On the road again – Our focus on Youth DFV | HMA

On the road again – Our focus on Youth DFV



It was with some trepidation that I got on a plane and headed from New Zealand to Australia.

The last time I travelled out of New Zealand was a year ago. That trip took me to the Northern Territory (Alice Springs and Darwin) for two weeks. 

This trip however couldn’t have been more pleasurable. I delivered a “train the trainer” to a team in Youth Justice, New South Wales. HMA has been working closely to design three pieces of work around domestic and family violence in the youth population. We designed three one day training packages for various parts of the organisation.  

The Foundational package includes understanding what we know about youth domestic and family violence (DFV), who are more likely to be those affected, and what we know about the pathway of young people who use DFV. The package also explores the idea of how bias can impact upon our practice. In addition, exploring how DFV impacts on others. It is interesting that one of the most hidden areas of DFV is in dating relationships. These situations tend to be grossly underreported. 

The Intermediate package, designed for case management, builds upon the foundational skill sets and locates DFV and risk, need and responsivity framework. The package also provides caseworkers with a range of conversation starters that can inform areas to explore further. The questions are nuanced for young people who use DFV and those who experience DFV (most commonly parents/caregivers). 

The final package is for Youth Justice Conference Convenors. Conferencing is an important part of working with young people to build accountability for behaviour. One of the tensions a course with DFV is often the young person can be both the use of violence as well as being a recipient. This is particularly the case where there is a family tradition of DFV. In traditional conferencing apologies take centre stage in the process. Where the young person has been exposed to DFV and other adverse childhood experiences, a deeper understanding of convenors around the nuances is critically important. 

I came away from the three days with a great sense of excitement and hope that a whole workforce would have greater sensitivity to the complex issues of DFV within the youth population.


If you have any questions about this article or would like more information about training for yourself or your organisation, get in touch.

Published on Wednesday, June 8th, 2022, under Family violence, Programme design & development, Uncategorised, What Ken thinks, Youth offending

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