Research program

Research at Forensicare

Forensicare has a sound research base and a strong commitment to supporting research throughout the organisation. Forensicare is mandated (under the Victorian Mental Health Act 2014) to provide research, training and professional education.

Specifically, the statutory functions and powers of Forensicare include the mandate “to conduct research in the fields of forensic mental health, forensic health, forensic behavioural science and associated fields” and to “promote continuous improvements and innovations in the provision of forensic mental health and related services in Victoria” (Mental Health Act 2014 s.330(g) & s.330(h)).

Forensicare’s mandate to conduct research is quite unique among forensic mental health services in Australia. All too often, a tension exists between research and practice in clinical services, and forensic mental health services are typically no different. Within Forensicare, however, there is a critical nexus between science and practice – with each informing the other to ensure excellence and evidence-based practice in our service. Ongoing research in forensic behavioural science and forensic mental health is critical owing to the highly specialised nature of the field as well as the rapidly emerging knowledge in the field.

Collaborative research

From its inception, Forensicare has worked with a range of universities to develop a research capacity in forensic mental health and related fields. The relationships have ensured that Forensicare attracts academics and research funding to undertake research relevant to Forensicare’s clinical work. The Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science (CFBS)  operates under the auspices Swinburne University of Technology in collaboration with Forensicare. The CFBS serves as the research arm of Forensicare, conducting independent research and facilitating the research enterprises of Forensicare. The research program ensures that high quality research is undertaken to better inform clinical practice in the provision of public mental health services. Forensicare is also committed to disseminating research findings to area mental health services and other stakeholders. All staff are encouraged to participate in the research program and are support through the provision of a research clinic.

Research Governance at Forensicare

Research coordination and governance at Forensicare is achieved through a hierarchical structure of two committees  and a number of key policies, agreements and organisational documents.

Forensicare complies with all standards established to cover research. The Forensicare Research Governance Framework outlines the principles of good governance that apply to all research undertaken at Forensicare and allied organisations. The Framework is informed by, and developed in accordance with the:

Research strategy

Our key research outcomes align with the Forensicare strategic directions for the period 2015-2017 as follows:

Forensicare Strategic Plan Goals and Outcomes Key Research Outcome Area
Greater Accessibility to services

Evidence based forensic mental health services are delivered to a wide range of consumers in the forensic mental health area

Evaluating existing clinical programs and interventions

Dissemination of Research findings

Innovation in everything that we do

Our services are based on best evidence and deliver contemporary best practice to our consumers and stakeholders

Meet new challenges and drive change

Forensicare participates in the ongoing development of mental health services

Outstanding organisational performance

Forensicare is acknowledged as an effective, innovative service that is accountable, transparent and supports safety and continuous improvement

Evaluating new services and novel clinical programs/interventions

Determinants of health and health outcomes

Research Leadership, collaboration and Governance

Research capacity

Sustainable research program

Specific strategies to achieve each outcome are outlined in the full strategic plan .

More information

For more information about our research program visit the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science  or take a look at our annual research reports.