1Monash University, VIC
There is currently a national focus on the impact of family violence for Australian communities. Significant funding has been committed to improve responses to and the prevention of family violence. However evaluating programs designed to change the behaviour of perpetrators is complex. This presentation will focus on the innovative design of the recently established Men’s Family Violence Intervention Centre (MFVIC) by Bethany Community Services in Geelong (Victoria). The centre comprises a range of services such as case management, financial counselling, fathering programs, drug and alcohol counselling, housing responses and Men’s Behaviour Change Programs (MBCP) designed to target the key known risk factors of family violence perpetrators – all conveniently located under the one roof. Observations undertaken at MFVIC reveal what is unique about this model and what lessons have been learned in its initial stages of operation.
Continuous improvement is commonly referred to in government frameworks and policies focusing on family violence and perpetrator interventions. Out of the Australian government’s national plan to reduce violence against women and their children came the National Outcome Standards for Perpetrator Interventions. This called for evaluative processes to be incorporated into perpetrator interventions so that an evidence base can be built for ‘what works’. Therefore innovations can be promoted based on evidence. The MFVIC appears to be an Australian first making it crucial to conduct useful observations and evaluations of the innovative design in practice.
Jessica Burley is one of the Francine V McNiff scholarship recipients currently completing her PhD in Criminology at Monash University. She has previously completed her Masters in Criminology and Criminal Justice with first class honours at Griffith University and her Bachelor of Arts also from Monash University.