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Relationships Australia Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) Outcomes Study

In 2017, the National Research Network implemented a large project funded by the federation. The study was designed to generate evidence on the outcomes of RA FDR services, in both parenting and property disputes.

The study employed a longitudinal survey design with quantitative data collected through client surveys at multiple points in time, as well as interviews with a subsample of participants to further investigate experiences and perceptions of the dispute resolution process.

The research is now complete, with 1,700 clients completing surveys in 2017-18 and 200 interviews conducted in late 2018 and early 2019. Following detailed analysis of both the quantitative and the qualitative data, a report on the findings from the study was handed to the National CEOs Committee in August 2019.

The study provides sound evidence for the efficacy of the federation’s family dispute resolution services, not only in assisting separating couples to reach agreement in parenting and property disputes, but also in reducing distress, improving adjustment to separation, and facilitating communication outside of FDR sessions.

Papers based on preliminary findings from the study were presented at the National Conciliation Conference in April 2019, with more papers to be presented at the Australian Institute of Family Studies conference in June 2020. Further papers are under development and submission for publication in peer-reviewed journals. These will be linked here upon publication.

The RA FDR Outcomes Study was jointly managed by RA Victoria and RA Queensland. If you would like more information about the study, please contact:

Dr Genevieve Heard
Senior Researcher
Relationships Australia Victoria
Email form

Dr Aditi Lohan
Manager - Research
Relationships Australia Queensland
Email form

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