A powerful voice for
perpetrator programs in WA
Changing Tracks encourages men to manage their anger and learn to communicate in a healthy, effective and safe manner. Changing Tracks provides a 24 week group program. Clients can hear and share stories with others in similar situations and access support in a respectful and confidential environment. The course teaches participants methods of anger management and how to reprogram their responses to conflict and stress. Individual counselling is also made available to work through issues and address the source of violent, abusive behaviour. Counselling is confidential, respectful and professional. Domestic violence is a cycle. Changing Tracks interrupts that cycle and prevents it from perpetuating. Anglicare WA hopes to motivate change in men’s lives, and promote compassionate relationships free of abuse.
MensTime is a program designed to assist, empower and educate men on a variety of issues, and develop their own self-reliance. The service offers professional counselling that is private and confidential. All counsellors have tertiary qualifications in psychology, social work or counselling and group facilitation. Counsellors can assist clients to work through multiple issues by providing advice, strategies, referral and relevant information. Anglicare WA hopes to provide men with reliable support in an environment where they are comfortable.
Centrecare provides a range of individual counselling and group programs, specifically designed for men who are engaging in abusive behaviours but have chosen to explore more respectful ways of relating. Services are also available for partners and children. Centrecare counselling and group programs for men provide a unique and safe opportunity for men to address their concerns in a respectful and non-judgmental environment. It also seeks to support men in their ability to build healthy relationships for the future and be accountable for the past.
Communicare Breathing Space is the first residential men’s behaviour change program in the southern hemisphere, funded by the Department of Communities (Child Protection and Family Support Services). The program commenced operations as an alternative to removing women and children from their family home, and supports men’s learning to understand and take responsibility for their violence, anger and abuse. Communicare Breathing Space is available to all men who have been abusive with their intimate partner or family relationship and are ready and willing to make long-term behavioural changes. The structured program provides participants with approximately six months accommodation while they undertake an intensive therapeutic program including group work, individual counselling and case management which allows them to take the opportunity to reflect and be accountable for their behaviour and the choices they have made. This holistic approach includes family and domestic violence comorbidity with alcohol and other drugs; mental health; homelessness and parenting.
Families without Fear (FwF) provides individual and group intervention for men, and individual sessions for women to fill the gap in support services for men, women and gender diverse people who wish to improve their abusive and violent behaviours. The program is available to all people living within WA who identify as having used abusive and violence behaviours in their relationships and are motivated to sustain positive behavioural changes. FWF provides assistance to people to better understand and improve their intimate and family relationships. The program helps people to recognise unsafe situations, make appropriate choices to minimise impact, challenge their attitudes and beliefs, and manage their emotions. FWF promotes strategies to be a safe and supportive partner without abusive and controlling behaviours. The program can be accessed through referral from Department of Justice. This pathway is funded by Department of Justice and connected to the Perth, Armadale and Rockingham Magistrates Court Family Violence Lists. Alternatively, the program accepts community and self-referral through Fee-for-Service at the Perth and Kwinana locations.
Safe at Home is a telephone support service to help men bring about positive behaviour changes in their lives to develop respectful relationships with their partner, ex-partner and/or children. The program, funded by the Department of Communities (Child Protection and Family Support Services), provides assistance to men living in WA to take responsibility for their cycle of violence and abuse. Safe at Home links and refers participants to support services to promote safety and behaviour change. Men can access the program via self-referral or referral by a supporting agency.
Connect and Respect works with perpetrators of violence to build their awareness of the impacts of their violence, build skills and efficacy in regulating emotions and improving decision making, and increase their capacity to hold themselves accountable for their behaviour. Connect and Respect is only available to individuals who have been referred by the Department of Justice. All people participating in this program are currently under the supervision of the department. This program is funded by the Department of Justice and is delivered in partnership with Anglicare WA.
Relationships Australia WA
Relationships Australia as part of its FAIR (Family Abuse Integrated Response) offers a twenty four week men’s perpetrator programme.
- The service is free
- Entry into the programme is by one/one interview
- Entry criteria include:
- Acknowledgement of some form of abusive behaviour towards a partner or children
- Acceptance that we will contact his current partner and any previous partner with whom he has contact because of children
Department of Justice
The Not Our Way (NOW) program targets the factors related to family violence offending for Aboriginal men. It is based on the Safe at Home program written by Hall, McMaster and Associates (HMA) and was developed in consultation with Aboriginal staff and stakeholders to ensure cultural relevance and delivery suited to the learning styles of Aboriginal participants. The NOW program is suitable for Aboriginal men with offences against their spouse and/or family members, or participants with a history of family violence. It explores a range of topics, including: negative attitudes and beliefs, managing mood states, key relationship skills, substance use and victim impact and empathy. The program is offered in prison and in the community. In the community it is currently delivered as a ‘rolling’ program with multiple entry points. The program is 62.5 hours in total and participants attend a 2.5 hour session, once a week. In the prisons the NOW program is 82.5 hours long and delivered in 2.5 hour sessions, up to four times a week.
The Stopping Family Violence (SFV) program, developed by Ken McMaster (New Zealand), focuses on addressing family and domestic violence and encourages individuals to take responsibility for their behaviour and increase accountability to their families and the community. The SFV program targets attitudes and beliefs that support abusive behaviour and violence; assists offenders to identify, understand and manage mood states; supports the development of key relationship skills; considers the impact of substance use; focuses on victim impact and empathy; and helps participants identify and manage risks. The program is offered to male clients with an index offence of family violence or a history of family violence and can be provided in prison or in the community. The content of the 70 hour program is divided across 28 sessions (each 2.5 hours) and usually delivered twice a week.
Caring Dads is devoted to ensuring the safety and well-being of some of our communities’ most vulnerable children through working with fathers (including biological, step, and common-law) who have been abusive, neglectful, or violent in their families or who are deemed to be at high-risk for these behaviors. There are three components to the Caring Dads program:
• a seventeen-week manualized group intervention program for men;
• systematic outreach to children’s mothers; and
• coordinated case management to ensure that child safety and well-being is enhanced as a result of fathers’ involvement in intervention.
The group component of Caring Dads combines elements of parenting, fathering and child protection practice to enhance the safety and well-being of children.
Program principles emphasise the need to:
enhance men’s motivation
promote child-centered fathering,
address men’s ability to engage in respectful, non-abusive co-parenting with children’s mothers,
recognise that children’s experience of trauma will impact the rate of possible change, and
work collaboratively with other service providers to ensure that children benefit (and are not unintentionally harmed) as a result of father’s participation in intervention.
A typical group usually runs for 2 hours, one night a week, for 17 weeks. There are usually between 10 and 15 men registered in each group. Groups may only be led by accredited Caring Dads facilitators.
This component involves:
Systematic outreach to mothers to ensure safety and freedom from coercion.
Contact with children’s mothers by devoted program staff or by those working in partnership to ensure women are informed about the program.
Collaboration between professionals and with women to anticipate and work to avoid potential unintended negative consequences of men’s involvement in intervention.
Provision of referral and safety planning to children’s mothers, as necessary.
This component is a commitment to working collaboratively to support children and establishes:
A clear community-based model for accountability to ensure that child safety and well-being is enhanced as a result of fathers’ involvement in intervention.
Open communication between Caring Dads program and other professionals working to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the family.
Joint meetings and planning in response to ongoing or rising risk presented by father.