Protecting at-risk children through the Safe & Together™ Model
Sep 24, 2019
Andrew Gai
Protecting at-risk children through the Safe & Together™ Model

With its mission to create, nurture and sustain a global network of domestic violence-informed child welfare professionals, communities and systems, the Safe & Together™ Model is an internationally recognised suite of tools and interventions designed to help child welfare professionals become domestic violence-informed. Continuously refined through years of experience implementing the Model across the United States and other countries, it can help improve competencies and cross-system collaboration.

This child-centred model derives its name from the concept that children are best served when we can work toward keeping them safe and together with the non-offending parent (the adult domestic violence survivor). The Model provides a framework for partnering with domestic violence survivors and intervening with domestic violence perpetrators in order to enhance the safety and wellbeing of children.

Anglicare Victoria and VACCA are specifically trialling the Safe & Together model, through their A Better Way program, as the foundation for a flexible community-based perpetrator intervention program which can respond to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal fathers using violence against their families. The Men’s Therapeutic Practitioner role works within a culturally safe environment and include the provision of intake assessments, safety planning, individual contracts and goals, therapeutic counselling and tailored responses to the individual and family.

Andrew Gai is a youth and family support worker with Anglicare Victoria. He holds a Bachelor of Social Science (Youth Work) and a Master of Public Policy from RMIT University.

Andrew was born in South Sudan and migrated to Australia as a young refugee in 2006. Andrew co-founded the South Sudanese-Australian Academic Society Inc. (SSAS) Inc. He was recognised by the Friends of Refugees for the “Future Leader” category at the Refugees and Asylum Seeker Recognition Awards night during the Refugee Week 2016.

His community service began over 9 years ago, working with young people in school and residential care; refugees/asylum seekers; and disadvantaged families.

He is a member of the Regional Advisory Council to the Victorian Multicultural Commission on issues and challenges faced by people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds.

Sharing his knowledge and experience through public speaking, writing opinion articles and guest lecturing at RMIT University, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, Andrew provides deep insight to multicultural issues in Australia.