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A shift in practice: How to effectively engage with domestically violent fathers

Event Details
Date: 5 October 2022
Time: 10:00am - 1:30pm AEDT
Venue: Online
CPD hrs: 6 hours
CPD Category: 2 - Skills and Knowledge

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Organiser: AASW


(03) 9320 1000


Current responses to DFV have focused on addressing the safety and wellbeing needs of victims/survivors.

However, each week one woman is murdered, and every fortnight one child dies in the context of domestic and family violence (DFV).

1.6 million women in Australia have experienced physical or sexualized violence from a current or ex-partner since the age of 15 years.

So where are we going wrong and what can we as practitioners do differently to address this issue?

The Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence highlighted that in order to prevent and respond to DFV, the legal and service system needs to widen the gaze and engage men who have or are at risk of perpetrating violence and coercive control.

Social workers play a key role in prevention and response efforts and often work in services that could engage domestically violent men. However, this often does not happen and opportunities to adequately assess risk and possibly invite behavioural change are missed.

This workshop will draw from contemporary national and international research and practice experience to consider key strategies that social workers can practically apply to engage with and increase the visibility of men who use violence and coercive control.

Who should attend?

Emerging and evolving social workers working in settings that provide services to individuals and families experiencing DFV. More experienced social workers who would like to update their knowledge and enhance their skills are also welcome.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Define and explore perceptions of engagement with domestically violent men
  • Evaluate their roles and responsibilities in relation to engaging domestically violent men
  • Understand how gendered service responses can compound trauma and further isolate women and children
  • Develop and practice engagement skills to facilitate productive conversations leading to enhanced risk assessments and professional practice
  • Consider the necessary preconditions for shifting professional practice towards increased engagement with men who use DFV
  • Identify and share innovative practices aimed at increasing engagement

Additional resources

Peer-reviewed Articles

Practice Guidelines


Dr Sue Heward-Belle is an Associate Professor in Social Work and Social Policy at the University of Sydney and is a recognised leader in domestic and family violence research. Sue has almost 30 years' experience in the domestic violence and child protection fields and has conducted many studies in these areas. She has collaborated on numerous projects around building engagement with domestically violent men including Safer Children, Safer Communities: Enhancing perpetrator accountability, Invisible Practices: Engaging men who use violence, the STACY Project (Safe and Together Addressing Complexity) and others. Her PhD research examined the fathering experiences and practices of domestically violent men. She has a particular interest in advancing gender equitable and socially just approaches to practice that counter mother blaming.

Location and date

Live online: a Zoom link will be emailed to you prior to the workshop
5 October 2022

10:00am – 1:30pm AEDT


Members: $282.00 (including GST)

New graduates, retired and student members: $220.00 (including GST)

Non-members: $320.00 (including GST)

Non-member students $299 (including GST)


To receive member prices please login to the member centre before proceeding with your purchase.

Click submit on the right-hand side of this page to register.

*Please note, registrations close 5 October 2022 at 8:30am AEDT

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers