Healing our children and young people: A framework to address the impacts of domestic and family violence

Practice Guidelines

Healing our children and young people: A framework to address the impacts of domestic and family violence

This healing framework supports practitioners, leaders, and policymakers to provide better responses to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who have experienced domestic and family violence and have come into contact with child protection systems.

At the centre of the framework are children and young people and the commitment to holding them at the heart of decisions and practice.  The framework is built upon five healing pillars:

  • Supporting safety
  • Strong cultural identity
  • Family and community
  • Strong deadly relationship
  • Strengthening spirits

For practitioners: Using key actions, reflective questions and additional resources detailed in this framework, you can improve your responses to First Nations children and young people and support healing and recovery.

For organisations: the ‘skills and attributes’ section of the framework will support you to build a training and development pathway to facilitate practitioner development.

For leaders and policy makers: A series of reflective questions, designed to challenge and generate new knowledge about system level changes can support you to implement effective responses for First Nations children and young people

This framework is designed to be implemented in local contexts, to meet local needs. It has been built from knowledge generated through participatory action research methods led by First Nations community researchers in regional and remote Queensland locations.

Download the resource

New practice resource launched - Healing our children and young people

New practice resource launched

Healing our children and young people: A practice framework to respond to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children has been published by ANROWS

First Nations children are overrepresented in child protection systems across Australia, including in Queensland. The impacts of the violence of colonisation and the policies such as the Stolen Generations are well known and have been documented extensively in the literature by First Nations researchers and others for decades (Atkinson, 2002).  

A new report from ANROWS, You can’t pour from an empty cup, shared that harm in childhood can be carried into adulthood, potentially resulting in behavioural changes that impact education and health outcomes and lead to contact with legal and justice systems.  

During the early stages of this project, it became evident that the research findings could be used to develop a culturally strong practice framework to guide and shape the work done for and with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people who experience DFV. Community researchers led the process to develop a culturally safe framework, with support from the research team. 

The resulting resource, Healing our children and young people: A framework to address the impacts of domestic and family violence, places children at the centre, and introduces a series of healing pillars to guide the work that is done (see figure below). Candice Butler, lead researcher on this project and newly appointed Director of QATSCIPP’s Centre of Excellence said about the practice guidelines, “We wanted to develop something practical for our communities”. 

Ensuring ease of use and accessibility was important to the authors. As Candice said, “It uses, purposely, terminology that anybody can pick up and implement in their daily work…so they can respond better to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities”. The practice guidelines are available now on the ANROWS website. 

This article is part of our new Knowledge Translation series. Throughout 2023 we will be sharing more examples of evidence in action and resources you can use. If there is something you are interested in learning about, or some research you would like us to share with the sector, please let us know by contacting: theresa.kellett@anrows.org.au . 


Atkinson, J. (2002). Trauma trails, recreating song lines: The transgenerational effects of trauma in Indigenous Australia. Spinifex Press. 
Morgan, G., Butler, C., French, R., Creamer, T., Hillan, L., Ruggiero, E., Parsons, J., Prior, G., Idagi, L., Bruce, R., Twist, A., Gray, T., Hostalek, M., Gibson, J., Mitchell, B., Lea, T., Miller, C., Lemson, F., Bogdanek, S., … Cahill, A. (2023). Healing our children and young people: A framework to address the impacts of domestic and family violence (Insights 01/2023). ANROWS.  
Morgan, G., Butler, C., French, R., Creamer, T., Hillan, L., Ruggiero, E., Parsons, J., Prior, G., Idagi, L., Bruce, R., Twist, A., Gray, T., Hostalek, M., Gibson, J., Mitchell, B., Lea, T., Miller, C., Lemson, F., Bogdanek, S., … Cahill, A. (2023). You can’t pour from an empty cup: Strengthening our service and systems responses for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people who experience domestic and family violence (Research report, 01/2023). ANROWS. 

Connecting with evidence in 2023: Inform, Identify, Implement

Connecting with evidence in 2023: Inform, Identify, Implement

In 2023 WorkUP Queensland will bring you more ways to engage with new and emerging evidence. We are launching a new plan to support the sector to build knowledge and remain up to date with findings and recommendations from the world of research. We will be focusing on three priority areas: Inform, Identify, Implement.  


We will be offering a whole new range of ways for you to connect with the evidence. We will be working to develop our resource hub with new information such as: 

  • 1 page research summaries and syntheses 
  • Factsheets 
  • Infographics 
  • Videos 
  • Evidence implementation tools 
  • Case studies from practice 
  • Training materials  
  • And more!  

We will continue to offer SPARK webinars throughout the year. SPARK, or Speakers Provoking Action, Reflection and Knowledge are designed to connect you with examples of emerging evidence and give you the opportunity to ask questions of the researchers. Let us know if there is a researcher you’d like to see featured, or a topic you’d like us to explore.  


We are introducing a new way that we can support you to identify and articulate the evidence you already using. WorkUP Queensland will be offering you processes including one on one support for your organisation to both increase your own understanding about the knowledge held within your organisation and use that to tell a compelling story to funders, auditors and others. Where gaps are identified, WorkUP can support you to identify how to address them.  


Practice Studios, which are small, funded projects, supported by WorkUP Queensland that enable organisations implement evidence in practice will continue. In 2023 we are seeking to increase the impact of practice studios by encouraging collaboration between services and developing multi-service practice studios for a region or cohort.  

Organisations won’t need to wait for an expression of interest round. Instead, you can reach out to us directly, at any time to discuss what you would like implement. We can then work with you or even a number of organisations, to design, develop and implement a project that meets your needs. All this work is underpinned by knowledge translation theory about how to mobilise evidence into action.  This keynote address, Mobilising evidence for wicked problems: Lessons learned from gender-based research delivered by Professor Nadine Wathan at the 2021 ANROWS conference unpacks the challenges of knowledge mobilisation and presents a model that describes how to do this work in practice. 

We want to hear from you! 

  • Would you like to know more about the evidence on a particular topic, but don’t have the time to read an entire research report?  
  • Do you have a suggestion about researchers or other speakers we should feature? 
  • Are you interested in understanding how you or your organisation can get involved? 

You can reach out to us directly by emailing theresa.kellett@healingfoundation.org.au or you can submit your request via this form: https://workupqld.org.au/knowledge-translation-enquiries/ 

Collaborative Grants can bring your great ideas to life

Collaborative Grants can bring your great ideas to life

WorkUP Queensland’s $10,000 Collaborative Grants offer several benefits to the Domestic Family Violence, Sexual Assault and Women's Health and Wellbeing sector: 

  • Rich partnerships between services: Collaborative Grants create opportunities for meaningful work across services and across the sector.  
  • Increased resources: Collaborative Grants allow researchers and organisations to pool their resources and expertise, which can lead to more significant and comprehensive projects down the track. 
  • Diverse perspectives: Collaborative Grants bring together services of the sector from across Queensland providing diverse perspectives which can help identify new approaches to helping to sustain and retain our workforce.  
  • Networking opportunities: Collaborative Grants provide networking opportunities with other services and staff that could eventually lead to new collaborations and research projects in the future. 
  • Enhanced impact: Collaborative Grants can lead to research projects with a more significant impact on our sector. From little things, big things can grow! 
  • Improved research awareness: Collaborative Grants can help our sector become aware of current and up to date more rigorous and comprehensive research, as multiple researchers can provide feedback and peer-review each other's work, leading to higher quality research outputs. 

Overall, Collaborative Grants provide a valuable opportunity for services of the Domestic Family Violence, Sexual Assault and Women's Health and Wellbeing sector to work together towards a Queensland that’s free of Domestic Violence.  

To find out more about how our Collaborative Grants can bring ideas to life contact Rona Scherer on 0498 443 551 or on rona.scherer@healingfoundation.org.au 


Workforce Planning - For the sexual violence, domestic and family violence and women's health and wellbeing workforce

Workforce Planning

For the sexual violence, domestic and family violence and women’s health and wellbeing workforce.

WorkUP Queensland is planning our workforce capability and capacity building work with the sector for the next five years, developing a workforce plan to guide our work. 

We believe the workforce can be a significant driver of change in ending violence against women and children. Our job is to enable the workforce to do that, so please get involved in the workforce planning process and have your say. 

The workforce plan outlines identified priorities of the workforce to achieve goals overtime as well as effective workforce solutions strategies in response to identified goals. 

Workforce development strategies may include activities to grow the workforce such as promotion or attraction activities, workforce retention or support actions to keep the workforce and professional development to ensure that staff have skills and qualifications needed to do the work. 

We invite our colleagues in the sector to join us at workforce planning workshops being held throughout April and May. At the workshops we will:  

  • Imagine the women’s health and wellbeing, sexual violence and domestic and family violence sector workforce needed into the future. 
  • Gather advice about current workforce strengths, challenges, and priorities in your local context. 
  • Explore big picture reforms and emerging evidence about what people with lived experience want from services. 
  • Gather advice about the types of workforce development strategies work well for services. 
  • Hear about and use new resources developed by WorkUP Queensland to support services to undertake their own workforce planning and development activities.   

We want everyone in the sector to be able to have a say and help us shape meaningful and practical workforce plans.  Here’s how you can get involved. 

  • Attend a workforce planning workshop!  Hervey Bay, Caboolture, Logan, Southport, Mount Isa, Townsville, Roma, Ipswich, Rockhampton.   

If there isn’t a workshop in your location here’s how we can help you get involved. 

  • We will help you come to the workshop!  Apply for travel and accommodation support here. 
  • We will come to you!  We can visit rural and remote services and host a consultation with your team or facilitate an online consultation.  

We would like the opportunity to connect with as many services as possible while we are out and about.  Our team will make contact over the coming weeks to explore how might work for your service. 

You can register for the workforce planning workshops here or contact Christine Payne for more information.   

Christine Payne
Phone: 0400 999 184
Email: christine@healingfoundation.org.au 

Introducing the Workforce Capability Framework

Introducing the Workforce Capability Framework

WorkUP Queensland is pleased to inform that the Workforce Capability Framework for the Sexual Violence, Women’s Health and Wellbeing and Domestic and Family Violence Sector can now be accessed via our website, along with the initial accompanying supporting resources at: https://workupqld.org.au/workforce-capability-framework/.    

The framework articulates what good looks like, reflecting the voice and aspirations of the sector. The intent is for this foundational framework to be a ‘living’ and practical resource that informs and adds value to how we can grow, retain, support and develop a specialist workforce for now and into the future.   

WorkUP Queensland acknowledges and appreciates the flexibility, openness and valuable input across our workforce and sector as we developed the framework. This enabled insightful, rich and meaningful engagement with the sector, and helped to collaboratively build an understanding of the purpose and value of a workforce capability framework.  

We look forward to exploring the range of opportunity the framework will provide.  

WorkUP Queensland is supporting the sector to learn, understand and use the framework in a range of ways, commencing with short, virtual Introducing the workforce capability framework sessions, followed by: 

  • A series of three broader inspiring half day forums throughout the year centred around key workforce themes; 
  • Action learning spaces and/or deep dive critical reflective conversations; and  
  • Development of practical tools and resources to be released intermittently throughout the year.   

We invite and welcome you and your organisations’ participation and connections throughout the year as this important work matures and evolves.   

Global Rights for Women Forum: "Looking In Looking Out"

Global Rights for Women Forum: "Looking In Looking Out"
Locally connected; Globally informed

Wednesday 29th March and Thursday 30 March 2023 (9:00am - 5:00pm AEST)

Bringing people together to explore local and global ideas in ending violence against women.  

Participants at this two-day face to face forum will hear from international global practitioners and leaders about their learning and experience on the global stage as well as victim survivors and those working to end violence against women Queensland.  Through presentations, discussions, and workshops we will look out, and look in to explore and strengthen what’s happening locally and within the context of the system in which we work. 

Together, we will explore such topics as: 

  • Art of Dialogue when working with victim survivors or perpetrators. 
  • The role of justice systems in integrated service delivery.  
  • Working in indigenous communities in the child safety space; 
  • Duluth Perspectives - Working with both men and women at a local community level.   

These are just a few of the dynamic topic areas we will explore at this month’s Global Rights for Women Forum. 

Click here to download a copy of the 2-day program for more information.

We hope you can join us! 

Register here: https://events.humanitix.com/global-rights-for-women-forum

Travel and accommodation support is available for rural and remote workers in our target group. Click here to download the application form.

Contact Jan.ungerer@healingfoundation.org.au for more information.