At Interrelate, our goal is to ensure that we continue to provide the best programs and services to our clients. We evaluate our work through projects that we conduct both in-house and in collaboration with research partners.

Our clients and staff are vital to these projects, and what we learn from them we share both within the organisation and across the broader family relationship services sector. The reports and articles on this page are prepared by Interrelate staff and our partner researchers.

If you would like to know more about any of these papers or are interested in partnering with us for research, please contact our Research and Service Development Team on

  • Certifying Mediation: A Study Of Section 60i Certificates

    Presented at Family & Relationship Services Australia National Conference, 2017

    Court processes, in Australia and abroad, have been characterised as slow, costly, and incomprehensible to litigants. In the area of family law, the adversarial nature of litigation often generates or intensifies parental acrimony, and erodes parents’ ability to develop cooperative post-separation parenting arrangements. Children can suffer as a consequence.

    Click here for the abridged version.
    Click here for the unabridged version.
    Click here for the appendices.

  • Cybersafety Research Project

    In partnership with University of Technology Sydney

    Interrelate is working with a team of researchers from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) on a research project that will shed light on effective ways to promote children’s online and social media safety.

    Cyberbullying among children and adolescents is a prominent issue for parents, teachers and the wider community. Poor online and social media experiences can be devastating for children and young people, and the ripple effects can reach across their families and into their school life.

    Programs that inform and educate students about cybersafety are typically provided for students and parents separately, with no connection between the two. Teachers may also seek out cybersafety information that they can use in their classrooms, but again this typically occurs independently.

    That means each of these groups may receive different types of information and the emphasis on key messages may vary, so the support that parents and teachers can offer to children and young people may be less effective at reducing both the likelihood and the impact of cyberbullying.

    We think that by providing complementary cybersafety programs contemporaneously to students, their parents and teachers they will be better able to talk about and manage their online safety, and children will be safer on the internet and on social media. We have designed a research project to test whether that is true.

    This research will help us better understand the most effective ways to support children and young people in their engagement with the online world. We will also learn new information about other factors that are associated with the internet and social media being a positive or negative space for them.

    Further information contact:
    Dr Bianca Hoban
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence for Adolescent Health
    University of Technology Sydney
    Level 11, Building 10, 235 Jones St
    Ultimo NSW 2007
    T +61 2 9514 5472
    Robyn Parker
    Research & Sector Development
    495 Hunter St
    Newcastle NSW 2300
    T 02 4016 0521

  • The Health & Formation Of Adolescent Aboriginal Males

    Presented at the NACCHO Conference, 2017

    This paper discusses and explores the work Interrelate undertakes to assist with the health and formation of Aboriginal adolescent males through a holistic approach that, at its core, utilises cultural knowledge along with community partnerships and the use of complimentary wrap-around services.

  • Aboriginal Building Connections: A Community-Focused Program Dealing With Entrenched Conflict

    Presented at the 7th SNAICC National Conference, 2017

    This presentation discusses the development of Interrelate’s Aboriginal Building Connections (ABC) program. It highlights the program's development, the target audience for the program and informed participants of the content, and showcases core aspects of the program.

  • Parents Not Partners: Evaluation Of A Program Of Challenge, Learning And Reflection For Separated Parents

    Presented at Family & Relationship Services Australia National Conference, 2016

    Parents caught up in acrimonious separations already see the hurt their children are experiencing, but their own hurt and pain often takes control and prevents them from being the parents they can and want to be. When they are mandated to attend a post-separation parenting program, they often feel judged as bad parents in need of re-education. Little wonder that they enter such programs with high levels of resistance and antagonism.

  • Child-Safe Approaches In Children’s Contact Services: Opportunities and Challenges

    Presented at Child Aware Approaches Conference, 2016

    A meaningful ongoing relationship with their parents is the cornerstone of positive child development. Children’s Contact Services (CCS) provide a service and space to enable parents to develop and maintain safe relationships with children. Families who use CCS tend to be experiencing high levels of conflict and multiple and complex issue. Good practice guidelines apply for government funded services, though CCS are an unregulated service type and often situated in a complex position where family law, child protection and criminal proceedings intersect.

  • Improved Outcomes For Children: Helping Conflictual Parents See With New Eyes

    Presented at Family & Relationship Services Australia National Conference, 2015

    “You are a bad parent in need of education so that you do not do further damage to your children.” That is the message given to parents who are mandated to attend ‘parenting after separation’ programs. It may not be the stated or desired intention, but it is the very real felt experience of this client group. How then should we engage with the increasing number of court-ordered parents who often enter our programs with high levels of resistance and antagonism? This workshop outlines a program that is both therapeutic and educative, designed to lead parents through a process of reflection and learning that builds on their capacity to make better decisions about how they manage themselves through the separation.

  • Service Practice Groups: Rewriting The Script For Program Development

    Presented at Family & Relationship Services Australia National Conference, 2015

    Group programs are an integral part of family law services – they must respond to client needs and reflect current circumstances. To ensure currency, programs are regularly reviewed, updated and rewritten. At Interrelate, service practice groups (SPGs) have become part of the landscape to review programs and other aspects of the organisation’s delivery of services. In this presentation, the creation of SPGs, their functionality and wider organisational purpose will be outlined.

  • Creating A Research-Aware Workforce: Lessons From The Trenches

    Presented at Australian Institute Of Family Studies Conference, 2014

    Keeping up to date with the theories, research and evaluation findings that inform their practice is an ongoing challenge for practitioners. This can be difficult in organisational settings, where clients and service delivery take priority and where access to information and resources can also be difficult to facilitate.

  • Royal Commission Community-Based Support Services: Adapting To New Funding Streams

    Presented at Family & Relationship Services Australia National Conference, 2014

    Interrelate Family Centres was recently funded to provide community-based support services in NSW to support individuals affected by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The concept of clients in trauma who need support forms the core of Interrelate’s existing work in relationship services, Family Relationship Centres, Children’s Contact Centres and mental-health services. As a result, Interrelate was well positioned as an organisation to fit the Royal Commission Community-Based Support Services into its existing services and models.

  • Respectful Relationships: Collaboration Between Indigenous And Non-Indigenous Agencies

    Presented at 7th National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Male Health Convention, 2013

    This paper recounts the story of how a non-profit organisation [Interrelate] worked with an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation [Mingaletta] to engage the local community by assisting young boys in increasing their knowledge of, and connection to, culture, and the amazing outcomes achieved along the way. It will provide some answers to the question of the approaches organisations should adopt to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males to improve their wellbeing and how organisations can encourage communities to utilise available services by making them more accessible.

  • Report On The Study To Improve Understanding Of Non-Agreement In Family Dispute Resolution

    Prepared by the Australian Institute Of Family Studies for Interrelate Family Centres, November 2011

    The primary aim of this project was to improve understanding of the reasons Family Dispute Resolution clients could not reach full agreement regarding parenting arrangements. Phone interviews were conducted with past clients of Family Dispute Resolution services to explore the issues that affected their attempts to achieve a parenting agreement. This report outlines the findings of the project, which need to be considered in the context of the practise of Family Dispute Resolution with a view to a) helping parents to achieve better or more complete agreements, b) improving practitioner training and practise, and c) designing possible follow-up services for clients who have left the dispute resolution program, to optimise the chances of reaching more complete and satisfactory – or at least sustainable – parenting arrangements.