Kertesz, M. Ramamurthy, A., Fogden, L., & Humphreys, C. (2019). Children and Mothers in Mind Independent Evaluation 2018-19 Participant and Facilitator Feedback: Final Report. Melbourne: University of Melbourne.

The final evaluation report for Children and Mothers in Mind (CMIM), a group program for mothers and pre-school children who have experienced family violence in the past, and focuses on interview-based findings about the participants’ experiences of the program.

Researchers: Kertesz, M. Ramamurthy, A., Fogden, L., & Humphreys, C.
Year: 2019

Kertesz, M., Ovenden, G., & Humphreys, C. (2019). Independent Evaluation of +SHIFT at Tarrengower Prison. Melbourne: University of Melbourne.

In the context of a dominant pattern of male violence perpetrated against women, there are some women who use force in their intimate relationships, and who are identified as perpetrators of violence. This report evaluates the Positive Shift program, as delivered within Tarrengower Prison for women. Positive Shift is is a 16-session group work and case support program for women who use force, which takes a therapeutic, gender-responsive, trauma-informed approach, building on the strengths of more traditional survivor support groups.

Researchers: Kertesz, M., Ovenden, G., & Humphreys, C.
Year: 2019

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

Humphreys, C., Diemer, K., Bornemisza, A., Spiteri‐Staines, A., Kaspiew, R., & Horsfall, B. (2019). More present than absent: Men who use domestic violence and their fathering. Child & Family Social Work.

Abstract: An earlier article referred to the “absent presence” of the perpetrator in the lives of children and their mothers who have lived with domestic violence. It identified the ways in which the shadow of the perpetrator continued and was evidenced in the “symptoms of abuse” that both women and children experienced in spite of his absence. The current article argues that fathers who use violence are actually more present than absent in the lives of children (and women), even following separation. A mixed method approach surveyed men in Men’s Behaviour Change Programs (N = 101), and interviewed women who had experienced violence (N = 50). The studies reported that the majority of men in both the quantitative men’s study (80%) and the qualitative women’s study (77%) had substantial contact with children. The women’s interviews highlight the problematic fathering that many of their children experienced, both before and after separation. They reported very high levels of child abuse and poor attitudes to both women and children.

The article concludes that the family violence and child welfare systems are poorly configured to address fathers who use violence and continue to hold substantial parenting roles, including following separation.

To view the original publication, click here.

Researchers: Humphreys, C., Diemer, K., Bornemisza, A., Spiteri-Staines, A., Kaspiew, R. & Horsfall, B.

Year: 2018

Kertesz, M., Humphreys, C., Larance, L. Y., Vicary, D., Spiteri-Staines, A., & Ovenden, G. (2019). Working with women who use force: a feasibility study protocol of the Positive (+) SHIFT group work programme in Australia. BMJ Open, 9(5), e027496.

Abstract:

Introduction
This study assesses the feasibility of the Positive Shift (+SHIFT) programme in the context of legal responses and social welfare provision in the state of Victoria, Australia.

The +SHIFT programme, adapted from the Vista curriculum, is a group work and case management programme for women who use force. Building on traditional survivor support group strengths, the programme facilitates participants’ engagement with viable alternatives to force while promoting healing. The study also aims to increase understanding about the characteristics and needs of women who use force in Australia.

Methods and analysis
This feasibility study will assess the +SHIFT programme’s appropriateness in addressing women’s use of force in the Victorian context. Process evaluation will be undertaken to identify recruitment, retention, women’s participation, barriers to implementation, the appropriateness of proposed outcome measures and other issues. The feasibility of an outcome evaluation which would employ a longitudinal mixed methods design with measures administered at preprogramme, programme completion and 3 months postprogramme time points, along with semistructured interviews with participants, programme staff and referring professionals, will also be assessed.

Ethics and dissemination
Research ethics approval was obtained from the University of Melbourne Human Research Ethics Committee. Results of the study will be communicated to the programme providers as part of the action research process evaluation methodology. On completion, final results will be reported to programme providers and funding bodies, and published in academic journals and presented at national and international conferences.

To view the original publication, click here

Researchers: Kertesz, M., Humphreys, C., Yound Larance, L., Vicary, Dave., Spiteri-Staines, A. & Ovenden, G.

Year: 2019

Hooker, L., Toone, E., Raykar, V., Humphreys, C., Morris, A., Westrupp, E., & Taft, A. (2019). Reconnecting mothers and children after violence (RECOVER): a feasibility study protocol of child–parent psychotherapy in Australia. BMJ Open, 9(5), e023653.

Abstract:

Introduction
Intimate partner violence detrimentally affects the social and emotional well-being of children and mothers. These two populations are impacted both individually and within the context of their relationship with one another. Child mental health, maternal mental health and the mother–child relationship may be impaired as a consequence. Early intervention to prevent or arrest impaired mother–child attachment and child development is needed. Dyadic or relational mental health interventions that include mothers with their children, such as child–parent psychotherapy, are effective in improving the mental health of both children and mothers and also strengthening their relationship. While child–parent psychotherapy has been trialled overseas in several populations, Australian research on relational interventions for children and women recovering from violence is limited. This study aims to assess the acceptability and feasibility of implementing child–parent psychotherapy in Australian families.

Methods and analysis
Using a mixed methods, prepost design this feasibility study will examine the acceptability of the intervention to women with preschool aged children (3–5 years, n=15 dyads) and providers, and identify process issues including recruitment, retention and barriers to implementation and sustainability. In addition, intervention efficacy will be assessed using maternal and child health outcomes and functioning, and mother–child attachment measures. Young children’s mental health needs are underserviced in Australia. More research is needed to fully understand parenting in the context of intimate partner violence and what works to help women and children recover. If the intervention is found to be feasible, findings will inform future trials and expansion of child–parent psychotherapy in Australia.

Ethics and dissemination
Ethics approval obtained from clinical sites and the La Trobe University Human Research Ethics Committee (ID: HEC17-108). Results will be disseminated through conference proceedings and academic publications.

To view the original publication, click here

Researchers: Hooker, L., Toone, E., Raykar, V., Humphreys, C., Morris, A., Westrupp, E. & Taft, A.

Year: 2019