The latest material added to the Australian Institute of Family Studies library database is displayed, up to a maximum of 30 items. Where available online, a link to the document is provided. Many items can be borrowed from the Institute's library via the Interlibrary loan system.
Child and Family Social Work 17 Feb 2021: Advance online publication
This article looks at the complex nature of adolescent family violence, focusing on the intergenerational transmission of violence and how mothers can be victimised by both their partners and later by their affected children. First, the article discusses the literature on the impact of intimate partner violence on children, the intergenerational transmission of domestic violence, the gendered nature of adolescent family violence, and mothers' help seeking behaviours. It then presents findings from a research study in Queensland, involving interviews with 9 mothers affected by both partner violence and violence from a child, identified as part of a broader study. The mothers' discussed the violence witnessed by their children, how children could be used to target the mothers, the adverse impacts on children's behaviour, and how the mothers make sense of children's violence and their own experiences of dual victimisation.
Canberra, A.C.T. : National Missing Persons Coordination Centre, 2021
This report was commissioned to learn more about children and young people reported missing in Australia, to help inform prevention efforts. It analyses police data on 1,171 individuals and 3,009 episodes involving children and young people reported missing during a 30-day period in 2019, to investigate the characteristics and attributes of missing youth; the characteristics and attributes of specific categories of missing youth, namely those who repeatedly go missing; and jurisdictional similarities and differences in policy and procedures for reporting missing youth. The findings highlight that young people in out of home care are a particular risk group: though they comprise less than 1% of all young people, they make up 53% of all young people reported missing and are responsible for 77% of missing episodes. Almost 60% of all missing youth went missing more than once. Indigenous young people were also over-represented. Comparisons are also made with overseas studies.
Child Abuse and Neglect v. 113 Mar 2021: Article 104931
Research has found that children who experience abuse are at greater risk of self-harm later in adolescence. This article investigates whether this is also true for Aboriginal children in Australia. It uses linked child protection and hospital records from the Northern Territory to compare different levels and timing of child protection involvement throughout childhood and rates of self-harm in adolescence. Of the 6,476 children in the study, just under half had been involved with the child protection service before the age of 12, fifty children had been admitted to hospital for self-harm before the age of 18, and of those, 72% had a history of child protection involvement. The cumulative risk was greatest for Aboriginal boys with a history of out-of-home care and Aboriginal girls with a history of substantiations only. Children with substantiations in both early and middle childhood were nine times more likely to experience self-harm in adolescence than their peers.
PLoS ONE v. 15 no. 8 2020: Article e0237251
The research so far suggests that children exposed to family and domestic violence are at greater risk of poorer health. This article investigates this further using linked administrative datasets from Western Australia. It analyses the hospital records of children born from 1987-2010, to identify children exposed either prenatally or before the age of 5 to violence against their mother by a partner. The records produced a sample of 7,957 children who had been exposed to violence and 41,996 who had not. The findings indicate that children exposed to this violence are more likely to be hospitalised than non-exposed children, with Aboriginal children at even greater risk. In terms of specific conditions, these children were at greater risk of requiring hospitalisation for pregnancy-related complications or mental health issues or substance abuse.
East Melbourne, Vic. : Parenting Research Centre, 2020.
The LINKS Trauma Healing Service is an evidence-based, multi-disciplinary treatment program for children and young people in out of home care in New South Wales. The program aims to increase stability of out of home care placements, respond to trauma and other underlying causes of child abuse and neglect, and decrease trauma symptoms and improve psychological wellbeing of children, young people and carers. This is the final report of a 3-year evaluation of the program. Using interviews and administrative data, it examines client outcomes and experiences and program implementation and costs after more than two years of operation. By the end of 2019, 264 children and young people had received a service, with 108 completed one or more treatment programs, including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing, and the Tuning into Kids/Tuning into Teens program. The evaluation finds significant increases in placement stability and better psychological outcomes for children, and also improved carer wellbeing, child and young person post-traumatic stress, school suspensions, and contacts with juvenile justice.
Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Criminology, 2020.
"Focused on the Children's Court of New South Wales, the current study examines the factors underlying the criminalisation of children in out-of-home care. Using a mixed-method approach - court observations, file reviews and qualitative interviews - we found evidence of how histories of trauma and situational factors relating to the care environment interact to criminalise care-experienced children. Our findings from this unique methodology echo previous research on the criminalisation of children in care. These consistencies in research demonstrate the systemic nature of criminalisation and galvanise arguments for a cultural shift in our response to those with care experience. Care-experienced children have complex needs which require recognition and additional support at all stages in the care and criminal justice systems. Innovations observed in our United Kingdom based case study offer potential pathways to reduce criminalisation. However, any strategy needs to privilege Indigenous voices and take into account the contemporary impact of colonisation."--Publisher abstract.
Melbourne, Vic. : Commission for Children and Young People, 2020.
This inquiry examines the needs and aspirations of young people leaving care in Victoria and the capacity of the system to respond. When the state assumes the responsibility and obligation to act as a parent to a child in care, it must do more than simply meeting the basic needs of a child until they turn 18. The inquiry looks into: the lived experience of transitioning from care; the education, health, mental health and housing needs and aspirations of young people leaving care; the short to medium life trajectories of these young people, including living arrangements and engagement with social and health services, homelessness services, education and training, and the criminal justice system; and the application of Victorian Government policies and guidelines regarding planning and preparation for leaving care. It draws on consultations with young people and stakeholders and a review of case files and quantitative data. The inquiry finds the out-of-home care system is not doing enough to help young people plan and prepare for their transition to independence, and makes 15 recommendation for improvement.
Children Australia 27 Nov 2020: Advance online publication
This article explores the high prevalence of pregnancy among care leavers. It discusses the literature on the association between the transition from care and early parenting, with reference to Boss's 2010 Ambiguous Loss theory, which contends that young people with experiences of child protection involvement and placement in out-of-home care may experience enduring feelings of loss associated with removal from their family, as well as from any placement instability. Sections in the article include: Prevalence of care leaver early parenting; Care leavers, removal from family and Ambiguous Loss theory; Reconnecting with family: choice or necessity?; Disenfranchised loss and grief; Relationships with family and social and community connections; The social exclusion of bureaucratic care; Pathways to care leavers' early parenting; The 'emotional void': wanted pregnancies and school as a preventative factor; Protective interventions: surveillance bias or support?; Poverty and protective interventions; Child removal and repeat pregnancies; Parenting support and 'turning lives around'; Extended care; Blaming the victim: exploitation and coercion; and Sex education and pregnancy prevention.
Sydney, N.S.W. : Suicide Prevention Australia, 2020.
This report looks at suicide risk and prevention for children in the child protection system. It presents findings from a review of the literature on whether system involvement is a risk factor for suicidal behaviour, and the effectiveness of interventions to reduce suicide thoughts, attempts and deaths among children and young people in contact with child protection or in out of home care. It investigates the role played by risk factors associated with childhood trauma and interactions with the child protection and out of home system, what interventions have been shown to be effective, and what interventions may be most appropriate and feasible within the Australian context. The research suggests children in care are 4.9 times more likely to display suicidal behaviour, and that the risk factors for suicide, as identified in the general population, overlap in almost all aspects with characteristics of children in care. The review found that there is only limited evidence into interventions, and that more research is needed on the impact of trauma-informed care, culturally appropriate interventions, and interventions that reduce the risk of trauma associated with child maltreatment. However, it recommends implementing emotional regulation-based interventions targeted at children and young people, along with interventions targeted at child protection staff and carers, such as gatekeeping training, screening assessments, and psychoeducation.
Wellington N.Z. : Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children, 2020.
This report outlines what is known about best practice for children and adolescents who are victims of sexual violence or who display concerning or harmful sexual behaviours. It provides a high-level overview of recent evidence and research into best practice mainstream services and supports and evidence-informed responses, and was commissioned to inform service design for the New Zealand Joint Venture for Family Violence and Sexual Violence. It discusses early indicators or warning signs, prevention of sexual violence against children and young people, victims with intellectual or neuro-disabilities and other impairments, therapeutic support, barriers to accessing therapeutic and support services, perspectives of children and young people who are victims of sexual violence, systems approaches, understanding concerning or harmful sexual behaviour, addressing concerning or harmful sexual behaviour, and assessment tools and treatment models.
Sydney, NSW : Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care, 2020.
This guide has been developed to support Intensive Therapeutic Care (ITC) staff to balance empowerment and limit setting in young people with trauma-based behaviours. Limit setting with appropriate consequences or discipline is one of the most challenging tasks for practitioners to agree on and implement. This guide explores these concepts and considers how to establish the right balance between empowerment and limit setting. Empowerment and limit setting are developmental needs that are significantly disrupted or unmet in the lives of traumatised young people with complex needs, and an inability to understand trauma-based behaviours often sees the young person labelled as 'high risk' and 'challenging'.
Perth, WA : Ombudsman Western Australia, 2020.
This inquiry continues the work of the Western Australian Ombudsman to prevent suicide by children and young people. It follows on from a 2014 inquiry by the Ombudsman, which made 22 recommendations to Government. This new report has 3 volumes, beginning with an executive summary. Volume 2 examines the impact of the 2014 recommendations, and the actions taken to give effect to these recommendations. The Ombudsman is pleased to report that steps have been taken or are proposed to be taken for all of the recommendations. Volume 3 updates the earlier inquiry, by examining a further 79 deaths by suicide and reviewing current policy and research on suicide and self-harm by Western Australian children and young people. It also presents data from 2009/10 to 2017/18 on deaths by suicide and hospital admissions and emergency department attendances for self-harming and suicidal behaviour. Based on this investigation, another 7 recommendations are made, including the development of a plan to focus and coordinate collaborative and cooperative State government efforts.
North Melbourne, Vic. : National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, 2020.
There is growing concern in Victoria over the rise in young people engaging in violent motor vehicle crime. This report explores young people's backgrounds and motivations for engaging in violent motor vehicle theft, in order to help crime prevention and youth justice rehabilitation efforts. It presents findings from interviews with 15 young people who were serving a custodial sentence in a youth justice facility for violent motor vehicle offences. The findings indicate that this crime was associated with severe level substance use and dependence, and the participants reported histories of behavioural issues and school disengagement from primary school onwards and later school suspension and expulsion. They also described childhoods of family violence, child protection services, witnessing family members using illicit substances, intergenerational offending, homelessness, and problematic school experiences. More extreme motor vehicle theft methods were employed to address anti-theft immobilisation technology, and violence was used when participants felt blocked by the victim in achieving their goal of obtain substances or avoiding police detection quickly. The participants also suggested interventions that may prevent other young people from engaging in crime.
Canberra : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2020.
Research shows that children and young people who have been abused or neglected are at greater risk of entering the youth justice system. This report presents information on young people under youth justice supervision during 2018-19 who had also received child protection services in the 5 years from 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2019. The statistics show that more than half of young people who had been in youth justice supervision had also received child protection services, about one-third were the subject of a substantiated notification for abuse or neglect, and over a fifth had been in out-of-home care.
Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Criminology, 2020.
There have been several reviews of state and territory youth justice systems in recent years, undertaken by such bodies as ombudsman, inspectors of custodial services, children's guardians and advocates, and the Australian Law Reform Commission. This paper looks into the key themes raised by these reviews, to investigate the broad system-level issues that are common across the country, as well as the recommendations on how these can be addressed. Though the reviews differed on some points, they all recognised that young people who find themselves in contact with youth justice systems are a vulnerable population, often with multiple and complex needs, and that their vulnerability and disadvantage can be further exacerbated by the detrimental impacts of detention. Many of the reviews recommended that detention should only be used as a last resort, and other common responses included increasing the age of criminal responsibility, increasing the use of diversion, and reducing the remand population.
Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Criminology, 2020.
Though the overwhelming majority of children from out of home care do not commit crime, they are over-represented in the criminal justice system. This report investigates this further, with a study of the underlying pathways from out-of-home care into the criminal justice system. In particular, it explores how criminal justice authorities treat these children in relation to matters such as bail and sentencing. The study draws on court files and court observations from the Children's Court of New South Wales, along with interviews and focus groups with professionals in New South Wales and also the United Kingdom. The findings demonstrate that the criminalisation of these children results from a complex interaction between trauma, mental health conditions, the care environment, and difficulties in locating suitable accommodation. Although there was recognition of the traumatic histories of care-experienced children, management of problem behaviour was often prioritised over holistic and trauma-informed care.
Wellington, N.Z. : Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children, 2020
This paper answers commonly posed questions about the youth crime in New Zealand. These include: is youth offending becoming more serious?; is the decrease in youth offending over the past decade due to Police behaviour or a reduction in youth offending?; are reoffending rates higher for young people compared with adults?; so a large proportion of young people involved in youth justice go on to reoffend?; and do care-experienced young people move into the youth justice system? There has been a substantial drop in youth offending between 2010 and 2018. However, as this reduction has been greatest for less serious crimes, more serious crimes now account for a greater proportion of all offences. The vast majority of young people with care and protection statutory involvement are never involved in the youth justice system.
Children and Youth Services Review 15 Aug 2020: Advance online publication
The criminal exploitation of children involved in the child protection system is of rising concern, but little research into this issue. This article adds to the evidence with findings from a broader study on 'crossover children' - those involved with both the child protection and youth justice systems - in Victoria. The study involved consultations with workers and officials and an audit of case files from children's courts. The findings highlight that is an identified concern in the sector. Criminal exploitation is perpetrated by strangers, romantic partners, and family members, often alongside sexual exploitation and substance abuse, and with children in residential care and those with neuro-disability at particular risk. Legal and welfare responses are also discussed.
Melbourne, Vic. : Sentencing Advisory Council, 2020.
This paper supplements two previous reports into the link between child protection and youth justice involvement in Victoria. Of the 5,063 children sentenced or diverted in Victoria in 2016 and 2017, 38% had been the subject of at least one child protection report. The first report examined the child protection backgrounds of children who received a sentence or diversion in the Victorian Children's Court, while the second report explored the pathways that lead children into the criminal justice system. This new paper identifies the policy issues relating to sentencing children who have experienced trauma, particularly children who have had contact with the child protection system. It examines the principles that currently apply to sentencing children who have experienced trauma in Victoria, summarises the relevance of childhood trauma to childhood offending, considers the merits of these sentencing principles and provides examples of matters that could be included, examines the structure of the Children's Court and its impact on sentencing, and canvasses measures to support trauma-informed sentencing by strengthening the interface between the Family Division and the Criminal Division of the Children's Court of Victoria. To be just and effective, the sentencing of children requires that the issue of trauma must be addressed. Though this paper does not make formal recommendations, it does raise several suggestions for reform.
London : Victims' Commissioner, 2020.
This is the first of two studies into domestic abuse as a risk factors for youth violence. It reviews the literature from the United Kingdom and the United States on the prevalence of children's experience of domestic abuse and the overlap between this and their offending behaviour, protective factors, the effectiveness of support interventions, and gaps in the evidence base.
London : Victims' Commissioner, 2020.
This British review looks at one of the widely acknowledged risk factors for youth violence: domestic abuse. This study takes a holistic approach to understanding children and young people's experiences as both victim and perpetrator, and the overlap and interplay of these issues in children's lives. It draws on a recent literature review, analysis of quantitative data from the Children in Need Census and the Crime Survey for England and Wales, and consultations with key experts and stakeholders. Chapters include: The impacts of domestic abuse on children and young people; Recognising children who experience domestic abuse as victims; Overlaps between children's experience of domestic abuse and offending behaviour; Support and interventions for victims of childhood criminal exploitation and those involved in serious youth violence; and Recent trends in children and young people's victimisation and offending behaviour.
Melbourne, Vic. : Sentencing Advisory Council, 2020.
This is the second of two reports on the link between child protection and youth justice involvement in Victoria. Of the 5,063 children sentenced or diverted in Victoria in 2016 and 2017, 38% had been the subject of at least one child protection report. The first report examined the child protection backgrounds of children who received a sentence or diversion in the Victorian Children's Court in 2016 or 2017. This second report explores the pathways that lead children into the criminal justice system, including these children's backgrounds and the circumstances associated with their offending. It focuses on timing, profiles, and offences: that is, whether child protection involvement or youth justice involvement occurred first; how child protection histories varied according to children's age, gender, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, and experience of out of home care; whether there was an association between offence type and the existence and extent of child protection involvement; and differences between specific or regional and metropolitan courts.
Melbourne, Vic. : Crime Statistics Agency, 2020.
This paper adds to what is known about adolescent family violence in Victoria and how it can be prevented. Using data from Victoria Police, Family Violence Intervention Orders, and the Victorian Youth Justice system, it provides a summary about police reported incidents, examines the characteristics and outcomes involved, and identifies opportunities for early intervention efforts. Adolescent family violence is defined here as incidents where adolescents are the primary aggressors of abuse or violence against family members or current or former partners. Topics include: the characteristics of incidents, regional differences, comparisons with family violence perpetrated by adults, characteristics and needs of affected family members, characteristics and needs of adolescent perpetrators, and interactions with the justice system after the initial police report. The number of adolescent family violence incidents recorded by police has increased 11.8% over the past five years, with intimate partner violence the fastest growing type and rates twice as high in regional or rural Victoria compared with major cities. Over half of these young people had prior contact with police as a witness or victim of family violence, and most will go on to have some kind of future contact with the justice system - whether as an aggressor or a crime victim.
Sydney, NSW : The Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney, 2020
This report looks into the mental health of young people involved in the justice system in Australia. It presents findings from a survey of 465 justice-involved young people from Queensland and Western Australia, aged 14-17 years of age, regarding their general health, history of justice system involvement, experiences of non-sexual abuse, mental health, mental illness, post-traumatic stress disorders, alcohol abuse, substance use, self-harm and suicidal behaviours, and use of mental health services. Comparisons are made by gender and by Indigenous status, as well as with findings from the Young Minds Survey of mental health in the general youth population. The findings highlight the significant co-occurrences of mental ill-health, abuse, head injury, and justice involvement, and the disproportionately high rates of attempted suicide and self-harm.
Lancet Child & Adolescent Health v. 4 no. 2 Feb 2020: 151-162
This article investigates whether health and developmental problems in childhood and adolescence are associated with involvement in the criminal justice system before 18 years of age. It reviews the international literature on the health determinants of adolescent criminalisation, what health and developmental difficulties serve as determinants of early criminal justice involvement, and how social disadvantage can combine with these health and developmental difficulties to exacerbate this risk. The review finds that health and developmental difficulties in childhood and adolescence - including neurodevelopmental disabilities, traumatic brain injury, mental health difficulties, and trauma and adversity - increase the risk of early criminalisation, and that this risk is amplified by societal marginalisation, structural disadvantage, and inequality. The article concludes with the implications for early intervention and criminal justice system reform.
Melbourne : Victorian Government, 2020.
This framework establishes a commitment by government departments, police and residential care service providers in Victoria to reduce the unnecessary and inappropriate contact of young people in residential care with the criminal justice system. It sets out guiding principles to reduce criminalisation of young people in residential care, presents a decision-making guide for when to call police in residential care, and discusses roles and responsibilities and how the framework will be implemented. This framework is endorsed by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, the Department of Justice and Community Safety, the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency, and Victoria Police. Many young people in residential care have experienced extensive abuse and neglect, and now exhibit behaviour problems and risk taking and are at greater risk of contact with the police and youth justice system. This framework is part of a proactive policy approach to disrupt this trajectory.
British Journal of Social Work v. 50 no. 7 Oct 2020: 2191-2211
This article presents findings from a recent study into the overlap of children and young people with child protection backgrounds in the youth justice system. The article focuses on the contexts in which these children offend and the factors associated with prosecution. The study involved a two-year case file audit of 300 children and young people appearing before the Victorian Children's Court who also had a history of child protection involvement. Three key contexts for offending were identified: adolescent family violence, residential care-based offending, and group-based offending. The study also found that children's combined neurodevelopment, mental health and substance abuse issues were also associated with offending in each of these contexts. The findings highlight the issue of addressing behavioural challenges in care without involving the court system.
East Melbourne, Vic. : Parenting Research Centre, 2019.
The LINKS Trauma Healing Service is an evidence-based, multi-disciplinary treatment program for children and young people in out of home care in New South Wales. The program aims to increase stability of out of home care placements, respond to trauma and other underlying causes of child abuse and neglect, and decrease trauma symptoms and improve psychological wellbeing of children, young people and carers. This is the second report from a three-year evaluation of the program. It presents early findings on client outcomes and experiences and implementation and costs. Currently, several modules are offered to clients: Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, and the Tuning into Kids/Tuning into Teens program. At this preliminary stage of the evaluation, there are encouraging indications that the LINKS programs are having a positive effect on such outcomes as placement stability, post-traumatic stress in younger children, behaviour problems, emotional symptoms, social skills, and carer wellbeing. It concludes with recommendations for referral, treatment fidelity, and data collection.
Sydney, N.S.W. : Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care, 2019.
This paper provides an overview of the literature on the experiences and needs of young people in out of home care who are same sex attracted, trans or gender diverse. Topics include population estimates, experiences before and after care, and the kinds of supports that are needed. The international research indicates that LGBTIQ young people are over-represented in out-of-home care, are likely to have been exposed to more physical, emotional and sexual violence prior to being placed in care. and are also more vulnerable subsequent to leaving care. This paper was produced by the Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care, a partnership between the Australian Childhood Foundation and Southern Cross University established to support the rollout of the new Intensive Therapeutic Care system across New South Wales.
Sydney, N.S.W. : Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care, 2019.
This paper provides an overview of the literature on care criminalisation and the importance of adopting a trauma-informed lens in work with young people in residential care. Young people who are in, or have been in out-of-home care, are at higher risk of coming in contact with the criminal justice system, due to the lived experience and impact of complex trauma, as well as receiving insufficient support during care. However, a number of measures are available to care agencies to reduce the chances of young people becoming involved in criminal activities and the justice system. This paper discusses the issue of care criminalisation, residential care as a predictor of contact with justice systems, types of offences and experiences of young people in out-of-home care, the main antecedents of offending, conceptualising care criminalisation through a trauma-informed lens, and trauma-informed responses. This paper was produced by the Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care, a partnership between the Australian Childhood Foundation and Southern Cross University established to support the rollout of the new Intensive Therapeutic Care system across New South Wales.