Safe and Together

The Safe and Together Model is an internationally recognised suite of tools and interventions designed to help child welfare professionals become domestic violence informed. The Safe and Together Model was developed by the Safe and Together Institute.

The Safe and Together ModelTM provides methods and interventions designed to help child protection professionals become domestic violence informed. This child centred approach is based on the tenets that children are best served, when we can work together toward keeping them safe and with the non-offending parent. The approach provides a framework to support practitioners from statutory and non-statutory backgrounds to work collaboratively with domestic violence survivors and intervening with domestic violence perpetrators to enhance the safety and wellbeing of children living with Domestic Family Violence.

The Safe and Together (S&T) Institute’s approach is to address domestic and family violence, specifically intimate partner violence in a child protection context which has been influencing practice across Australia since approximately 2013.  The model was developed by an experienced men’s behaviour change practitioner from the USA and has been incorporated into service models in other jurisdictions such as Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia, as well as some specialist DFV services in the NT. The S&T approach promotes ‘domestic violence-informed practice’, along with trauma-informed practice. The model aims to achieve better outcomes for children and families through developing a domestic violence informed child welfare system which includes improved staff competencies and cross system collaboration. The three key principles for the S&T model are:

  • Keeping a child safe and together with the non-offending parent
  • Partnering with the non-offending parent
  • Intervening with the perpetrator to reduce risk and harm for children

Training Options

Safe and Together Model Overview Training – 4 day

Provides participants with an introduction to, and overview of, the Safe and Together Model and information about creating a domestic violence-informed child welfare system.

Safe and Together Model CORE Training – 4 day

Safe and Together Institute’s CORE Training is designed to provide a skills-oriented foundation for domestic violence-informed practice. Each day of training provides experiential classroom training focused on the following foundational practice areas:

  • Day 1 - Assessment
  • Day 2 - Interviewing
  • Day 3 - Documentation
  • Day 4 - Case Planning

CORE Training explores the importance of:

  • Identifying the impact of domestic violence on children and family functioning.
  • Fact-based assessment of the perpetrators’ behaviour patterns.
  • Partnering with adult survivors of domestic violence.
  • Intervening with perpetrators.
  • How domestic violence intersects with other issues like substance abuse and mental health.

Participants of the CORE Training will:

  • Learn to use practice tools, such as Mapping Perpetrators’ Patterns and Multiple Pathways to Harm that can be implemented right away to improve assessment of risk, impact on children, survivor protective efforts and essential case decisions.
  • Practice interviewing perpetrators, survivors and children through modelling, role play and videos.
  • Improve their domestic violence-informed documentation through individual and group exercises.
  • Discuss their own current or past cases and explore how the Safe and Together Model could be implemented.

Also included in CORE Training:

  • Action Plans will be developed by participants to support implementation of the Model to improve their day-to-day practice and to influence their communities and family service systems to become more domestic violence-informed.
  • Participants will complete a pre and post-test to reflect learning, as well as a training evaluation.
  • Participants who attend all four days and take the post-test will receive a certificate of completion, which indicates they participated in 22 training hours.
  • Participants who complete all four days and score an 80% or higher on the CORE Training post-test will meet one of the prerequisites to become a Safe and Together Model Certified Trainer.

Research Links

Visit the Free Resources for Professionals – Safe & Together Institute webpage to find out more.


PAThways and Research In Collaborative Inter-Agency practice (the PATRICIA Project) is an action research project focused on the collaborative relationship between specialist community-based domestic and family violence (DFV) support services for women and their children, and statutory child protection (CP) organisations.

Drawing together a diverse range of participants from five states of Australia, it comprised five components of research, each with its own methodology, set within an action research framework that facilitated a process of changing things while simultaneously studying the “problems” of developing collaborative work and strengthening perpetrator accountability. The intended outcome was to use evidence to foster greater collaboration to support the safety and wellbeing of women and their children, and strengthen accountability for perpetrators of DFV.

For more information, read the report from the Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety.

Last updated: 20 April 2021

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