Cathy Humphreys

Cathy Humphreys
University of Melbourne | MSD · Department of Social Work

PhD; BSW

About

198
Publications
115,056
Reads
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3,405
Citations
Additional affiliations
April 2006 - present
University of Melbourne
Position
  • Alfred Felton Chair of Child and Family Welfare
Description
  • Cathy Humphreys is a research professor specialising in research in domestic violence, child abuse and also out of home care.
January 1994 - May 2006
The University of Warwick
Position
  • Reaader in Social Work

Publications

Publications (198)
Article
In Australia, like other developed countries, there has been an increase in reports to child protection services about children experiencing domestic violence. While there is research on the importance of the skills and knowledge of the child protection workforce for this growing problem, little is available about practitioner attitudes and beliefs...
Article
Full-text available
Background Child abuse and neglect (child abuse) is a prevalent public health issue linked to survivors experiencing a higher risk of health issues such as obesity, heart disease and major depression. Given the significant impact of child abuse on health, general practitioners (GPs) and primary care nurses (nurses) are well-placed to respond to chi...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose It is well established that the service system has a poor history of responding holistically to address the needs of children and families living with co-occurring complexities such as domestic violence, parental mental health and/or substance use. The purpose of this conceptual paper is to primarily describe the developmental process used...
Article
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Background The co-occurrence of domestic violence with alcohol and other drugs significantly increases the severity of abuse and violence experienced by family members. Longitudinal studies indicate that substance use is one of few predictors of men’s continued use of, or desistance from, violence. Recent developments in men’s behaviour change prog...
Article
Fear dominates women and children’s experience of domestic violence. Fear of harm, and the consequences of others finding out, can mean mothers are reluctant to seek help. Ironically, these survival behaviours can be understood as non-protective by child protection practitioners. This article describes research undertaken in New South Wales (NSW) A...
Article
Domestic violence poses a threat to the health, safety and wellbeing of women internationally and is associated with a range of physical injuries, chronic mental and physical health issues and death. In recognition of the serious consequences and to guide the allocation of resources, multiple countries have invested in efforts to measure domestic v...
Article
This paper reports an Australian project designed to simultaneously explore and capacity build professional practice when working at the intersection of parental mental health and/or problematic substance use and domestic violence (DV). Data from this paper are derived from two main sources: observations and ethnographic notes obtained during 28 Co...
Article
In the United States (U.S.) and Australian contexts, the fight to achieve legal and societal recognition of cisgender men's violence against cisgender women operated according to an incident-based victim-offender binary. Those held accountable for the violence were seen as offenders, those who survived the violence were seen as victims. This binary...
Article
Aboriginal women globally face extreme risk of violence and their exposure to domestic and family violence (DFV) and state sanctioned violence is increasing. Attention to the impact on Aboriginal mothering is lacking and is underpinned by issues of social justice. This study employs Critical Interpretive Synthesis to examine the evidence on Aborigi...
Article
Frontline workers, including educators and health practitioners, play an important role in identifying and responding to harmful sexual behavior (HSB) carried out by children and young people. Despite this, there have been no reviews of the evidence about promising practice for how frontline workers could best manage this behavior. This article pre...
Article
Full-text available
Background: There is limited research on how knowledge translation of a domestic violence (DV) research network is shared. This lack of research is problematic because of the complexity of establishing a research network, encompassing diverse disciplines, methods, and focus of study potentially impacting how knowledge translation functions. Aims an...
Article
Introduction: Research networks undertake work collaboratively on complex areas of research. Few studies examine how these networks develop their knowledge translation activity. Focusing on a domestic violence research network (DVRN), the aim of this study was to answer the question: What is the shared understanding of knowledge translation and act...
Article
Introduction Contact is an important part of the out-of-home care system and for maintaining birth family relationships, but little research has sought the parents’ perspective. It is important to understand parents’ experiences of contact and the reasons why they may cancel contact visits, in order to both reduce cancellations and improve the cont...
Article
Contact between children in care and family members is complex and often emotionally difficult for all concerned. In the context of a wider Australian cross-jurisdictional intervention trial, focusing on contact between children in long-term care and their parents, a snapshot survey of 901 children in Victorian foster care and kinship care placemen...
Chapter
Full-text available
Students of all ages experience domestic and family violence (DFV), regardless of gender, class, race or religion. Working with children and young people every day, school staff are ideally placed to identify and respond to students living with DFV. However, schools can only respond effectively to students when staff hold the knowledge and confiden...
Article
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This article explores the complexity of women’s experiences of coercive control during childbearing, birthing and postpartum and investigates the importance of health practitioners’ responses to women’s experiences. Research questions were: “What cues, from women’s lived experiences, indicate that coercive control is being exerted by their partners...
Article
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a complex and multifaceted problem gaining increasing attention within mental health research and practice. IPV explanations focus on both individual and systemic levels; however, it is increasingly acknowledged that a single level explanation may not be sufficient. The practices of clinical disciplines may, howev...
Article
Background Young people who grow up in out of home care have higher risk of poor mental health outcomes than peers who grow up with their family‐of‐origin. Interagency collaboration is an important service‐level intervention to improve access to mental healthcare. However, few descriptions of collaboration provide guidance about collaboration betwe...
Article
Children and young people living in residential care are vulnerable to sexual abuse, and there is scant evidence about what sexuality education could help address this vulnerability. This paper explores the impact of the Power to Kids: Respecting Sexual Safety programme, which involved capacity‐building workers to have ‘brave conversations’ with ch...
Article
Much literature about kinship care has focused on grandparents, with limited attention to other kinship carers. This article describes results from the second part of an Australian research project that explored the prevalence, experiences and support needs of kinship carers aged 18–30 years through interviews with 41 kinship carers. Most were sist...
Article
Full-text available
Children who live in households where domestic violence is occurring have been variously described in the literature over time as silent witnesses, witnesses, a cohort who is “exposed” to the violence, and more recently, as individual victim survivors and active agents in their own right, each with their own lived experience of violence. Research m...
Article
Young kinship carers tend to be overlooked in kinship care policy and practice. This Australian research project explored the prevalence of kinship care households in Australia, with a particular focus on households headed by young kinship carers. Census data were utilized to explore the number of kinship care households across the carer age spectr...
Article
Background There is an identified need to improve the evidence-base in relation to contact visits for children in the out-of-home-care (OOHC) system, to ensure optimal outcomes. Objective The aim of this cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) was to test the effectiveness of a contact intervention for parents having supervised contact with chil...
Preprint
Full-text available
There has been growing enthusiasm amongst those who undertake research with children, for the development of participatory and visual research methods. The greater availability and affordability of digital technology (such as digital cameras, tablets and smart phones) has meant that there has been greater scope for digital technology to support par...
Article
Full-text available
There has been growing enthusiasm amongst those who undertake research with children, for the development of participatory and visual research methods. The greater availability and affordability of digital technology (such as digital cameras, tablets and smart phones) has meant that there has been greater scope for digital technology to support par...
Article
Full-text available
There is growing recognition of the links between knowledge translation, policy and practice, particularly in the domestic violence research area. A literature review applying a systematic approach with a realist lens was the preferred methodology. The review answered the following question: What are the mechanisms of change in research networks wh...
Article
Child maltreatment (CM) is an important public health issue linked to significant physical and mental health complications across the life span. Given the association between CM and health, general practitioners (GPs) and primary care nurses (PNs) are well-placed to identify and respond to this issue and are mandated to report suspected CM in many...
Article
Although there is a growing body of international work on barriers to engaging fathers in child and family services, there is limited research on factors that promote father engagement. In this article, we draw on case study data from the Australian Baby Makes 3 (BM3) programme to explore factors that promote father engagement in parenting support...
Article
Full-text available
A critical interpretive synthesis (CIS) methodology was used with the aim of informing practice with children and families when domestic and family violence (DFV) and parental issues relating to alcohol and other drugs (AOD) and mental health (MH) are also present. A CIS is grounded in the literature, but includes questioning of the literature in o...
Article
Background Child sexual abuse is a problem of significant proportion in Australia and globally. Prevention efforts have tended to occur on an ad hoc basis and to be poorly evaluated. A measured, evidence-based public health approach to preventing child sexual abuse is necessary to enhance the prevention agenda. Objective The objective of this pape...
Chapter
In the domestic violence and abuse (DVA) literature, it is only relatively recently that the impacts on children have been fully recognised, documented and researched. In this chapter, we explore the key issues for children and we emphasise the importance of ensuring that they are always considered in cases of suspected or known DVA. The chapter is...
Article
Full-text available
Background Disasters pose a documented risk to mental health, with a range of peri- and post-disaster factors (both pre-existing and disaster-precipitated) linked to adverse outcomes. Among these, increasing empirical attention is being paid to the relation between disasters and violence. Aims This study examined self-reported experiences of assau...
Article
Full-text available
Health professionals play a critical role in responding to the health consequences of domestic and family violence (DFV). However, health professional women themselves experience high rates of DFV and there is scant evidence underpinning hospital workplace responses. The aim of this Australian research was to explore the views of survivor health pr...
Article
Many women who experience intimate partner violence are left with significant and long-lasting mental health effects resulting in survivors seeking help from psychologists. However, the voices of women who have sought such help are mostly absent in research. To address this gap, we interviewed 20 women survivors of intimate partner violence about t...
Article
It is well established in the literature that fathers who use violence harm women and children. Statutory child protection workers and other human service professionals now face strong injunctions to work with these men. However, insufficient attention has been given to considering the processes for intervening with fathers who use violence and the...
Article
Young people in out of home care (OoHC) typically have worse mental health outcomes than peers who grow up within a family of origin. Innovations to improve the mental health of this group have tended to focus on pathology rather than mental health promotion and prevention of mental illnesses, and are often costly and challenging to implement. This...
Article
The aim of the study was to examine sex differences in self‐reported psychological distress, behavioural and emotional problems, and substance use in young people living in out‐of‐home care (OoHC). One hundred seventy‐six young people aged 12–17 years (females 53.4%) in OoHC in metropolitan Melbourne, Australia, were interviewed. Participants compl...
Article
As foster and kinship carers are central to the lives of looked after children, it is important to recognise their unmet needs and the impact of these on the caring task. This article explores these issues by applying a hierarchy of needs to the foster and kinship care context, drawing on the perspectives of those involved. A group of Australian fo...
Article
Full-text available
Objective To investigate whether domestic violence (DV) impacts on health professionals’ clinical care of DV survivor patients. Design, setting Descriptive, cross-sectional study at an Australian tertiary maternity hospital. Participants 471 participating female health professionals (45.0% response rate). Outcome measures Using logistic and line...
Article
For children and young people living in residential care, recent Victorian and national inquiries have found that harmful sexual behaviour carried out by children and young people, and child sexual exploitation perpetrated by adults, are significant problems. Efforts to address harmful sexual behaviour and child sexual exploitation in Victoria incl...
Article
Data from this article are derived from responses to questionnaires provided by 232 frontline workers and team leaders from a range of organizations across four Australian states who participated in The Invisible Practices Project: Engaging With Fathers Who Use Violence. This project was designed to explore the practices of workers who see perpetra...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Evidence for online interventions to help women experiencing intimate partner violence is scarce. We assessed whether an online interactive healthy relationship tool and safety decision aid (I-DECIDE) would increase women's self-efficacy and improve depressive symptoms compared with an intimate partner violence information website. Me...
Article
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a problem for children and young people living in out‐of‐home care (looked after children). As part of a broader action research project aiming to prevent both harmful sexual behaviour carried out by children and young people and CSE in out‐of‐home care, four focus groups were undertaken with 17 workers at three V...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Intimate partner violence detrimentally affects the social and emotional well-being of children and mothers. These two populations are impacted both individually and within the context of their relationship with one another. Child mental health, maternal mental health and the mother–child relationship may be impaired as a consequence....
Article
Full-text available
Introduction This study assesses the feasibility of the Positive Shift (+SHIFT) programme in the context of legal responses and social welfare provision in the state of Victoria, Australia. The +SHIFT programme, adapted from the Vista curriculum, is a group work and case management programme for women who use force. Building on traditional survivor...
Article
An earlier article referred to the “absent presence” of the perpetrator in the lives of children and their mothers who have lived with domestic violence. It identified the ways in which the shadow of the perpetrator continued and was evidenced in the “symptoms of abuse” that both women and children experienced in spite of his absence. The current a...
Article
Family violence significantly impacts upon Aboriginal women and children globally. Despite this fact, there is a scarcity of published knowledge regarding the nature and efficacy of Aboriginal programs for men who use violence against women. This article reports the findings from interviews with 15 facilitators of Australian Aboriginal men’s healin...
Article
Despite claims of “new” and “involved” fathers, research shows men’s actual fathering practices remain relatively unchanged. Increasing attention is being paid to the influence of child and family services on father engagement with calls from researchers and practitioners for a game change in parenting interventions. In this article, we draw on cas...
Article
Children live in different contexts of protection and vulnerability when exposed to domestic violence. The negative impacts for many children are consistent and widely acknowledged. However, the implication that this requires men who use violence to address their fathering has been slower to emerge. This article draws from 69 in‐depth qualitative i...
Article
Cambridge Core - Sociology: General Interest - Working with Vulnerable Families - edited by Fiona Arney
Chapter
Working with Vulnerable Families - edited by Fiona Arney September 2013
Article
Full-text available
Background: The purpose of this study was to measure the prevalence of intimate partner and family violence amongst a population of Australian female nurses, doctors and allied health professionals. Methods: We conducted a descriptive, cross-sectional survey in a large Australian tertiary maternity hospital with 471 participating female health p...
Article
The majority of children and young people removed from the care of their parents by the state of Victoria, Australia, reside in foster or kinship care. These children have experienced a broad range of adverse conditions and are up to 4 times more likely to experience problems with mental health than their mainstream peers. This paper draws on the p...
Article
This paper discusses the existing guidance in Australian legislative and regulatory frameworks to inform the process of young people moving through varying stages of maturity towards independent decision-making. In the context of exploratory research to develop a stable online repository of personal documents for young people in out-of-home care, t...
Chapter
Full-text available
Domestic and family violence is a ubiquitous problem, yet effective coordinated intervention responses are difficult to develop and sustain. This chapter focuses on the ingredients of social works responses that are relevant to a wide range of domestic and family violence contexts in which social workers are employed.
Article
Service provision in domestic and family violence involves complex responses from multiple systems. Early evidence involving other sectors suggests interagency working may benefit service systems and providers. This points to possible benefits for service users. A scoping review of models of interagency working between child protection and either d...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines cross-sector relationships that facilitated or impeded effective responses to women and children experiencing domestic violence. It reports on the findings of a study of 54 Australian professionals working in either statutory child protection, family law, or domestic violence and community services. Qualitative data gathered f...
Article
This article explores the role of a case-reading tool, developed by the Safe and Together Institute, deployed across five Australian states, and which engaged workers from child protection (CP) and specialist domestic and family violence (DFV) services. It aimed to assess the extent to which DFV is identified in CP case files and to assess the qual...
Article
Developing appropriate pathways to assist children living with domestic and family violence (DFV) is challenging, particularly given the rise in police notifications to Child Protection (CP) relating to exposure to domestic violence. In this article, the argument is put that strong collaboration between organisations can provide a differential resp...
Article
Full-text available
Practice frameworks bridge the divide between research and practice. This paper shows how the translation of research into policy and practice led to the development of a practice framework to foster greater collaboration between child protection (CP) and specialist domestic and family violence (DFV) services. The framework supports safety for adul...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: An innovative health-justice partnership was established to deliver legal assistance to women experiencing family violence who attended an Australian hospital. This paper reports on a multifaceted response to build capacity and willingness of health professionals to identify signs of family violence and engage with referral pathways to...
Article
This Opinion Piece traces the rise of statutory kinship care in Australia from the progressive reduction of residential care and the struggle to recruit sufficient foster carers to meet demand for protective care. It outlines identified benefits of kinship care for children and flags concern about the early stage of development of kinship care poli...
Article
Harmful sexual behavior carried out by children and young people accounts for about half of all child sexual abuse perpetration. The aim of this study was to draw on the insights of young people who had been sexually abusive to enhance the current prevention agenda. The study involved semi-structured interviews with 14 young people and six treatmen...
Article
Full-text available
ANROWS Compass (Research to policy and practice papers) are concise papers that summarise key findings of research on violence against women and their children, including research produced under ANROWS's research program, and provide advice on the implications for policy and practice.
Article
Full-text available
Academic and community research identifies that Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are at a greater risk of being exposed to family violence than non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. While much of the literature has had a clear focus on the protection of Aboriginal women and children, there is a dearth of research that h...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Young people in out-of-home care are more likely to experience poorer mental and physical health outcomes related to their peers. Stable care environments are essential for ameliorating impacts of disruptive early childhood experiences, including exposure to psychological trauma, abuse and neglect. At present there are very few high qua...
Article
Across the developed world, efforts are being made to identify and develop effective interventions that will reduce the prevalence and severity of mental health problems among children and young people in out-of-home care. Foster and kinship carers have been identified as critically important in this process. In order to develop an understanding of...
Article
Internationally, domestic violence policy has shifted towards supporting women to stay at home with the perpetrator of violence excluded. However, the practical realities indicate that this is a complex arena in which the rhetoric of rights for “women and children to stay in their own home” needs to be underpinned by additional support to provide s...
Article
Full-text available
Many countries promote foster care and similar programs as the best option for vulnerable children and young people who have been abandoned, orphaned, neglected or are otherwise unsafe at home. Young people in these programs typically have disrupted families and a history of exposure to emotional, physical or sexual trauma, poverty and other advers...
Article
Full-text available
Domestic and family violence (DFV) remains a chronic and destructive aspect of family life in Australia (Cox, 2015). Its pervasive reach into the lives of women and children creates fear, undermines health and wellbeing, is the leading cause of homelessness for women and children, and costs the community an estimated $21.6 billion (Our Watch, 2016;...
Article
Full-text available
Background Out-of-home care (OoHC) refers to young people removed from their families by the state because of abuse, neglect or other adversities. Many of the young people experience poor mental health and social function before, during and after leaving care. Rigorously evaluated interventions are urgently required.This publication describes the p...
Presentation
Full-text available
The University of Melbourne SANDAS Symposium, ‘Conversations on Complexity’
Presentation
Full-text available
The University of Melbourne SANDAS Symposium, ‘Conversations on Complexity’
Article
The volume of research being conducted into domestic and family violence is increasing, yet knowledge translation in this area lags behind other fields such as healthcare. Little is known about how to effectively harness and implement research findings in the ‘real world’, and there continue to be barriers to the use of rigorous research to inform...