The Australian Federal Government has recently acknowledged domestic violence as a gendered issue and injected significant welcome funding to support feminist approaches to practice. In addition, the recent findings of the Victorian Family Violence Royal Commission include 10-year industry plan that will require mandatory qualifications in social work for specialist family violence practitioners. These contextual changes enable social workers to take a leadership role in this field, advancing our critical edge in domestic and family violence practice, research and education. Social work has a key role not only in responding to domestic and family violence through policy and service responses, but also in promoting social and cultural change. This change begins with the practice of critical reflection to unearth and challenge dominant assumptions about gender, power and violence in order to shift the consciousness of individuals and communities, ultimately affecting societal change. This involves furthering a critically reflective approach to practice that champions women’s and children’s rights, whilst simultaneously holding perpetrators accountable and seeking to change the societal structures implicated in producing violence. This paper will highlight the opportunities and implications of these contextual changes and discuss this importance of critical social work’s contribution to research, education and practice in the area of domestic and family violence.
2016 Australian and New Zealand Social Work and Welfare Education and Research (ANZSWWER) Symposium: Advancing our critical edge in social welfare education, research and practice, Townsville, Australia 29-30 September 2016
2016 Australian and New Zealand Social Work and Welfare Education and Research Symposium Book of Abstracts /