Child Family Community Australia has released this paper investigating alcohol-related harm in families and reviewing available evidence on alcohol consumption from March to July 2020 when COVID-19 restrictions were in place. The scoping review found an increase in alcohol consumption among those reporting higher levels of stress and among women aged 36-50. The paper concludes with a review of harm minimisation interventions and strategies to strengthen the health and wellbeing of families.
Children’s voices in a changing world: 2021 UNICEF Australia Young Ambassador report
UNICEF Australia has released this report sharing the findings of the third phase of research into children and young people’s lived experience through the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia. The report found that young people aged 13-17 years view climate change and unemployment and limited job prospects as the greatest threats to the future wellbeing and livelihood of children and young people in Australia. The report includes a platform for action that calls on government to respond to the concerns of young people.
Core care conditions for children and families: Implications for integrated child and family services
This report from the Centre for Community Child Health at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute reviews the evidence on the core needs of children and families, the conditions required for parents to meet these needs, and how well these needs are being met. The research then integrates these findings into a framework that can be used to inform service delivery.
Developing holistic integrated early learning services for young children and families experiencing socio-economic vulnerability
The Centre for Community Child Health at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute has released this report investigating the role that integrated child and family centres play in meeting the needs of children and families and reviewing what has been learned about the key elements of effective services for families experiencing vulnerability. The research identifies the core features of integrated child and family centres and examines how each element can be implemented effectively.
Final report: Inquiry into homelessness in Australia
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs has released its final report into homelessness in Australia. The inquiry examined the causes of and contributing factors to homelessness, opportunities for early intervention to prevent homelessness, support services for Australians experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness, and governance and funding arrangements. The report makes 35 recommendations.
How do leaders enable and support the implementation of evidence-based programs and evidence-informed practice in child welfare? A systematic literature review
This article, published in Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance, explores how leaders in child welfare organisations can best support the implementation of evidence-based approaches to deliver ‘what works’ to improve outcomes for children and families. A systematic review identified 12 articles and finds that leaders achieve this by providing vision, cultivating organisational culture, proactive planning and investment, developing capabilities, and maintaining relationships required to enable implementation.
How to Review the Evidence: A Simple Guide to Conducting a Literature Review
This short resource from AIFS provides guidance and links to additional information to step you through
a basic literature review. It is particularly for people working in the community services sector
who want to use a literature review to inform the design, delivery or evaluation of a program,
service or approach to practice. The resource will also help those unsure of how to go about
a literature review. Specifically, this resource outlines the process for conducting a
narrative‑style literature review.
Intimate partner violence during the COVID-19 pandemic: A survey of women in Australia
Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) has released this report examining whether there was an escalation of intimate partner violence (IPV) during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research found that respondents were experiencing either first-time violence or patterns of ongoing violence which escalated in frequency and severity during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also found that a significant proportion of respondents who sought help were unable to access assistance due to safety concerns, which left many at risk and without access to support services.
Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand has released this report examining a cohort of people they have deemed ‘the new vulnerable’. This group experienced negative employment impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic that affected their household finances, resulting in many seeking support services for the very first time. Survey and interview data found that despite the level of need, this cohort found it difficult to seek support, with some respondents expressing reticence because they believed there were others in greater need. The findings suggest that levels of need are likely to persist for some time and attention must focus on addressing barriers to service access.
Potential indirect impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children: A narrative review using a community child health lens
This narrative review by researchers from the Centre for Community Child Health and the University of Melbourne synthesises the existing research from previous pandemics and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic about their indirect impacts on children. The research identified 11 impact areas under three broad categories: child-level factors (poorer mental health, poorer child health and development, poorer academic achievement); family-level factors that affect children (poorer parent mental health, reduced family income and job losses, increased household stress, increased abuse and neglect, poorer maternal and newborn health); and service-level factors that affect children (school closures, reduced access to health care, increased use of technology for learning, connection and health care).
Strong carers, stronger children – Victorian Carer Strategy: Findings of the home-based carer census
Ernst & Young Sweeney has released this report outlining the findings of a census of home-based carers that aimed to increase understanding of the profile of carers in Victoria and their experiences and needs. The study shows that more than nine in ten carers are confident in their ability to provide care and over four-fifths are confident to support children to maintain cultural connection. The insights gained from this research can assist with improvements to policy and practice to better support carers and children.
Supporting women and children experiencing family and domestic violence: The Zonta House impact report
Zonta House is an organisation offering holistic services across nine service arms, based in Perth. The Centre for Social Impact at the University of Western Australia has released this report analysing the impact of Zonta House programs and services for women and children experiencing family violence. The report found that these services contributed to breaking the cycle of family violence for the majority of women, while also supporting improvements in wellbeing more broadly.
Technology-facilitated abuse: A survey of support services stakeholders
This report from Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) explores the extent and nature of, and responses to, technology-facilitated abuse in Australia. Drawing on the results of a national survey of 338 support services workers, the report finds that technology-facilitated abuse is a prevalent and growing issue that presents significant barriers to help-seeking. A range of implications for policy and practice are outlined, including the need for training to improve service responses.