Presentations, Publications and Professional Papers

2017 Child Aware Approaches Conference

The conference ‘Driving national action on child safety and wellbeing’ was held over two days, 15-16 May, in Brisbane, a vibrant and interactive two-day conversation between policymakers, researchers and service delivery experts from around Australia. Jo Cavanagh OAM presented – Preventing Filicide – What can professionals and families do?  Presentation can be viewed here 

Relationship Review and Renew: Findings from the Program Pilot

In 2016, we presented our findings from the Relationship Review and Renew Program at the FRSA Conference in Canberra. Learn more about the findings of the RRR Program

2016 Protecting Australia’s Reform: Child protection & youth justice system reform

A two-day conference held on November 24 and 25, 2016 in Sydney bringing together key stakeholders from the child protection and youth justice system across Australia to identify and prioritise areas for reform.  Jo Cavanagh OAM presented on – Building in a framework for child protection in the community and generating awareness and understanding within the community to ensure that child abuse reports are dealt with appropriately.  Jo’s presentation  – Eyes & hearts on the children: towards a care taking community and can be viewed here

2016 Relationship Review and Renew Pilot Program Performance Story Report

Family Life’s evaluation report of the Relationship Review and Renew Pilot. Completed in 2016, funded by Department Social Services. The aim of the program was to assist couples to assess the status of their relationship.

View the Report

2016 The Change Agent Mindset – Leadership for Social Impact 

Jo Cavanagh OAM presents at Swinburne Centre for Social Impact on 26 August 2016.

Click here to view the presentation.

2016 Children and Families in Focus article – Together We Can: Act Now To End Family Violence in Cardinia. Evaluating a Collective Impact Project

Children and Families in Focus magazine from The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare shares new and emerging information that advances the rights, needs and prospects of disadvantaged and vulnerable Australian children and families. Written by Alicia McCoy, Family Life together with David Rose and Marie Connolly from The University of Melbourne

View the Together We Can: Act Now To End Family Violence in Cardinia article

2016 Not for Profit Income Generation Conference in Sydney

Family Life CEO, Jo Cavanagh OAM presented at the conference held over two days 17 & 18 February 2016 – Building financial capacity to strengthen organisation performance.

Click here to view the presentation.

2015 Australian STOP Domestic Violence Conference in Canberra

Family Life CEO, Jo Cavanagh OAM presented on day one of the conference held over two days 7 & 8 December 2015.

Click here to view the presentation.

2015 The Change Agent Mindset – Leadership for public benefit

Family Life CEO, Jo Cavanagh OAM presented at the Swinburne Leadership for Social Impact Unit on Friday 28 August 2015.

Click here to view the presentation.

2015 Know, Ask, Do…Lessons from practice for preventing Filicide

Family Life CEO, Jo Cavanagh OAM presented a practice perspective for preventing filicide at the Addressing Filicide: Moving to Prevention International Conference held in Prato, Italy.

Click here to view the presentation.

2015 Powerful Partnerships – Planning for the Greatest Impact – Preventing Family Violence

Family Life CEO, Jo Cavanagh OAM and Cardinia Shire Council CEO, Garry McQuillan, presented and launched a collective impact initiative to stop family violence in the Cardinia community at the National Child Aware conference on 18 May 2015.

Click here to view the presentation.

2015 Community Bubs: 10 Years On Research and Evaluation – Qualitative Report
View the Report

2015  Building on the value of Victoria’s community sector – a VCOSS report

As an example of best practice Family Life’s PeopleWorx program is featured on page 22 ‘ Fostering innovative approaches to community issues’

Click here to read the report

2014 Creating an Organisational Culture for Social Impact Measurement

Alicia McCoy, Research and Evaluation Manager,  presented at The Social Impact Analyst Association’s Annual Conference in Toronto Canada in November 2014

Click here to view the presentation.

2014 Opportunities and Innovation – Improving Outcomes for all families

Presented at 2014 FRSA Conference – Wellbeing for Children, Families and Communities by Karen Horley, Family Life Program Manager and Michelle Stevenson, Family Life Business Development Manager.

Click here to view the presentation.

2014 The Golden Thread of Evaluation in effective Programs and Practice

Presented at 2014 FRSA Conference – Wellbeing for Children, Families and Communities by Jo Cavanagh OAM, CEO

Click here to view the presentation.

2014 Using an online communication strategy to build practitioner enthusiasm for research and evaluation

Published in Children and Families in Focus, Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, May 2014.

Download the report here

2013 White Ribbon Family Violence

The role of community agencies in preventing male family violence and the treatment of women and children.

Download the report here

2013  Australasian Evaluation Society Conference

It’s what we do here: Creating a culture of evaluation in a community organisation to maximise outcomes for children and families

Click here to view the presentation.

2012  FRSA Conference – Proving what we prevent

How do you prove what you prevent?

Showcasing an innovative methodology for measuring the impact of family-strengthening programs which help prevent high-cost child abuse and neglect.

A workshop presented in partnership with Centacare Broken Bay, NSW and Anglicare WA.

Click here to download their presentation

2012  Creating Capable Leaders

Partnering with vulnerable communities to achieve positive outcomes for children and their families.

Family Life’s Creating Capable Leaders program continues to achieve impressive long-term change for families and children.

Click here to download Family Life’s presentation at the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare Research Symposium held in July 2012

2012  Dr Deborah Daro – Key note address FRSA Conference

Key points

  • Every child who is in our sphere of influence is our responsibility.
  • Asking for help: people are twice as likely to give help than to ask for it
  • For us to have collective impact, everyone must work together towards a common agenda
  • We must agree on a shared definition of success e.g. common data frameworks, measurements of progress

Of interest: the slide with the diagram titled, ‘Expanding Prevention’s Capacity for Change’. It is interesting to consider from a systems perspective.

Click here to see Dr Daro’s presentation

2012  What about the Children’s Mental Health? An Evaluation of Family Life’s SHINE program

This SHINE report is the third monograph publication for Family Life sharing proven innovations for program and practice dissemination to promote systems change for the wellbeing of children. The Family Life SHINE program is a unique initiative,specifically funded by the Australian Government, to develop effective interventions for anxiety and depression prevention and early intervention with children and teenagers. The evidence of impact for strengthening children’s mental health and wellbeing demonstrated by the pilot has led to the government progressing from pilot to further program funding and expansion of the program.

Click here to download the report.

2011  What difference do we make?

Tackling the big seven issues:

  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Family Violence
  • Mental Health
  • Unemployment
  • Social Isolation
  • Homelessness
  • Poverty

How do we measure the impact of our programs?

How do we know if our efforts are effective?

CEO of Family Life, Jo Cavanagh’s address at the Bethany AGM discussed these pertinent questions in the context of measuring Social Return on Investment and the break-even analysis.

View the presentation here

2010  What About the Children? Parenting Post Separation and Divorce

This study tells the story of one of the first Family Relationship Centres to be established, the Frankston and Mornington Peninsula Family Centre, auspiced by Family Life.

Click here to download the report.

2009  SHINE

Mental health for children is a significant community issue.

Early intervention is the best protection.

Family Life’s SHINE mental health program for children, is delivering results.

Click here to download Family Life’s presentation titled ‘Resilience – Myth or Magic’, given at the Child & Adolescent Area Mental Health Services (CAMHS) conference in October 2009.

2007  Community Bubs Evaluation Report

The Community Bubs pilot project trialled an intensive community-centred support program for high-risk parents and infants. The pilot program commenced service delivery in August 2003 and formally concluded in 2006.

Click here to download the Monash University Evaluation Report of the Community Bubs pilot.

2007  Australian Institute of Family Studies Family Relationships Quarterly Issue 4

Dr Jenny Higgins (National Child Protection Clearinghouse) and Robyn Parker (Australian Family Relationships Clearinghouse) visited Family Life to talk about the agency and the services they provide. This article presents a summary of their conversation, including information about the Creating Capable Communities program run by Family Life.

Click here to view the document.

2007  Australian Institute of Family Studies – Child Abuse Prevention Newsletter Vol 15 No.1

A service profile by Jenny Higgins from the National Child Protection Clearinghouse discussing Family Life’s Creating Capable Communities program and other programs offered by Family Life.

Click here to view this document.

2006  Family Life overview

In response to the needs of the community Family Life develops and runs innovative programs which focus on promoting wellbeing.  This presentation provides a snapshot of Family Life’s history, values, business model, funding, volunteers and core services.

Click here to view the document.

2006  Bringing it all together in the neighbourhood

National Child Protection Forum

Delivered in June 2006 at the National Child Protection Forum this presentation discusses a holistic integrated community model for preventing abuse and promoting wellbeing and social and economic empowerment.

Click here to view the document.

2006  SE Alliance – Atlanta – From Good idea to sustainable social enterprise – community innovation Australian style.

Delivered in 2006 at the Social Enterprise Alliance conference in Atlanta, this presentation discusses both theory and practical techniques for establishing and measuring the success of a social enterprise.

Click here to view the document.

2006  Community Centred Family Support – Think differently to work differently.

Paper presented by Jo Cavanagh in 2001 and revised 2006.

The Community Centred Family Support model is emerging to facilitate change for now and for the future. It is proposed that to be effective, we must integrate work at all levels of prevention, treatment and maintenance.

Further, by working with and through the context, we can work for sustainable safety, healthy development and wellbeing for all children, and focus additional effort to significantly improve outcomes for the children most disadvantaged or at risk for abuse and neglect.

Click here to view the document.

2005  Listening and working with men

Father inclusive practice National Forum – University of Newcastle.
A powerful technique for motivating a man to change his behaviour is to encourage him to focus on his children.  This presentation provides a discussion of Family Life’s broad range of services for men including Community Education, Counselling, Specialised Group Work and innovative Outreach strategies.

Click here to view this document

2006  Creating Capable Communities – Stronger Families and Communities

Following a long process of collaboration and discussion with the residents of a disadvantaged public housing estate Family Life now runs an innovative program which focuses on helping people to feel part of the community through contribution and participation. Research indicates that this program is bringing about lasting and sustainable change.

This presentation was made at the Families and Community Services conference in March 2006.

Click here to view the document

2005   Creating Capable Communities:

From Foundations to Sustainable Solutions

Discusses an innovative 3-year program that indicates positive and lasting change can be achieved within even the most disadvantaged communities. Published in Stronger Families Learning Exchange Bulletin no. 7 Spring 2005 pp.34 36.

Click here to view the document.

2005   Community Bubs: A model for healthy families, healthy infants. What’s working?

This paper was presented at the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health National Conference July 2005 in Brisbane. The paper focuses on explanation of the program model, the value of volunteer’s work with families in the program and the research findings to date.

Click here to view the document

2004   Knock out violence

Family Life’s Knock Out Violence program is an Anti Bullying and Youth Leadership program for school students in years 5, 6 and 7. Through her evaluation of the program, in 2003, Dr Helen McGrath found the presentations were very successful in many ways. The students related well to the young presenters and the impact of their presentation message was substantial.

Click here to view Dr McGrath’s Knock Out Violence evaluation report.

2002   The importance of relationships in formal service systems.

Presented in November 2002 as part of the Social Policy Series – Government and Human Relations this paper discuss the central role of a caring community as a place through which we need to work, in order to deliver short term and long term, intergenerational change. The paper includes references and resources for a Community Centred Perspective

Click here to view the document.

1992   Children and Young People in Out-Of-Home Care: Treating and preventing individual, programmatic and systems abuse.

Written by Jo Cavanagh.  Published in Children Australia, Volume 17, 1992.

Click here to view the publication.