PROF Cathy Humphreys

PROF Cathy Humphreys


  • Child abuse
  • Child protection; child abuse, domestic violence
  • Family and domestic violence
  • children in out of home care



  • Cathy Humphreys is Professor of Social Work at University of Melbourne. For five years she held the Alfred Felton Chair of Child and Family Welfare, a professorship established in collaboration with the Alfred Felton Trust, the Department of Social Work at University of Melbourne and The Centre for Excellence for Child and Family Welfare in Victoria, the peak body for vulnerable children, youth and family organistations in Victoria. A partnership between The Centre, community sector organisations and University of Melbourne continues to support research collaboration and implementation.

    In 2015 the Melbourne Alliance to End Violence Against Women and Their Children (MAEVe) was established. Cathy Humphreys and Professor Kelsey Hegarty are co-directors of this Alliance drawing together academics from across University of Melbourne who are active in research in this area.

    A multi-million dollar program of research in the areas of domestic and family violence and out of home care has been sustained since 2006 and supported through eight Australian Research Council grants and numerous other grants from government, philanthropy and community sector organisations. Developing the knowledge base to support practice and policy developments in the areas of domestic and family violence, as well as that of vulnerable children in out of home care drive the research program.

    Cathy worked as a social work practitioner in the mental health, domestic violence, and children, youth and families sector for 16 years before becoming a social work academic. She worked at University of Warwick in the UK for 12 years prior to returning to Australia.



Selected publications


Investigator on


Education and training

  • PhD, University of New South Wales 1991
  • BSocWk, The University of Queensland 1976



Available for supervision

  • N

Supervision Statement

  • Cathy Humphreys currently jointly supervises 11 PhD students

    Katie Lamb: Applying a child's rights framework to the development and delivery of men's behaviour change programs for fathers who use violence
    Elizabeth McClindon: The WAV (Women Against Violence) Project
    Naomi Pfitzner: Engage: Men's engagement in violence against women
    Gemma McKibbin: Young people with sexually abusive behaviours: supporting the prevention response
    Katherine Levi: An exploration of the experience of parents with a child with dyslexia in the current Victorian social policy climate
    Nicole Tokatlian: Children vulnerable to cumulative stress and trauma and their families: Improving acute health services to meet their needs
    Josh Fergeus: The effectiveness of interventions to increase the capacity of carers to respond to the mental health needs of young people in home based care.
    Meredith Kiraly: Family links: kinship care and family contact
    Sian Harrison: Tackling the cause: a perpetrator focus in responding to domestic and family violence

    Recent completions:
    Joanie Smith: Experiences of consequences, accountability and responsibility by men for their violence against women and children
    Anita Morris: Safety and Resiliency at Home: Voices of children from a primary care population