Submission: effective evidence-based interventions for family violence

Title: Submission to the Royal Commission into Family Violence (Victoria)
Author: Parenting Research Centre
Published: 2015

A major focus of the Parenting Research Centre is in supporting governments, organisations and practitioners to design and effectively implement evidence-informed policy, programs and practices in parenting and family support. As part of this work, we made a submission to the Royal Commission into Family Violence (Victoria) to address the need to support children affected by family violence.

Despite the increasing evidence for the association between family violence and negative consequences for pregnant women, caregivers and children, there remains limited empirical information to guide services offered to these groups. However, recent reviews suggest that there are some promising programs that require further research to determine their effectiveness.

Current research suggests that focusing on parenting, parental coping skills, social supports and the family’s current safety may improve the wellbeing of parents and their children, and increase the positive impact of interventions for family violence.

We believe that evidence-based programs and practices relating to family violence should be adopted wherever possible over programs that have little rigorous evaluation. To reduce the harmful consequences of family violence for children, interventions need to prioritise family safety, particularly that of children, and support parents in their parenting role.

Our submission makes five recommendations:

  1. adopting evidence-based programs and practices
  2. supporting parents in their parenting role
  3. prioritising family safety, particularly that of children 
  4. improving the effectiveness of evidence-based programs through systematic, rigorous implementation
  5. improving universal access to credible, reliable information and tools to help parents affected by family violence reach out, disclose and seek help.

Read our full submission

Read more about the Royal Commission into Family Violence