimelb.edu.au
Phone: +61 3 9035 8508