Independent evaluation of the Canine Court Companion Program

Assessing the impact of the Canine Court Companion Program on court users experiencing anxiety.

The Canine Court Companion Program is a partnership initiative led by Victims Services and Court and Tribunal Services to support victims, witnesses and other court users through the visitation of therapy dogs in local courts in NSW. As part of its commitment to continuous improvement, the NSW Department of Justice commissioned an independent evaluation of the program’s efficacy — informing recommendations for best practice and ensuring its ongoing success. Led by a Monash team of education and psychology researchers, the evaluation assessed the impact of the Canine Court Companion Program on court users who may be experiencing anxiety arising from court procedures and hearings.