Dr Silke Meyer is a Senior Lecturer with the Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research.  Dr Meyer has recently undertaken research on men’s compliance with Domestic Violence Orders and the role of fatherhood identity in perpetrator interventions, drawing upon her background in criminology and social work.

Dr Meyer is passionate about victims’ and children’s wellbeing and advocacy for holistic responses to domestic and family violence.  Recently, she has been the chief investigator evaluating two Queensland-based programs that look closely at the behaviour of fathers who have exposed their children to domestic and family violence (DFV)


Caring Dads program evaluation

The Caring Dads program, developed in Canada, is being trialled in Queensland from 2017-2019. The evaluation is currently in the early stages of its second year and will be completed in late 2019.

The evaluation captures data from male program participants, (ex) partners, referral agencies and other community stakeholders involved in responding to fathers who have exposed their children to DFV.

“Collecting data from program participants and where possible (ex) partners across three trial rounds, we are starting to get some insights into what motivates fathers to attend the program, how fathers view the impact of their behaviour on women and children and where the program may be able to contribute to behaviour change.” Dr Meyer said.

Interviews conducted with a variety of community stakeholders and referral partners highlights the need for programs that address the intersection of fatherhood, DFV and child wellbeing while prioritising women and children’s safety along with perpetrator accountability.


Walking with Dads evaluation

Walking with Dads is a Child Safety approach towards DFV informed practice that holds perpetrators of DFV accountable in their role as fathers while supporting mothers and children towards short and long-term safety and wellbeing. Its trial sites include Caboolture, Caloundra, Gympie and Mt Isa.

The evaluation aims to identify the nature and extent of practice shifts at the intersection of DFV and child protection and its impact on the safety and wellbeing of families affected.

Dr Meyer commented that “We are currently in the second and final year of data collection with mothers, fathers, Child Safety staff and community stakeholders.”

The Walking with Dads evaluation has been an action research journey to ensure that organisational and community input along with individual participants continue to shape both research design and implementation.

This evaluation has been an exciting opportunity to observe emerging practice and language shifts at the intersection of DFV and child protection. Data collection with parents is ongoing, with follow up interviews and surveys to be completed at the end of 2018.


For more information about these evaluation projects, please contact Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research on 07 4940 3320 or qcdfvronline@cqu.edu.au.