The Department of Education, Skills and Employment has released the latest report on the early childhood development of Australian children. Using data from The Australian Early Development Census 2021 the report also discusses equity trends and the early impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Barriers and facilitators to childhood obesity prevention among culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in Victoria, Australia
This study looks at the barriers and enablers to the engagement of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) community members in childhood obesity prevention programs in Victoria. Recommendations include system, and community level responses to address barriers such as low levels of health literacy, junk food advertising to children and cultural and language barriers to accessing health programs.
Bright futures: Spotlight on the wellbeing of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds
This report from VicHealth discusses issues that affect the wellbeing of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. The report finds that migrant and refugee students are less likely to find full-time employment after graduation (45%) compared with Australian-born students (69%) due to racial discrimination, lack of understanding of the local job market and overseas skills and qualifications not being recognised. The research shows that refugee and young migrant communities also bring with them many unique qualities, such as global networks, new ideas and an entrepreneurial spirit, which can enrich Australian society.
Challenging racism project 2015-16 National Survey Report
This project measured the extent and variation of racist attitudes and experiences in Australia. It examines Australians’ attitudes to cultural diversity, intolerance of specific groups, perceptions of cultural privilege, and belief in racial hierarchy. The project also explored experiences of racism and the circumstances in which these events occur. Although just over 80% of respondents support a multicultural society, around 51% expressed anti-Middle Eastern sentiments and nearly 33% of participants had experienced racism in the work place.
Childcare, Mobility Decisions and ‘Staggered’ Migration
This paper explores how the uncertainty related to long-term migration affects migrants’ decisions about their children and care. The paper draws data from in-depth interviews with Asian migrants living in Australia who have experienced ‘staggered’ migration. Participants dealt with three key decisions in relation to their children and care: whether to bring their children to Australia; whether to leave their children at home or send them back home; and, whether to leave Australia as a family and move back home with their children. Feelings of temporariness and uncertainty were common in these households.
Collaboration and co-design when evaluating intergenerational trauma projects
This brief article outlines how co-design and collaboration shapes the work of the Healing Foundation. It explores how concepts of collaboration and co-design fit with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and provides a list of further resources for those who want to know more about best practice in this area.
Evaluators may come across situations where they have to work in a cultural context other than of their own. Culturally competent evaluators not only respect the cultures represented in the evaluation but recognize their own ‘culturally based assumptions’; take into account the ‘differing world view of evaluation stakeholders and target communities’ and select culturally appropriate evaluation options and strategies.
Educational opportunity for all: Overcoming inequality throughout the life course
According to a new OECD report, too many children from disadvantaged backgrounds are falling behind in education and being disadvantaged in the future job market. Only a few OECD countries offer people from disadvantaged backgrounds equal opportunity to succeed as their more well-off peers, including Japan, Korea and the Netherlands. To address this level of inequality, investment in good quality early childhood education and care is needed, especially for children from disadvantaged families.
The University of NSW has published a report on the challenges faced by members of the ‘Forgotten Australians’ (children born in Australia who were placed in ‘care’ in the twentieth century), child migrants, and the Stolen Generations. The two year study engaged 700 participants who grew up in the care system between 1930 and 1989. Participants describe the suffering they faced in their out of home care placements and the kinds of support and protection they needed growing up. Participants also describe the ongoing challenges they face due to their experiences in care. It is hoped that in bringing these experiences to light, we can better anticipate the needs of children and young people in out-of-home care today.
OPEN Event Review – Unpacking the Invisible: examining domestic and family violence in culturally diverse communities
This event review, completed by OPEN, highlights the key insights from this event hosted by Settlement Services International (SSI) in November 2020. It featured a panel discussion on unpacking the invisible struggles of domestic violence victims within our migrant and refugee communities. The panel was made up of preeminent representatives and advocates and identified areas of persistent concern which have been further exacerbated by COVID.
OPEN Rapid Case Study-Service Integration Program-Jewish Care
This rapid case study showcases the work of the Service Coordination Program at Jewish Care, an ethno-specific organisation. The program uses culturally aware and trauma-informed support to cater to the diverse needs Jewish community members (generally under 65 years old) experiencing social and/or structural disadvantage.
OPEN Rapid Case Study: Early Years Program-Brotherhood of St Laurence
This case study sheds light on a early years program which takes a culturally responsive approach to work with families from refugee and migrant backgrounds. It focuses on building connections and providing confidence to parents to support their children.
Prevention of violence against women and safer pathways to services for migrant and refugee communities
This report from ANROWS covers research insights from the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Projects with Action Research (CALD PAR) initiative. In determining 'what works', researchers found that an intersectional and culturally safe approach to prevention and safer pathways work empowers CALD groups and individuals. This approach centres their voices and brings together communities and services to reduce violence.
Promoting Community-Led Responses to Violence Against Immigrant and Refugee Women in Metropolitan and Regional Australia. The ASPIRE Project: Key Findings and Future Directions
ANROWS has released a state of knowledge paper exploring the nature of violence against immigrant and refugee women in Victoria and Tasmania. The report focuses on patterns of help-seeking and access to services. A number of challenges such as language barriers, cultural and social isolation and visa restrictions are faced by immigrant and refugee women and contribute to their experience of family violence. The report provides recommendations to policy-makers and practitioners to better prevent and respond to violence against immigrant and refugee women.
Rapid Case Study: Youth Leadership Program – Centre for Multicultural Youth
This case study sheds a light on the Youth Leadership Program Area at Centre for Multicultural Youth. It talks about principles and values which respect the views and abilities of young people from diverse backgrounds, and has transferable lessons for all kinds of youth participation models.
This Institute of Child Protection Studies (ICPS) Research to Practice issue explores why people make the decision to become a foster carer, and the strategies that can be used to support and retain carers for children in OOHC. Effective strategies differ across care type (i.e. foster carers and kinship carers); however, ‘word of mouth’ emerges as the most effective recruitment strategy: for example, knowing or meeting other foster carers, or having a family member who was a foster carer. Important elements of support for carers include training, financial support and respite. This research is particularly pertinent at a time when recruiting and retaining skilled foster carers is increasingly an issue.
Refugees, asylum-seekers and undocumented migrants and the experience of parenthood: A synthesis of the qualitative literature
This paper draws together the current qualitative literature describing the parenting experiences of refugees, asylum-seekers and undocumented migrants. Three themes emerged from the literature: experiencing hardship or loss; building resilience and strength: and living transnationally. Transnational parenting is a relatively new concept, and introduces issues such as family separation and reunification and forging an international family identity. Transnational identity can also afford families additional resources. Overall, the review shows how stress related to migration and resettlement can compound the responsibilities related to parenthood.
Supporting all children to thrive: The importance of equity in early childhood education
The Front Project has released this report analysing Australian Early Development Census data to examine the locations and circumstances of children assessed as developmentally vulnerable in 2021. The study details many results as well as proposes a range of policy interventions to address issues found.
This Institute of Child Protection Studies Research to Practice issue explores the challenges faced by refugee families living in Australia and the formal supports that are available to them. The paper draws on in-depth interviews with families from a refugee background, and a national survey of government funded service providers supporting refugee families. It paints a picture of the networks, relationships and resources used by refugee families and the implications for policy and service delivery. Connecting children and young people, building culturally safe services and communication across service sectors are among some of the recommendations made.
The Missing Link? Young People from Migrant and Refugee Backgrounds, Social Capital and the Transition to Employment
The Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY) has developed a paper exploring the ways in which young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds experience social capital, particularly in relation to work transitions. The refugee or migrant experience creates a unique context for social capital, as certain challenges, including limited social networks and divergent social norms become apparent. The paper asserts that there must be community and institutional level responses to support young people in building networks and finding employment. It argues that community has an opportunity to build the relational bridges that are central to securing and maintaining employment.
What have we learned about good social work systems and practice?
The Rees Centre has published a report looking at what we have learned from the Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme (UK) about good social work systems and practice in children’s social care. The report examines 17 social work projects and their impacts on families and children. Key components of good social work practice included the skills and confidence to work directly with families, the ability to engage the whole family, and cultural competence.
The Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights has released three new publications to assist practitioners to provide culturally appropriate services and respond to the distinct concerns that may be held by young Muslim children. There are two booklets specific to workers: ‘Caring for Muslim children in out-of-home care’ and ‘Caring for Muslim children in foster care’.
Young Service Users from Refugee Backgrounds: Their Perspectives on Barriers to Accessing Australian Mental Health Services
This article examines the barriers to accessing mental health services from the perspective of young people with a refugee background. To improve understanding of the issues, researchers interviewed 16 young people with a refugee background who had been in contact with mental health services in Australia. Factors such as Unfamiliarity with the service system, social exclusion and stigma are discussed as potential barriers to accessing mental health services.