We know the experience of family violence has a devastating impact on children’s lives. It is vital that we seek ways to help children heal and to strengthen children’s familial relationships, particularly with their mothers.
Safe & Together™ Model
The Safe & Together™ Model is an internationally respected approach for working with families impacted by domestic violence perpetrator behaviour. In 2017, Berry Street committed to introducing the Safe & Together™ Model across the organisation.
The Safe & Together™ Model was developed by David Mandel in the US. The Model helps child welfare systems to become better partners to adult survivors and their children, and to intervene more effectively with perpetrators. The growing body of data on the Model shows that it helps keep children safely with their protective parent and changes the way practitioners work with the entire family.
Berry Street participated in the Multi-Agency Triage (MAT) project and in this initiative, the triage process was informed by the Safe & Together™ principles. Through an action research process, the MAT project’s use of the Safe & Together™ Model resulted in better management for intake and intervention for children affected by family violence. Read the report.
The Berry Street Childhood Institute is partnering with the Safe & Together Institute to host the annual Asia Pacific Safe & Together™ Model conference. Also, a number of Berry Street staff have become S&TI Certified trainers and will be available to present the CORE 4 day trainings and 1 day Overviews.
Berry Street has identified ChildParent Psychotherapy (CPP) as an effective intervention for children who have experienced traumatic events, including family violence.
CPP is a treatment for trauma-exposed children aged 0-5 and typically, the child is seen with his or her primary caregiver, and the dyad is the unit of treatment. The California Evidence-Based Clearing House for Child Welfare has assessed CPP as having a Scientific Rating of 2 in the area of ‘Domestic/intimate partner violence: Services for Victims and their children’. This means the program is supported by research evidence.
Berry Street is currently piloting the implementation of the model in our Restoring Childhood and Take Two programs.
The Berry Street Childhood Institute contributes to the growing understanding and impact of CPP in Australia in two key ways:
- In partnership with the Judith Lumley Centre at La Trobe University, the Berry Street Childhood Institute is evaluating our pilot of CPP within Restoring Childhood and examining the feasibility of an Australian adaptation of CPP.
- In 2017/18 we are hosting the CPP Course in Melbourne, presented by Dr Julie Larrieu.
Safe with dad
This targeted program review considers programs that integrate family violence and child mental health frameworks to help children recover from frightening events at home. The paper examines four significant mental health programs for very young children, which have protocols for the inclusion of fathers who have used violence; and explores implications for Australian practice.