Journal Article

Building and Sustaining Local Co-ordination: An Australian Rural Community Responds to Domestic and Family Violence

Sarah Wendt

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 40, issue 1, pages 44-62
Published in print January 2010 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online July 2008 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcn114
Building and Sustaining Local Co-ordination: An Australian Rural Community Responds to Domestic and Family Violence

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The aim of this paper is to share a story about how a rural community in South Australia strived to work more collaboratively and effectively to respond to domestic and family violence in their local area. Human service workers in the community raised concern about clients' needs not being met, lack of co-ordination amongst services, confusion amongst service providers of who was doing what, and lack of understanding of the complexities of violence and abuse amongst workers. As a result, a qualitative, interpretative study involving face-to-face semi-structured interviews with twenty-two human service workers and two women who had experienced domestic and family violence was undertaken to examine the barriers to working collaboratively at the local level. Once barriers to co-ordination were identified and talked about, workers were able to visualize their local response. This included naming practice strategies to build co-ordination and integration of workers and agencies to create sustainable long-term practice, and advocating as a community for the re-introduction of domestic violence specialized services and programmes to meet local needs.

Keywords: Domestic violence; family violence; rural; Australia; co-ordination

Journal Article.  7125 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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