Spaceless violence: Women’s experiences of technology-facilitated domestic violence in regional, rural and remote areas

Report, Women, Intimate partner violence, Rural Areas, Report

The Australian Institute of Criminology has released this paper examining the impact of technology-facilitated violence on victim-survivors of intimate partner violence in regional, rural or remote areas of Australia who are socially or geographically isolated. Interviews and focus groups were conducted with 13 victim-survivors, each of whom emphasised that the technology-facilitated abuse to which they were subjected profoundly affected their wellbeing. The research found that technology was incorporated into perpetrators’ control and intimidation tactics, often extending and exacerbating the abuse these women experienced both pre- and post-separation and their geographical isolation created a barrier to help-seeking.

Spatial variation in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s access to 4 types of maternal health services

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Report

This report examines spatial variation in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women's access to hospitals with public birthing units and 3 other types of maternal health services. It finds that over 250,000 Indigenous women live more than a one hour drive away from a public birthing unit and that poorer access to maternal health services is associated with higher rates of pre-term birth and low birthweight.

Speaking Out About Youth Justice: The Views of WA Children and Young People

Youth Justice, Young People, Report

The Commissioner for Children and Young People in WA has released a report detailing the experiences of young people who have been in contact with the youth justice system. Along with their personal stories, the young people included in the study share what they think would support them in the community to break the cycle of reoffending. The 92 young people involved in the study communicated the belief that offending could be prevented by making appropriate supports and services available. Key supports included positive role models, living in a safe and stable home, participating in education or employment, being involved in community activities and being supported to deal with personal challenges and behavioural issues. For a large number of young offenders, the role models, family supports and other safety nets many of us take for granted are not present.

State of the World’s Fathers: Time for Action

Families and parenting

MenCare has launched the 2017 State of the World’s Fathers: Time for Action report. The report draws from nearly 100 research studies from across the globe, to uncover those factors that have delayed progress toward global gender equality. The report is a global call to action, asking every country to set a national goal of men and boys completing half of the unpaid care work.

Identify, Design, Evaluate

Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ)

Education, Mental Health, Tool/toolkit

The SDQ is a well validated and population-normed instrument which assesses in respect of emotional problems, peer problems, conduct problems, hyperactivity, and prosocial behaviour. Learn more about the SDQ...

Strengthening prevention and early intervention services for families into the future

Families and parenting, Safety and wellbeing

This report prepared by Deakin University and Family and Relationship Services Australia (FRSA) investigates the potential of the family and relationships sector to take a stronger prevention and early intervention approach. Substance abuse and antisocial behaviour were among the eight priority health and social problems identified as potentially preventable through the delivery of family and relationship services. The report recommends a national action plan to increase prevention and early intervention service delivery.

Strong carers, stronger children – Victorian Carer Strategy: Findings of the home-based carer census

Report, Children, Research, Data, Carers, Policy, Report

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.

Strong families, safe kids: family violence response and prevention for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Family Violence, Report

While most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families have strong and healthy relationships, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are significantly more likely to experience family violence than non-Indigenous people. This policy paper outlines the impact of family violence on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, including the role of communal grief, disempowerment and trauma. It also investigates the key factors behind why current policy and practice responses are failing, and a detailed pathway for achieving change. Connection to culture and the right to self-determination are central to supporting families to be free from violence.

Success, retention, and completion of care leaver students in Australian higher education

Education, Report, Care Leavers, Report

This report from researchers at Latrobe University and Federation University Australia examines the access, geo-demographic profile, course selection, success, retention, and completion rates of care leavers across the two universities. The study found that a whole of life cycle approach to supporting care-experienced students is needed to address the compounding disadvantages they often face. The report noted that the outreach and recruitment strategies adopted by La Trobe University and Federation University Australia, supported by the Raising Expectations program – which is led by the Centre in partnership with the two universities and Swinburne University – show the potential to increase enrolments dramatically through targeted actions. The researchers make eight recommendations.

Supporting all children to thrive: The importance of equity in early childhood education

Education, Report, Children, Report

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 found that access to developmental support in the form of high-quality early education and care is inequitable for children based on where they live and their cultural background. The report proposes a range of policy interventions to address this issue.

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.

Identify, Design

Supporting the journey: issues in co-creating a sensitive narrative of the child’s identity and experience ‘in care’

Out of Home Care (OOHC), Young People, Client Engagement, Evidence Informed Practice, Children, Report

This 'Who Am I?' workshop report talks about the importance of capturing the perspectives of children and young people who are actively involved in the constructing their record while ‘in care’, and the process of collaboration between them and professionals. The idea was to understand the principles underpinning record-keeping and archival programs; and unpack the factors which enable or create barriers to effective practice for front line workers, managers and organisations providing out of home care.

Supporting the Roadmap for Reform: Evidence-Informed Practice

Families and parenting, Report

This report gives an overview of evidence informed practice to facilitate a shift from outputs to outcomes based service delivery. It examines the sources of evidence-informed practice and provides a methodology for developing a Menu of evidence-informed practices and programs.

Supporting vulnerable households to achieve their housing goals: The role of impact investment

Safety and wellbeing, Report

This report from Australian Housing & Urban Research Institute (AHURI) was released as part of an inquiry into social impact investment (SII) for improving housing and homelessness outcomes. It discusses the real and perceived opportunities and risks of social impact investment for Australia’s housing and homelessness policies. SII has become an increasing focus of governments as a funding solution to entrenched social problems, such as homelessness. While there is much promise with various SII models, there needs to be further investigation of the benefits flowing from this approach in comparison to existing social service delivery models.

Supporting women and children experiencing family and domestic violence: The Zonta House impact report

Family Violence, Report, Children, Research, Women, 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.

Supporting young people transitioning from foster care: Findings from a national survey

Out of Home Care (OOHC)

Child Trends has released a report exploring the ways in which states and communities need to support young people who are in foster care or who have recently transitioned out of foster care as they enter adulthood. Extending foster care beyond 18 years of age is one of the key strategies used by states to support young people through their period of transition. Housing was a key challenge for young people leaving care.

Survey Report on Child and Family Service Worker Experiences of Engaging Birth Parents

Families and parenting, Out of Home Care (OOHC), Report

The survey asked professionals a range of questions about their views on how birth parents are currently engaged with child and family welfare organisations in Victoria. The findings add to the growing body of evidence on engaging with birth parents in the child and family service sector, providing further context to the barriers and facilitators of effective engagement for Victorian parents, practitioners, organisations and service systems.

Swift, certain and fair approaches to sentencing family violence offenders

Family Violence, Report

This report by the Sentencing Advisory Council (SAC) outlines the common elements for accommodating ‘swift and certain justice’ approaches to family violence offenders in Victoria’s sentencing regime. Recommendations relate to human rights, accountability of family violence perpetrators, and information sharing between agencies. The SAC found insufficient evidence that a ‘swift, certain and fair’ approach to sentencing and sentence management of family violence offenders would be effective or appropriate in Victoria, and such an approach should not be implemented

The Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) has released this report containing results from the first 12 months of the ei Pulse wellbeing check-in tool. The ei Pulse tool uses an app to track Australian student’s wellbeing in real time. Once a week, students aged 10 years and over are asked how they are feeling and are then asked a selection of five evidence-based questions from a pool of 130 wellbeing questions. The report found that on average, 66 per cent of students felt ‘positive’ or ‘great’ each week, however 42 per cent said they worry a lot about mistakes they make. The tool is intended to improve student’s wellbeing literacy and the findings will allow schools to engage in continuous improvement to better support student wellbeing.

Te Mātātaki 2021: Findings from the 2019/2020 survey of tamariki and rangatahi in care

Out of Home Care (OOHC), Young People, Report, Children, Data, Report

This report from Oranga Tamariki (Ministry for Children) in New Zealand seeks to better understand the experiences of tamariki (children) and rangatahi (young people) in care. A census approach was used to conduct the survey so that all tamariki and rangatahi between 10 and 17 years of age who had been in care for more than 31 days had the opportunity to participate, resulting in a participation rate of 84 per cent. A key finding was that 97 per cent indicated that the adults they live with look after them well, with 81 per cent indicating that this was all of the time. Based on the feedback, priority areas for action are identified.

Technology-facilitated abuse: A survey of support services stakeholders

Report, Research, Abuse, Support Workers, Report

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.

This Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) analysis presents an overview of teens' employment, by age and gender. This includes when and how often teens are working, in what types of employment and the income they receive for their employment. At 14-15 years old, almost 40% had worked in the previous year, with more girls employed (42%) compared to boys (36%).

Telepractice in family work study: The pixelated experiences of workers and managers

Report, Case Study, Family Workers, Report, Case Study

This report from Southern Cross University explores the experiences of family workers and managers engaged in telepractice to develop understanding of family work using online technologies. The study finds that telepractice offers a range of benefits and drawbacks for clients and the workforce, suggesting it is suited to use within a suite of practice methods rather than as a replacement for face-to-face engagement.

Temporary Migration and Family Violence: An analysis of victimisation, vulnerability and support

Family Violence, Report

This report details findings from research on the experiences of family violence among migrant women living in Australia on temporary visas. It is the first major study in Australia exploring the intersection of migration status and family violence. The report explores specific issues such as the ways that migration status can be leveraged in the family violence context and the range of exploitative practices that occur, including trafficking and slavery-like situations of violence. The report offers recommendations to address gaps in protection and support of this vulnerable population.

Tensions in the therapeutic relationship: Emotional labour in the response to child abuse and neglect in primary healthcare

Journal article, Case Study, Child Abuse, Healthcare, Journal article, Case Study

This study, published in BMC Primary Care, sought to understand how GPs and nurses experience the response to child abuse in primary healthcare. The study found that mandatory reporting obligations created significant emotional labour at the internal, organisational and systemic levels as participants struggled to maintain the therapeutic relationship. The article concludes with strategies that can be employed to reduce the labour burden, which can also be applied by other workforces with mandatory reporting obligations.

The association between paternal and adolescent depressive symptoms: Evidence from two population-based cohorts

Mental Health

Researchers at the University College London (UCL) have published a study looking at the link between paternal and adolescent depressive symptoms. The study of 14,000 families in the UK and Ireland show an association between depressive symptoms in fathers and depressive symptoms in their adolescent children. Currently, interventions for preventing adolescent depression focus largely on mothers. This research challenges this approach and suggests that treating depression in both parents is important to the mental health of their children.

The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) Toolkit

Evaluation, Tool/toolkit

The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) has a range of useful tools for co-design including a webinar exploring what is human centred design, and what does it take to do well?

The career aspirations of young adolescent boys and girls

Education

This Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) publication describes the types of jobs adolescents at age 14–15 would like to have in the future. Consistent with previous studies, the AIFS found marked gender differences in career aspirations. The career aspirations are consistent with gender stereotypes, and the gendered nature of subject selection in school. The paper offers a discussion of the implications arising from the research and highlights the integral role of school staff and parents in providing support for young people as they make plans for their future careers.

The Case for Investing In Last Resort Housing

Family Violence, Poverty

An Australian study undertaken by the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (MSSI) has found that it is more cost effective to provide last resort housing to homeless people than allowing them to sleep rough. This is largely through reduced healthcare costs, reduced crime, and assisting people to get back into employment and education. The research includes a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis which finds that for every $1 invested in last resort beds, $2.70 worth of benefits are generated for the community over 20 years. The paper calls for Australian governments to build more new and permanent last resort housing to assist people experiencing homelessness.

The characteristics and potential effects of the school that Indigenous Australians attend

Education, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

This Working Paper from Australian National University’s Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR) uses National Assessment Program, Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) data to map the distribution of Indigenous students across Australian schools, and identify some of the effects of that distribution on literacy and numeracy outcomes. The researchers consider whether and how school segregation plays a role in undermining the educational performance of Indigenous children.

This keynote by Tom McBride was given at an event co-hosted by CFECFW and Berry Street. It discusses the formation of the Early Intervention Foundation in the UK, and gives an overview of their purpose, evidence standards and how they approach early intervention work across a range of areas.

The effectiveness of crisis and post-crisis responses for victims and survivors of sexual violence: An overview of findings from reviews

Report, Sexual Violence, Report

ANROWS has released this research report as part of the What works: Overviews of reviews series. This study outlines the state of the evidence from existing systematic reviews in relation to the effectiveness of crisis and post-crisis interventions for victims and survivors of sexual violence. It found that the most evaluated crisis response interventions were sexual assault response teams and sexual assault nurse examiner programs, and while there is emerging evidence that these are effective across several outcomes, the evidence base is limited and the quality of the evidence overall is poor. Evaluations of post-crisis responses were found to be similarly small and lacking methodological rigour despite some evidence of improved mental health outcomes.

The effectiveness of interventions for perpetrators of domestic and family violence: An overview of findings from reviews

Family Violence, Report, Research, Intimate partner violence, Report

Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) has released this research report as part of the What works: Overviews of reviews series. This study examined the evidence of effectiveness reported by reviews of interventions for perpetrators of domestic and family violence (DFV) and intimate partner violence (IPV). A key finding was that of 29 reviews that assessed the effectiveness of behaviour change interventions for a reduction in DFV/IPV, only one concluded that the intervention works. The review concludes that the quality of evidence in this space is poor and there are significant gaps.

The effects of pornography on children and young people

Safety and wellbeing, Report

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has released a report looking at the impact of exposure to and consumption of online pornography on children and young people. The report synthesises the existing research to draw out consistent themes and identify promising approaches to addressing the harms of online pornography.

The Australian government has released a short guide for educators and other practitioners working with young people on how to highlight and dismantle stereotypes and language that is potentially damaging to both genders. The guide points out that phrases like ‘boys will be boys’ can normalise aggression and teach girls to expect to be treated in this way. The guide is part of a wider campaign that aims to change attitudes surrounding domestic violence and gender equality.

The first thousand days: An evidence paper

Early years

A report by researchers at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute examines the impact of early experiences on different aspects of development and functioning, including health and wellbeing, mental health, social functioning and cognitive development. The report finds disadvantage can be passed down through the generations at a cellular level. New evidence included in the report underscores the significance of the first thousand days, and of the need to reform policies, practices and systems in response.

The first year of Covid-19: Initial outcomes of our collective care for low-income children in Aotearoa New Zealand

Poverty, Report, Children, COVID-19, Data, New Zealand, Report

Child Poverty Action Group has released this report reviewing available data sources to determine the impacts of the pandemic and government action/inaction on low-income children in New Zealand. A key finding is that tamariki Māori were 2.5 to 3 times more likely than Pākehā (white) children to have been pushed into poverty in the year prior to March 2021. The report concludes that structural investments by government are needed to ensure the long-term wellbeing of children and their families and must centre Māori guidance.

The Hard Road: National economic & social impact survey 2017

Mental Health, Safety and wellbeing

The Salvation Army has released the findings from its sixth annual Economic and Social Impact Survey (ESIS). The national survey explores the challenges experienced by those who access the Salvation Army’s Emergency Relief (ER) services. It shows that the top three day-to-day challenges faced by individuals and families include being able to afford enough food to eat, managing mental health and emotional wellbeing, and managing financial stress. Homelessness and housing stress were also important themes that emerged from the study, with 44% of respondents having moved house at least three times in the past 12 months and 66% experiencing extreme housing stress.

The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey

Families and parenting

The latest report of the annual Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey has been released by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research. The annual report explores seven topics: family life; economic wellbeing; labour market outcomes; retirement; gambling; young home-owners and; attitudes to marriage, parenting and work. The longitudinal study aims to tell the stories of the same group of Australians over the course of their lives. Among other findings, the cost of childcare was shown to have a profound impact on families in recent years, with costs increasing by 104 per cent for single income families and 75 per cent for couples since 2002.

The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey: Selected findings from waves 1 to 19

Report, Data, Survey, Economic Wellbeing, Family Life, Report

The Melbourne Institute has released the 16th annual Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey report. The data and findings are presented using the following topics: households and family life, household economic wellbeing, the labour market, unpaid work, housing mobility, psychological distress, retirement, time stress, self-control, and attitudes towards marriage, parenting and work. A key finding is that women continue to do more unpaid work than men, however the gap has reduced since 2002.

The impact of childhood abuse: What can we learn from neuroscience?

This article from the UK National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) discusses the theory of latent vulnerability and how a new clinical tool could help children’s mental health. The article summarises the concept of ‘latent vulnerability’ based on research relating to abuse and neglect affect brain functioning. A preventative clinical approach is discussed, as it offers a framework through which we can identify and assist children at risk of health issues in the future.

The impacts of child sexual abuse: A rapid evidence assessment

Child maltreatment

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has published a summary report of the existing evidence for the impact of child sexual abuse. The report shows that child sexual abuse is associated with an increased risk of negative outcomes in all areas of victims and survivors’ lives, and can play out at any stage of the survivor’s life. The report also highlights some gaps in the existing literature, including the impact of child sexual assault on older survivors, minority ethnic groups, and on lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender people.

The journey to evidence: Adopting evidence-based programs in an Australian child welfare organization

Evidence-Based Program, Children, Case Study, Journal article, Case Study

This article published in Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance outlines a case study on the adoption and implementation of evidence-based programs by OzChild. The case study draws on interviews with organisational leaders and managers to identify strategies, decision-making processes and challenges faced during the adoption of evidence-based programs.

The lifelong health and wellbeing trajectories of people who have been in care: Findings from the Looked-after Children Grown Up Project

Report, Data, Kinship Care, Report

This report from Amanda Sacker and colleagues investigates inequalities in outcomes among adults with care experience by examining health and social functioning in mid-life using longitudinal data from the Office for National Statistics. The study, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, found that kinship care was associated with better outcomes in adulthood than foster care.

The management of disclosure in children’s accounts of domestic violence: Practices of telling and not telling

Family Violence

This paper considers the reflections of children and young people on their experiences of disclosing domestic violence. It draws from interviews with 107 children and young people across Greece, Italy, Spain and the UK. The accounts included in the report highlight the constraints placed on children and young people’s capacity for articulation and self-expression, and the creative ways that they have been able to disclose what is happening within their families. Importantly, it emphasises children’s capacity for agency in situations of domestic violence.

The New Work Smarts: Thriving in the new work order

Youth Justice

The Foundation for Young Australians has released a report exploring the changing face of work. Drivers such as automation, flexible work arrangements and globalisation mean that the skills required by workers in the future will be very different from those of today. The report predicts that 77 per cent more time will be spent using science and mathematics skills, and that skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and digital literacy will be critical. The report suggests that Australia’s education system, from preschool through to higher education, needs to adapt to adequately prepare young people for work.

The opportunities, risks and possibilities of social impact investment for housing and homelessness

Out of Home Care (OOHC), Safety and wellbeing

This report from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) investigates the opportunities and risks for social impact investments to improve housing and homelessness outcomes. It examines alternative finance models and presents case studies of social impact investment. The report highlights that the social impact investment market is still in its infancy and consequently the evidence base is limited.