Northern Regional Forum – a new initiative

Keeping Families Safe: Working with Men – a new initiative in the northern metropolitan region of Adelaide.

After decades of ignoring family and domestic violence (FDV), Australians have learnt to condemn it. The statistics are now well known, telling us we still have a long way to go in reducing the prevalence of FDV in our communities.

In its commitment to taking action to improve the protections offered to those affected and in response to a lack of good training in the northern region, our sites in the north organised a Northern Regional Forum on November 30, 2017.

Experts in their fields, including Alan Jenkins (Director, Nada Consultants), David Tully (Specialised Family Violence Practice Manager, Relationships Australia SA (RASA)), Amy Ambagtsheer (Senior Project Officer – Perpetrator Interventions, Office for Women), and Buol Juuk (Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and CALD Liason Officer, RASA) were available to share their knowledge, skills and experiences.

Ninety-two workers from counselling and non-counselling fields of work (such as health, education, child protection, family centers, early childhood, and family law) attended. They learnt about how to engage meaningfully with families experiencing family and domestic violence, and how to explore achievable and accessible pathways for men to think about their choices and their use of violence. They were able to network, learn from each other, and ultimately form stronger working partnerships to support family safety.

Feedback about the forum was overwhelmingly positive with the majority of participants rating it as ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent’ and as well suited to both their individual and cultural needs. Outstandingly, 100% thought that their practical knowledge of, and confidence in, engaging in helpful conversations with men who use violence had improved.

Thank you to everyone at our northern offices who organised the event and to the presenters and participants for their important contribution. Look out for more forums in 2018 that bring services together around pertinent issues.