Greater Brisbane


Families with Complex Needs: Meeting the Challenges of Separation

2014 | Research papers


Rae Kaspiew, John De Maio, Julie Deblaquiere and Briony Horsfall


THIS CHAPTER IDENTIFIES SOME of the main challenges pertinent to program development in relation to family law parenting disputes. The basis of this discussion is evidence from a recent evaluation of a family dispute resolution program for matters involving a history of family violence. As the evidence base about the families who use family law system services has expanded in recent years, it has become clear that better ways of meeting complex needs are required. Families that have the most need for services are those affected by issues such as family violence, child safety, mental illness and substance abuse. The evidence highlights the need for holistic, multidisciplinary responses in meeting the needs of these families, whose engagement with the system often requires solutions that address both legal and psychosocial issues in parenting disputes. This analysis draws on evidence from a recently released evaluation of the Coordinated Family Dispute Resolution (CFDR) pilot program (Kaspiew, De Maio, Deblaquiere, & Horsfall, 2012) to reflect on the service requirements of families with complex needs and the challenges in meeting them.


Children and Youth, Domestic and Family Violence, Families, Legal, Mediation/Family Dispute Resolution, Support Services
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