The Australian Institute of Family Studies has released a paper comparing the policies in place for cross-agency responses to severe child abuse in which a police investigation is required in each Australian jurisdiction. The paper compares each state and territory on characteristics associated with effective cross-agency responses as identified in the research literature, offering insight into what makes multi-disciplinary teams effective, with the jurisdictions compared exhibiting most of these characteristics to a degree. The authors highlight four key areas for consideration to enhance responses, including integration of supportive and therapeutic services, co-location of workers, systemised mechanisms for case planning and review, and governance structures with clear cross-agency protocols. Read the paper here.

Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety has released a research report on improving responses to violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women based on qualitative research in three remote communities. Foregrounding the perspectives of Indigenous people who work within the family violence space or have had experience of family violence, the authors found that the meaning of an ‘integrated response’ differs for mainstream agencies and many Indigenous women, with Indigenous perspectives considering integration as collective processes of community healing grounded in Indigenous knowledge. Two practice examples were identified that provide supportive and therapeutic services, maintained strong inter-agency relationships, and developed long-term ‘open door’ relationships with clients. Read about the research here.

The Carnegie UK Trust has released a report on an often overlooked vulnerable group: young people who lack digital literacy skills. The authors note that the common assumption that all young people are frequent, confident, able users of digital technology can be highly alienating for the minority who are not, and young people in this position can be too embarrassed to admit difficulties or seek support. For young people who are in further marginalised circumstances, digital exclusion can prevent access to opportunities in employment, education, health care, housing, benefits, culture and social experiences, especially vital during key transition and development periods. The report highlights five case studies in which different organisations deliver insights into learnings around working with groups of vulnerable young people. Read the report here.