Cherie Toivonen

BSW(Sydney), MA(Soc Pol)Merit(Sydney)

Senior Researcher

PL1 Unit of Study Coordinator


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Building.Room: A35.739

Research interests

Social work and social policy

  • Violence against women and children

Professional biography

Cherie Toivonen is a Senior Researcher at the University of Sydney, working in both the Faculty of Education and Social Work, and the Sydney Law School. Her experience includes teaching and supervision of students in the social work program, across both the Masters and Undergraduate programs, as well as managing large scale Australian Research Council funded research projects. She has worked on projects which explored; domestic violence and mental health collaborative approaches, community development and social inclusion, and domestic violence service evaluation. 

Current projects

  • Invisible Practices: Intervention with fathers who use violence
  • The PATRICIA Project: PAThways in Research In Collaborative Inter-Agency working
  • How are decisions made in Children's Court care matters and what are the outcomes for children? Chief Investigator: Professor Judy Cashmore, Sydney Law School.

Selected publications

Journal articles

  • Heward-Belle, S., Laing, L., Humphreys, C., Toivonen, C. . (2018). Intervening with Children Living with Domestic Violence: Is the System Safe?. Australian Social Work . DOI:10.1080/0312407X.2017.1422772
  • Laing, L., Heward-Belle, S., Toivonen, C. . (2018). Practitioner Perspectives on Collaboration Across Domestic Violence, Child Protection, and Family Law: Who's Minding the Gap?. Australian Social Work . DOI:10.1080/0312407X.2017.1422528
  • Laing, L., Irwin, J, & Toivonen, C. (2012). Across the Divide: Using research to enhance collaboration between mental health and domestic violence services. Australian Social Work, 65(1), 120–135.
  • Laing,L., Irwin, J., and Toivonen, C . (2010). Women’s Stories of Collaboration Between Domestic Violence and Mental Health Services. Communities, Children and Families, 5(2), 16–28.


  • Toivonen, C. & WFGU Research Team. (2015). Working From the Ground Up: Key Learnings Report. , Sydney: University of Sydney and University of New South Wales..
  • Alexandra Young, Eileen Baldry, Susan Goodwin, Jude Irwin, Alison Wannan, Maxine Ryan, Cherie Toivonen and Thor Blomfield. (2013). Working Together: Participatory Approaches to Community Development in Social Housing Neighbourhoods, Housing Works, July 2013, .
  • Laing, L. and Toivonen, C. (2012). Evaluation of the Green Valley Liverpool Domestic Violence Service: Walking with Women on their Journey away from Violence, .
  • Working From the Ground Up. (2012). Report of phase two: Developing and trialling initiatives. , Sydney: University of Sydney and University of New South Wales..
  • Working From the Ground Up. . (2010). Report of phase one: Engaging community. , Sydney: University of Sydney and University of New South Wales..
  • Laing, Lesley Toivonen, Cherie. (2010). Bridging the Gap: Evaluation of the Domestic Violence And Mental Health Pilot Project -Joan Harrison Support Services For Women, .
  • Laing, L., Toivonen, C., Irwin, J., & Napier, L. (2010). "They Never Asked Me Anything About That”: The Stories of Women who Experience Domestic Violence and Mental Health Concerns/Illness, .
  • Laing, L. Irwin, J. & Kennaugh, C. (2005). Evaluation of the Green Valley Domestic Violence Service, Sydney: Consultancy Report for South Western Sydney Area Health Service, .