This paper presents the state of knowledge on practices or processes used by child protection services and specialist domestic violence services or family law services to work better together and improve service responses for women and children living with and separating from family violence.
A framework of interagency working was used to help identify the types of interagency components – including infrastructure and service components – involved in each model. Processes taken to support or facilitate the interface with child protection were also considered.
The paper identified 24 models of interagency working involving some degree of child protection involvement. It found that while working together towards similar goals for families seems a logical way of improving processes to reduce fragmentation, gaps, overlap and redundancies in service provision, there is currently insufficient evidence that these changes improve outcomes for children and families.
Key recommendations arising from this paper include investing more funding and support into evaluation and implementation of models, and considering evidence for interagency models outside this field where there may have been more rigorous evaluations.
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This work is part of the ANROWS Landscapes series. ANROWS Landscapes (State of knowledge papers) are medium length papers that scope current knowledge on an issue related to violence against women and their children. Papers will draw on empirical research, including research produced under ANROWS’s research program, and/or practice knowledge.
This paper addresses work covered in ANROWS research project 4.5 “The PATRICIA Project: PAThways and Research In Collaborative Inter-Agency working”. Please consult the ANROWS website for more information on this project. In addition to this paper, an ANROWS Horizons and ANROWS Compass will be available at a later stage as part of this project.