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Collaboration in family violence intervention: A process evaluation of the hamilton Family Safety Team

The Family Safety Team (FST) is a collaborative intervention developed to address family violence in New Zealand. Interagency collaborations are effective at addressing the social supports for battery, improving the systems and responses of agencies that address battery, and improving cohesion and consistency across agencies. The FST has a particular focus on justice system agencies. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the Hamilton FST. The research was conducted using in-depth interviews with FST members and others directly involved with the project, archival research using police family violence files, observation of FST meetings, and a focus group with battered women. The evaluation was constructed around four aims: to identify any barriers to establishing the FST, to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the Hamilton FST, to determine the adequacy of the FST structure, and to assess the extent to which the FST has improved the ability of agencies to enhance the safety and autonomy of battered women and hold offenders accountable. An overall finding of this evaluation was that people are feeling very positive about the Hamilton FST. The evaluation found that the FST has increased contact and communication between community and government agencies, and there was improvement in each agency's awareness of the policies, processes and protocols of other agencies in the FST. The evaluation found some limitations in the amount of monitoring and measurable outcomes from the FST, but this was understandable considering the infancy of the project and the time taken for members to understand their roles and the function of the FST. However, there were some positive developments in police responsiveness: an improved police attitude towards family violence cases, and an increase in cases coded as family violence. An important finding of this evaluation was that the Hamilton FST is functioning as a genuine collaboration. This seemed to be due to: mutual respect and an equal distribution of power among FST members, trusted working relationships, recognising each member for their area of expertise, and the role of the coordinator. There are, however, some limitations of the FST model that FST members need to acknowledge.
Type of thesis
Gregg, L. (2007). Collaboration in family violence intervention: A process evaluation of the hamilton Family Safety Team (Thesis, Master of Management Studies (MMS)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2520
The University of Waikato
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