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AIC: Responding to adolescent family violence: Findings from an impact evaluation

Responding to adolescent family violence: Findings from an impact evaluation


The AIC has released a study describing the short-term impact of the Adolescent Family Violence Program (AFVP), which was implemented in three communities in Victoria. The evaluation involved the analysis of administrative data collected by service providers, analysis of offence data provided by Victoria Police, surveys and interviews with young people and their parents/carers, and the analysis of case files. Key findings include:


  • Parents/carers reported that young people involved in the AFVP were involved in frequent physical and non-physical behaviours targeted at family members, particularly mothers and siblings. For example, 51% of young people were reported to have threatened to harm their siblings at least once a week over the last 30 days.
  • Family interviews and case file analysis identified that the program improved relationships between family members and young people in many situations. This had roll-on benefits for the stability of young people’s accommodation, as well as their engagement in school.
  • Family interviews and case file analysis also demonstrated that the program improved understanding of the violence and abuse among family members, as well as their ability to support young people to manage their ‘triggers’.
  • The evidence regarding the program’s impact on violent reoffending among young people was mixed. Family interviews and case files analysis identified a reduction in the frequency and severity of violence and abuse as reported by young people and family members. However, when the analysis focused on family violence offences reported to the police over a 19 week period following a contact with police, there was no difference between young people referred to the AFVP and a matched comparison group.
  • Although the findings from this evaluation should be treated with caution due to small sample sizes as well as short follow-up periods, they study provides preliminary evidence for the effectiveness of this program in various domains.


The paper is available for free download on the AIC website:


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