Research

We value research as it helps us:
• determine how and where we can achieve the greatest impact while providing value for money
• contribute to research on the impact of family connections and prisoner outcomes
• innovate so we can reach more children and families.

Evidence-based research

We develop programs based on our research and studies within Australia and from around the world.

We know that building relationships and maintaining family and community connections helps reduce the likelihood of a prisoner reoffending. The landmark UK prisoner review in August 2017 by Lord Farmer supports this view. It found that prisoners who receive visits are 39% less likely to reoffend than those who do not. His follow up review of female prisoners in 2019, found that “the importance of family and other relationships needs to be the golden thread running through the criminal justice system, with the provision that it is essential to know which relationships are rehabilitation assets in the life of the female offender and which are toxic”.

Community research

We collaborate at the local level to design and deliver our programs. In each location, we map the local service ecosystem to determine what value we can make to the community.

Evaluation methods

We use qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods to develop our programs. We collaborate with children, carers, and volunteers to measure pre and post program outcomes. Our customised database and online reporting capabilities helps us record outcomes and check for child protection issues and other risk factors.

Qualitative feedback from stakeholders also helps with program improvement. Our stakeholders include:

  • children and young people
  • families and carers
  • parents in prison
  • employees and volunteers
  • Corrective Services
  • local Aboriginal Elders
  • teachers and counsellors
  • referral agencies such as Out of Home Care (OOHC) providers

Research groups

We broaden our research capabilities by linking with universities (Monash, Western Sydney University, UC, UNSW). Through these links we contribute to research on the impact of family connectedness on wellbeing and criminological outcomes for prisoners.

  • Our Research, Practice and Advocacy group also helps us with:
  • developing evaluation criteria
  • collecting baseline data
  • conducting process evaluation
  • conducting program evaluation