Strengthening integrated responses to support the safety & resilience of the child
Conference Date
18th - 20th September 2019
CQ Functions Melbourne
Early Bird - Save $300
Book by 30/08/19
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Day 1 - Wednesday 18th September, 2019

Registration, coffee & networking
Welcome to Country address
Opening remarks from the Chair
Boosting workforce capability & improving practice responses across the system
Leading dignity driven responses to family violence
  • Embedding our practice frameworks to improve how we work
  • Understanding the power of language through our responses to children and their families
Kate Alexander
Senior Practitioner
Department of Communities and Justice
Interventions for keeping children safe & supporting parent-child relationships
  • Program evaluation – how does men’s behaviour change keep children safe?
  • Repairenting – repairing father-child relationships for men who have completed MCBP
  • Healing relationships between mothers and children who have been affected by family violence
Brett Tomlinson
Senior Clinician, North West Family Violence Team
Relationships Australia Victoria
Katie Meehan
Family Violence Coordinator, Western Region
Relationships Australia Victoria
Steven Booth
MBCP Group Co-facilitator
Relationships Australia Victoria
Dr. Mandy O'Connor
Research Fellow
Relationships Australia Victoria
Morning tea & networking
Supporting children’s healing & resilience
A whole family approach to keeping the child safe
  • How the MARAM framework is working to facilitate an intersectional response
  • Improving risk-assessment and system responses
  • Keeping the child’s voice at the centre and keeping the perpetrator in view
Fran Jacka
Manager, Risk Management and Information Sharing
Family Safety Victoria
KEYNOTE: Transgenerational violence, trauma & healing in Indigenous communities
  • Understanding the impacts of violence on babies in-utero and into childhood
  • A model for healing – educaring trauma specific response to children’s needs
  • Unpacking the importance of trauma informed services for Indigenous children and what these look like
Judy Atkinson AM
Emeritus Professor & Author of Trauma Trails – Recreating Songlines: The transgenerational effects of Trauma in Indigenous Australia
Family violence response & prevention in Indigenous communities
  • Boosting capacity to engage families and prevent children being removed
  • Improving holistic responses to family violence with the whole family
  • Including family in decision making and restoring self-determination
Networking lunch
Integrating the voice of the child into service design & delivery
PANEL DISCUSSION: Young people challenging the family violence narrative
  • How can the sector support child victim survivors and give them a voice?
  • How can we ensure that child victim’s experiences are validated?
  • What changes do young people want to see and what recommendations for change do you have?
Natasha Anderson
Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council Member
Victim Survivors' Advisory Council
Annika McCaffrey
Lived Experience Consultant &
Creator, Hidden Victors Campaign
Lula Dembele
Co-Founder/Head of Policy, Adult Survivors & Advocates
Childhood Domestic Violence Australia (CDVA)
SPOTLIGHT DISCUSSION: Giving children a voice
  • Are children empowered to disclosure?
  • How are children’s experiences validated?
  • Do children have a say in the design and delivery of services?
  • Share experiences and any examples on what’s worked well
Afternoon tea & networking
Working with adolescents who use violence
Breaking the cycle of violence – Interventions for boys who use violence
  • Patterns of behaviour and influences
  • Breaking down stereotypes and myths
  • Using a multi-layered approach to boost esteem and reduce angry outbursts
Martin Fisk
Chief Executive Officer
Strengthening the service intersection & collaboration
Strengthening the intersection of child protection & family & domestic violence services
  • Building evidence from practice
  • Investing in better connected services that are responsive to the complexity that children and families experience
  • Outcomes from preliminary findings about collaboration and practice between child protection and specialist family violence services
Dr Carmela Bastian
Research Associate, College of Education, Psychology and Social Work
Flinders University
Professor Sarah Wendt
Professor of Social Work
Flinders University
Closing remarks from the Chair & close of Day One

Day 2 - Thursday 19th September, 2019

Welcome, coffee & networking
Opening remarks from the Chair
Embedding the voices of children in programs for fathers who use violence
KEYNOTE: Building domestic violence-informed systems using the Safe & Together™ Model

Building DV-informed systems require child protection, domestic violence services and other community services to work together and form a shared language. The Safe & Together ModelTM has been working to start this conversation across the globe. This talk will address a few key areas of the model, such as:

  • Working with perpetrators as parents
  • Assessing the impact of perpetrator behaviour on child and family functioning
  • Understanding the intersection of domestic violence, substance abuse and mental health
Kyle Pinto
Associate Director
Safe & Together Institute, USA
A child-centred approach to perpetrator intervention
  • An overview of the Caring Dads model in the Victorian context
  • How Caring Dads challenges and motivates men to take responsibility for their abusive behaviour and develop more child-centred fathering
  • The introduction of a whole of family approach to perpetrator engagement
  • Key learnings from the Caring Dads trial
Monique Yeoman
Caring Dads Statewide Coordinator
Kids First Australia
Morning tea & networking
Protecting the safety of children & the whole family through judicial responses
  • Learnings from a specialist domestic and family violence court in responding to the needs of children
  • Improving alignment between parenting orders and DVPOs to minimise risk to the child
Colin Strofield
Domestic & Family Violence Court, Southport, QLD
Upholding the best interests of the child through the legal processes
Towards child-inclusive mediation & family court proceedings
  • Insight from the Australian Law Reform Commission’s (ALRC) review of the federal family court system
  • Ensuring the views and best interests of the child are considered in parenting arrangements
Dr Andrew Bickerdike
Chief Executive Officer
Relationships Australia Victoria
Networking lunch

In this session, attendees will break into small groups to discuss current challenges and workshop solutions to improve child-centred practice and service delivery in the context of family violence

  • How can we improve referral pathways for children and what are the gaps? How can we build stronger partnerships and relationships to do this?
  • Children contact services
  • Rebuilding child-parent relationships
Afternoon tea & networking
Ensuring age appropriate interventions & targeted support
Improving identification & response to family violence in antenatal care
  • Outcomes from the SUSTAIN project
  • Integrating evidence-based responses to ensure effective early intervention
  • Identifying women at risk of family and domestic violence
Professor Kelsey Hegarty
Chair of Family Violence Prevention, Royal Women’s Hospital and Department of General Practice
University of Melbourne
Program Evaluation: Restoring Childhood: Therapeutic responses to victim survivors of family violence and their children
  • Overview of the Restoring Childhood Model and our therapeutic work with infants, children, young people and their mothers
  • Outcomes from the program evaluation – what we have learnt
Kirsten Williams
Manager, Restoring Childhood
Berry Street
Closing remarks from the Chair
Close of Conference
Workshop A: Intersections: Addressing complex issues involving domestic violence, substance abuse & mental health
Friday 20th September 2019, 9:00am – 3:00pm

Many families impacted by domestic violence perpetrators’ behaviours have multiple, complex, intersecting issues. In the past, we might have referred to these as co-occurring issues. But the language of co-occurrence often does not provide us with a sense of how these issues interact.

Using an intersections framework versus a co-occurrence framework, we increase perpetrator accountability, improve our ability to assess the family and our ability to partner with adult survivors. This session will provide guidance on how to understand the connections, or intersections, and make them work for us in our practice.

Participants of this full-day training will learn how mental health and substance abuse issues intersect with the perpetrator’s tactics, to assess how these complicating factors impact on children, the importance of partnering with survivors around child safety issues and strategies to engage perpetrators around their intersecting issues.


9:00 Intersections

  • The problem with our current approach
  • How systems can become more DV-informed
  • Better strategies to assess the intersections between DV, SA and MH

10:30 Morning tea

10:50 Multiple pathways to harm & partnering

  • Assessing and articulating the impact on children
  • Assessing and articulating the impact on family functioning
  • Partnering with survivors in complex cases

12:30 Lunch

1:30 Engaging with perpetrators as parents

  • What do we expect of fathers?
  • Strategies to motivate perpetrators toward behaviour change
  • Case planning with fathers who use violence

3:00 Close of workshop & afternoon tea

Price: $799 + GST

Kyle Pinto
Associate Director
Safe & Together Institute, USA
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Key Speakers

Judy Atkinson AM
Emeritus Professor & Author of Trauma Trails – Recreating Songlines: The transgenerational effects of Trauma in Indigenous Australia
Kyle Pinto
Associate Director
Safe & Together Institute, USA
Dr Andrew Bickerdike
Chief Executive Officer
Relationships Australia Victoria
Professor Kelsey Hegarty
Chair of Family Violence Prevention, Royal Women’s Hospital and Department of General Practice
University of Melbourne