The Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia have recently announced they have engaged the services of Safe & Together Institute to deliver court-wide domestic violence training focused on improving decisions related to children. The training is based on the Safe & Together Model™ developed by global expert David Mandel. For more than 15 years, the Institute has been training professionals all over the world regarding several foundational practices: how to keep children safe with protective parents and intervening with perpetrators as parents. Originally targeting child protection systems, the Institute now focuses more broadly on systems change across different sectors, including family court, addiction, mental health, and law enforcement.
The Safe & Together Model has been adopted by all but one of Australia’s territory and state governments. The approach is integral to a suite of national and local research projects funded by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) and other entities. The Safe & Together Institute has 21 active partner agencies and more than 80 certified trainers across Australia. It has similar programming in North America and the United Kingdom.
In a statement released last Thursday, the Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia and Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, the Hon Will Alstergren explained that this training is one of many initiatives of the Courts aimed at providing safer family law outcomes.
“How the Courts address issues of family violence is the most challenging but most critical area of the Courts’ work,” Chief Justice Alstergren said. “It is imperative that we continually review our training and knowledge in this area of work. With this in mind, the Courts are very pleased to have engaged the services of David Mandel to deliver training this year that will focus on issues such as the protection of children in the context of family violence, identification of protective parenting, coercive controlling behaviors and the impact of family violence on children.”
David Mandel, the executive director of the Safe & Together Institute and creator of the Safe & Together Model, “We’re proud to be part of this effort and are hopeful that families using the Courts will reap the benefits of judges, registrars, family consultants and other staff of the Courts becoming more domestic violence-informed.”
ABC Radio Brisbane’s Rebecca Levingston recently interviewed David Mandel about the new training. Listen here.
“Our hope is that as more systems hold perpetrators to high standards of accountability as parents and are more fully appreciative of the protective efforts of survivors, children in Australia, and other countries, will be physically and emotionally safer,” Mandel added.