Practice Studios

Practice studios bring current evidence, research and knowledge to life in real world settings.They give services the opportunity to lead the way to discover what it takes to implement evidence in practice.

Using action research (action, evaluation and critical reflection leading to changed practices), host services will take evidence based resources and strategies and ‘road test’ or refine them for implementation. Lessons learned and resources developed will be shared across the sector.

Round two practice studios

WorkUP Queensland is pleased to launch the second round of practice studios with an expression of interest process. Five new topics have been selected from new and emerging evidence – you can read more about them here

If your organisation would like to consider becoming practice studio hosts:

Organisations wishing to submit an expression of interest should select one of the five topics and email the completed EOI document to workforce@healingfoundation.org.au . EOIs will be accepted until 5pm, 14 August 2020.

Live Practice studios

Three practice studios are currently operating across Queensland.

Gympie Community Action group will be testing the implementation of the Social Entrapment Framework within their local community.  This will enable and support women to tell their stories in a way where the real safety risks and barriers to accessing the support that they need and their experiences in doing so, can be fully comprehended (and hopefully responded to) by justice systems and other systems. Read more

Cairns Sexual Assault Service who were inspired by the Trauma and Violence Informed Framework, to propose a practice studio to embed this model within their service and within other local services.  Cairns Sexual Assault Service will be testing the implementation of evidence and learning what it takes to bridge the research to practice gap. Information generated from the practice studios will form a resource for the sector, so we can all learn together.  Read more

Women’s Health Queensland who have an innovative and creative plan to embed support for women across the state. Working with women in local communities on a range of health and well being interventions, these support people will use the ‘partnering with women’ element of the Safe and Together framework as a model for engagement and interaction.  Read more

Practice studio FAQs

A. Practice studios take existing evidence based resources and strategies and test them using action research methodology, i.e. action, evaluation and critical reflection leading to changed practices. Organisations can nominate to get involved in testing and practitioners can help in the evaluation process and contribute to policy and professional development.

A. We will share findings and resources developed through practice studios to amplify the results and benefit the whole sector.

A. Services funded by the Queensland Government’s Office for Women and Violence Prevention to provide domestic and family violence, sexual assault and women’s health and wellbeing services are eligible to host practice studios

A. Join us on Facebook [Facebook Group] or contact the team at workforce@healingfoundation.org.au to find out about opportunities and how to apply.

A. At least two practice studios will be undertaken each year.

A. We held statewide workshops and asked for sector input on the priority areas for development. The Reference Group then reviewed this shortlist and gave their feedback to the Steering Committee who made the final selection.

A. Yes. The selection is made by the WorkUP Queensland Steering Committee, not the Reference Group.

A. Yes, but there will be future opportunities for services interested in hosting practice studios. Join us on Facebook [Facebook Group] for updates or email us at workforce@healingfoundation.org.au for future events.

A. No. There will be more opportunities to test a wide range of options in the future. Email us at workforce@healingfoundation.org.au to let us know if there is a subject your organisation would like to test.

A. Our practice studios only test existing evidence established elsewhere to see if it can implemented in domestic and family violence, sexual assault and women’s health and wellbeing services funded by the Office for Women and Violence Prevention. If this fits your subject email us your idea for consideration.

A. No, but it may still be eligible for consideration through another stream of our work. Send your ideas and questions to the team at workforce@healingfoundation.org.au

Practice studio topics

Current topics:

1.   Prioritising women’s safety in Australian perpetrator interventions: The purpose and practices of partner contact

This report found that across Australia, there was no consistent approach to partner contact work in MBCPs. The review of programs in various locations observed that partner contact work is often not prioritised as it is labour intensive, and resources are limited. Other problems, such as support for partners being withdrawn when perpetrators stop attending programs highlights how victim/survivors can have little control over their contact with services, which affects risk of harm.

This report includes a practice guide for MBCP’s to enhance their practice around partner contact (PC). It complements existing minimum standards and uses reflective questions to invite those working in MBCPs and other innovative DFV focused perpetrator programs to consider ways to deepen and strengthen their individual and organisational practice.

For more information about this report and how it might be implemented as a practice studio, read here 

2.   Multicultural and settlement services supporting women experiencing violence (MuSeS)

The Multicultural and Settlement services Supporting women experiencing violence project (MuSeS) aimed to address research gaps in understanding the barriers and challenges relating to current practices of workers and volunteers from settlement and multicultural services in working with migrant and refugee women experiencing violence.

A practice studio aligning with the findings of the report would involve a DFV service partnering with settlement and multicultural services to develop and deliver training to each other and work to establish shared risk assessment frameworks and referral protocols. This practice studio would require partnerships or collaborative working relationships between a DFV service as the host and settlement and/or multicultural services. As such, organisations seeking to nominate to host this practice studio should be able to demonstrate their ability to work collaboratively with such services.

For more information about this report and how it might be implemented as a practice studio, read here 

3.   Constructions of complex trauma and implications for women’s wellbeing and safety from violence

The guiding question of this study was: “How can agencies and services improve collaboration to meet the health and safety needs of women with complex trauma?”

The project developed a set of key principles of best practice which promote client led, responsive, flexible, timely care and interventions facilitated through strong coordination and collaboration across services. This practice studio would aim to implement the key principles of best practice as described in the report. Additional recommendations emerging from the report including complex trauma training and support for workers (vicarious trauma) could also be acted on.

For more information about this report and how it might be implemented as a practice studio, read here 

4.   Engaging men who use violence: Invitational narrative approaches

Invitational Narrative Approach (INA) combines both Narrative (engaging with people through their stories which reveal meanings they attach to lived experience) and Invitational (engaging perpetrators in an ethical journey, supporting change and taking responsibilities) practices.

This practice studio would involve the implementation of INA within a service working with men to achieve behaviour change. Recommendations for practitioners emerging from the report include emphasising that invitational narrative practitioners must be highly skilled and receive ongoing supervision and training. Additionally, the implementation of INA must occur within a strong authorising environment with organisational buy-in. When submitting an EOI for this topic, organisations should consider and detail their plans for upskilling the existing workforce to use INA and/or sourcing new talent and how they manage change within their organisation.

For more information about this report and how it might be implemented as a practice studio, read here

5.   Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Projects with Action Research (CALD PAR) initiative.

This initiative involved 26 projects across Australia aimed at the prevention violence against women and creating safer pathways to crisis and support services responding to family violence in CALD communities. One outcome of the initiative was a resource of ten key insights gleaned through the project.

Insight 1 recommended investing time in building culturally safe and trusting relations with diverse groups and leaders in communities. Cultural safety principles and guidelines were developed. Effective strategies, such as employing bi-cultural workers were identified. A model for strength-based community engagement is also provided.

Insight 2 calls for support to CALD communities through strength based and aspirational language around gender equality and talks about effective ways to frame prevention and safer pathway initiatives.

For more information about this report and how it might be implemented as a practice studio, read here 

Topics from previous rounds:

1. National Risk Assessment Principles

The Third Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children included a commitment to develop and implement national principles for risk assessment. The National Risk Assessment Principles (NRAP) developed by Toivonen and Backhouse (2018) provide a guide for ‘developing, revising or evaluating risk assessment frameworks, tools and resources’.

The principles evolved from the established understandings of risk. A structured, professional judgement approach, which combines the use of tool(s), the victim’s own judgement and the professional judgement of practitioners’ and other experts, is the recommended as the best approach to assessment.

For more information about National Risk Assessment Principles and how they might be implemented via a practice studio, download this fact sheet

2. Trauma and Violence Informed Framework

The Trauma and Violence Informed Framework was developed for health settings in Victoria as a result of the Women’s Input into a Trauma Informed systems model of care in Health settings (the WITH study)

The model was developed through extensive consultation with survivors of sexual violence, survivors who also had mental health problems, practitioners, senior staff and clinicians.

Trauma and violence informed care expands on the concept of trauma informed care. It considers the impacts of systemic and interpersonal violence and the structural inequities of a person’s life.

The four main building blocks of the framework are:

  1. relationship building
  2. integrated co-ordinated care
  3. reflective system
  4. environment and workplace scan.

Two questions must be asked to implement the framework:

How does the work get done across services?
Why does the work get done that way?

By applying these questions to each building block, health care services can evaluate how well they are delivering trauma and violence informed care. They can then act and build in a review process to support ongoing improvement.

For more information about the Trauma and Violence Informed Framework and how it might be implemented via a practice studio, download this fact sheet.

3. Invisible Practices

The Safe & TogetherTM Model was developed in the US for child protection practitioners working with families experiencing domestic and family violence (DFV). It aims to expose the invisible parenting practices of fathers who use violence in their relationships.

The model focuses on the perpetrator and partners with the non-offending parent to keep the child safe with them. By partnering with the non-offending parent and/or advocates, the practitioner can improve and/or avoid compromising safety for victim survivors and their children and make the offender accountable and responsible for their choices.

The Safe & TogetherTM Model has been well tested and is linked to significant reductions in child removal. The Safe & Together Institute reports strong evidence that child protection staff assign less blame to victim survivors and increased concern about documenting the effects of children witnessing violence.

In Queensland, the model has been adapted in the child protection (CP) system to the local context through active engagement and the development of local communities of practice.

The ANROWS project Invisible Practices: Intervention with fathers who use violence,was founded on a pilot project run in Queensland with widespread training and implementation of the model amongst statutory Child Protection practitioners.

The Invisible Practices project investigated what skills and organisational supports are needed to allow CP, specialist DFV, justice services and family services practitioners to work well with fathers who use violence.

The project built upon the PATRICIA Project PAThways and Research Into Collaborative Inter-Agency practice) which investigated how to foster greater collaborative relationships between statutory CP organisations and specialist community based DFV support services. A Practice Guide to support practitioners to implement the key findings of the project was also produced.

For more information about Invisible Practices and how it might be implemented via a practice studio, download this fact sheet

4. Partnering with women

This element of the Safe & TogetherTM Model will be tested with a host organisation working with women victim survivors. The approach affirms the women’s strengths and holds perpetrators to account by documenting the negative impact of their behaviour and making them responsible for their choices.

The strategy prioritises the safety of the victim survivor and her children, making risk and safety planning vital. Partnering in this way may help women recover from trauma by recognising their strengths and placing responsibility with the person who chose to use violence against them.

For more information about partnering with women and how it might be implemented via a practice studio, download this fact sheet

5. Social entrapment framework

The social entrapment framework responds to the legal system’s outdated understandings of intimate partner violence which creates a barrier to raising self-defence as a defence for women experiencing abuse.

The framework gives practitioners a guide for collecting information about patterns of abuse over time and its impact on victim survivors. It recognises that abuse reduces victim survivors’ ability to resist, limits their options to avoid the abuse and to stay safe. It also recognises broader structural inequities may also be present.

For more information about the social entrapment framework and how it might be implemented via a practice studio, download this fact sheet

Case studies and resources to implement a practice studio

This content will be added at a future date