New practice studios to improve DV support for refugees and migrants 

Evidence suggests that women who have resettled in Australia face a range of distinct barriers that can hinder access to violence-specific services. WorkUP’s Multicultural and Settlement Services Supporting Women Experiencing Violence (MuSeS) project provides evidence about the current and potential role of settlement and multicultural services in supporting migrant and refugee women experiencing violence.  

WorkUP Queensland is excited to announce two new practice studios that will focus on implementing the findings of the MuSeS project.

Key recommendations emerging from this research include: 

  • recognising multicultural and settlement services as an integral part of the family violence system 
  • buildng the bilingual/bicultural workforce within the family violence sector 
  • embedding protocols for risk assessment within multicultural and settlement services
  • ensuring training for staff and volunteers
  • addressing stress and staff turnover 
  • strengthening collaboration between the family violence sector and the multicultural and settlement services sector.

Practice studios are small projects, funded through WorkUP Queensland, that aim to increase our knowledge of what it takes to implement evidence in practice. 

DV Connect and Children by Choice will be exploring different ways of implementing MuSeS recommendations. The team at DV Connect will be working with multicultural and settlement services in Queensland to improve ways of responding to culturally and linguistically diverse people, who represent about 17% of all DV Connect clients. In turn, DV Connect will support the same services to enhance their capacity to respond to people who are experiencing violence.  

Sophie Cashin from DV Connect was thrilled to find out that their proposal was successful: 

“Our staff on the DV Connect crisis lines have for a long time been interested in approaching aspects of the integrated service system differently, so that we are more accessible to individuals from multicultural backgrounds, and better positioned to respond collaboratively with services across different sectors so that we can achieve improved community outcomes that prioritise the safety of women and children from diverse backgrounds. It is wonderful to be in a position where we can have resources dedicated to working on this over the next 12 months.”  

Children by Choice will build on the work they have done developing reproductive coercive control resources to ensure they meet the needs of everyone in our community. They will work in collaboration with multicultural and settlement services to ensure they meet the needs of different groups and carry relevant messages and images.  

Bec Jenkinson at Children by Choice shared her thoughts about the practice studio: 

“Bringing together community members and advocates to exchange knowledge and co-design culturally appropriate resources is an important step in improving the sexual and reproductive health outcomes of culturally and linguistically diverse women and people who may become pregnant. We are excited to be partnering with WorkUP on this project.” 

Congratulations to both organisations. WorkUP is very proud to be supporting this important work.  

Click here to learn more about practice studios and how your organisation can get involved, or contact Theresa Kellett at  

We will be holding an event in the coming months to explore and discuss the MuSeS project and recommendations.