Objective: To help address a long-standing gap in research and knowledge, this paper explores the issue of what service providers need to be aware of to best meet the needs of ethnic minority children and families who have come to the attention of child protection authorities and have substantiated reports of domestic violence.
Method: The results are written in narrative form, combining informed insider perspectives with a small subset of data drawn from a larger rigorous mixed methods study in Australia, that
involved an exhaustive literature review, review of 120 randomly selected case files, and indepth qualitative interviews with 29 ethnic minority families involved in the child protection system and 17 child protection caseworkers.
Results and significance: Three issues for ethnic minorities relating to the nexus of child protection and domestic violence are identified: (i) being in the child protection system tarnishes family name, which is greatly valued, leading to a preference for child maltreatment and family violence to remain private, and for compliance with Apprehended Violence Orders (AVOs) and service uptake/ engagement to be low, (ii) family cohesion is also highly valued, so family violence victims may sacrifice their own personal safety to protect the family unity and cultural safety of their children, and (iii) family violence interacts with cultural factors for ethnic minorities but does occur in all families; attributing it to race or culture would be racism. Several implications for practice are identified, falling under a broad umbrella approach that asks for child protection authorities and family violence agencies to work collaboratively. A call for empirically rigorous future research is also made to ensure practice is evidence-based.
SOURCE: Pooja Sawrikar. “Child protection, domestic violence, and ethnic minorities: Narrative results from a mixed methods study in Australia.” PLOS One, December 04, 2019.
The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.