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 abuse and neglect in Indigenous communities
British Journal of Social Work v. 49 no. 4 Jun 2019: 1059-1080
This article describes a new program for Aboriginal survivors of institutional child sexual abuse who had also experienced cultural abuse and disconnection. This healing program was designed, developed and delivered by an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation, and provides a culturally informed approach to healing that is lacking in mainstream services. The article discusses the development, implementation and evaluation of the program, and highlights the views of participants and program facilitators. It concludes with learnings to help inform the design and implementation of similar social work programs.
Ashfield, NSW : FACS Insights, Analysis and Research, NSW Department of Communities and Justice, 2019.
This report presents information on the number and characteristics of children in the protection system in New South Wales in 2016-2017 with a teenage parent and identified as being at risk of significant harm. Though only 1.4% of children met this criteria, these children were more likely to be assessed as unsafe, be reported at a younger age, to have received reports across most categories of abuse and neglect, and enter out-of-home care. Nine in ten of their parents themselves had child protection involvement as a child. Differences are also noted between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal teenage parents. Teenage parents are often subject to an intergenerational cycle of abuse and neglect, making their children a small but distinct and important sub-group requiring a targeted service response.
Ashfield, NSW : NSW Dept. of Family and Community Services, 2019.
This report looks into the number and circumstances of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal teenage parents with children in out of home care in New South Wales. Using data from the Pathways of Care longitudinal study (POCLS), it investigates the association of parent age with child protection history, type of abuse, entry into care, restoration attempts, contact with children, and relationship with child, comparing parents aged 15-19 years, 20-25 years, and 26 years and over. The study found that a small but significant number of children in out of home care were born to teenage parents. These parents also had high rates of child protection involvement themselves. Restorations were successful on the first attempt for 71.9% of children with Aboriginal teenage mothers and 78% of children with non-Aboriginal teenage mothers.
Fitzroy, Vic. : SNAICC, 2019
'Family Matters - Strong communities, Strong Culture, Stronger Children' is a national campaign to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in Australia grow up safe and cared for in family, community and culture. A key aim is to eliminate the over-representation of Indigenous kids in out-of-home care. The Family Matters Report series will measure both the extent of the problem as well as progress towards implementing evidence-informed solutions. This 2019 report finds that this over-representation continues to escalate at an alarming rate: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children make up 37.3% of the total out-of-home care population, but are only 5.5% of the total population of children in Australia. The decreasing rate of placement of children with Indigenous carers is also a significant concern. The report discusses current data and trends, projections in out-of-home care to 2028, government responses, structural drivers of child protection intervention, access to quality and culturally safe universal and targeted services, compliance with the placement element of the Child Placement Principle, and cultural planning, and concludes with recommendations for action.
Canberra : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019.
Research shows that children and young people who have been abused or neglected are at greater risk of engaging in criminal activity and entering the youth justice system. This report investigates the overlap between children and young people in both the child protection and youth justice systems in Australia, drawing on linked data from 6 jurisdictions over the four year period 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2018. It provides information on involvement in either or both systems, care and protection orders, out of home care, age at first justice supervision, gender and Indigenous status, and types of supervision imposed. The findings show that though the majority of children who are abused or neglected do not go on to offend, a large proportion of children who offend do have a history of child protection involvement. Young people who had been under youth justice supervision were 9 times as likely as the general population to have received child protection services, and that Indigenous Australians were 17 times as likely as their non-Indigenous counterparts to have received both child protection services and youth justice supervision.
Child Abuse and Neglect v. 97 Nov 2019: 104145
This article investigates children's risk of child protection system involvement - looking at risk of involvement across their whole childhood rather than year at a time. It analyses linked administrative data from South Australia for all 608,547 children born between 1986 and 2017. It compares investigations, substantiations, and out-of-home care involvement, and differences between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children, age groups, and across years. Rates varied across this period, but 1.5% of non-Aboriginal and 12.7% of Aboriginal children were placed in care.
Darwin, N.T. : Territory Families, Northern Territory Government, 2019
This document presents a model to support Aboriginal organisations in the Northern Territory to identify, recruit and support Aboriginal kinship and foster carers so Aboriginal children can stay connected to family, culture and community. The model focuses on providing safe, stable and best possible placements for Aboriginal children in those instances where removal is a necessity and reunification, despite best efforts, has not yet been achievable. It is part of a broader strategy by the Northern Territory Government to transform out of home care for Aboriginal children, and is aimed at government-funded family and kin care services. The document details the development and rationale of the model, sets out its elements and phases, and explains how it addresses the key issues of the current approach to out of home care, which were identified through consultations with stakeholders and a review of the evidence. This review was published separately but is also included as an appendix. Guidelines on implementation are also included.
Brisbane, Qld. : Dept. of Child Safety, Youth and Women, 2019.
This report looks at Queensland's progress in addressing the overrepresentation of Indigenous children in child protection and youth justice. This is the first update on the impact of 'Our Way', a twenty-year strategy to address the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the child protection and youth justice systems within one generation. The first action plan, 'Changing Tracks', covered the priorities and tasks for the 2017-2019 period. This report highlights the positive progress made so far against the six priority areas, covering the period May 2017-December 2018. The strategy and action plan were developed by the Queensland Government in partnership with the Family Matters national campaign, and this progress report was produced by the Queensland First Children and Families Board - a group established under the first action plan to oversee the implementation of 'Our Way'.
Melbourne : Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, 2019.
Written for practitioners and policymakers, this paper summarises some of the findings from a recent study into the housing needs of Indigenous women and children facing domestic and family violence. It discusses the complexities of leaving home, the limited availability of emergency housing options, difficulties in accessing and sustaining long-term housing, responses and housing options for offenders, and increased risk of child removal. It advises that developing culturally appropriate responses to Indigenous domestic and family violence and improving integration between housing and domestic and family violence and child protection services should reduce rates of Indigenous women's injury and death, as well as rates of Indigenous children's out-of-home care. The full findings are published in the report 'Improving housing and service responses to domestic and family violence for Indigenous individuals and families'.
Melbourne : Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, 2019.
Indigenous women and children have very limited housing pathways to choose from in the aftermath of domestic and family violence, and they often become trapped in a revolving door between crisis services, homelessness, and returning to an unsafe home. This report investigates the housing needs of Indigenous women and children facing domestic and family violence and considers the policy development options. It advises that developing culturally appropriate responses to Indigenous domestic and family violence and improving integration between housing and domestic and family violence and child protection services should reduce rates of Indigenous women's injury and death, as well as rates of Indigenous children's out-of-home care. This study drew on an evidence and policy review, interviews with 9 Indigenous women who had experienced domestic and family violence, and interviews with 30 policy and service delivery stakeholders from the housing, domestic violence, legal and health sectors, conducted in two regional cities in New South Wales and the Northern Territory.
Children Australia v. 44 no. 2 Jun 2019: 84-90
Child protection workers are at risk of traumatic stress, but research has found many are reluctant to seek support. This article looks at the experiences of Indigenous child protection practitioners based in Queensland and barriers to seeking support. Interviews were conducted with 13 practitioners, regarding their experiences of traumatic stress and ongoing impact and experience of seeking support within their workplaces. Together, the participants' describe an organisational culture of bullying, intimidation and retribution, where not coping is seen as incompetence. These findings are part of a broader PhD study on Indigenous practitioners, and issues about cultural background will be discussed elsewhere. However, the participants' experiences are consistent with findings from other studies, regardless of background.
Alice Springs, N.T. : Child Friendly Alice, 2019.
This report provides statistics on how the children of Alice Springs, in central Australia, are faring as well as their local conditions and living standards. Information is provided on family violence, neighbourhood safety, family relationships, child protection, housing, food security, health and health services, engagement in learning, family support for learning, community amenity, participation, and support for identity and culture. Data is drawn from official statistics and a community survey, and is presented using the Nest Framework developed by the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth. This report can serve as a baseline to measure how the children in Alice Springs are faring over time, and identifies what gaps in the data need addressing. A technical report will be made available with more detailed information and analysis of the statistical data. This report is produced by Child Friendly Alice, a community initiative to enhance the wellbeing of children in Alice Springs.
Melbourne, Vic. : Sentencing Advisory Council, 2019.
This is the first of two reports on the link between child protection and youth justice involvement in Victoria. It examines the the child protection backgrounds of children who received a sentence or diversion in the Victorian Children's Court in 2016 or 2017. It looks at the proportion of children known to child protection, levels of involvement and placement in care, specific sentence types, and age differences. The findings highlight the over-representation in the juvenile justice system of children from the child protection system, particularly those placed in residential care and Indigenous children. The study finds that, of children sentenced or diverted in the court, 38% were the subject of at least one child protection report, 25% were the subject of at least one substantiated report, and 15% experienced out-of-home care. Children with a child protection background were also more likely to appear before the courts at a younger age. The findings aim to inform sentencing practice and policy and identify earlier opportunities for intervention for these at risk children.
West Perth, W.A. : WACOSS, 2019
This report presents recommendations on how to improve engagement between Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs), Community Service Organisations (CSOs), and public sector agencies, and to address the systemic, cultural and inter-agency barriers to collaboration. The recommendations stem from a series of roundtables held by the West Australian Council of Social Service and Noongar Family Safety and Wellbeing Council, which were particularly dominated by services involved in the family service and child protection sectors. It is hoped these recommendations will make a small but important contribution to honouring the principles and practice of self-determination for Aboriginal people and ACCOs, and manifestly improve the lives of Aboriginal children and their families.
Canberra : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019.
This report brings together the latest information on the prevalence and impact of family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia, and identifies key gaps in the data. Statistics are provided on: prevalence and rates; extent and nature; responses by the justice, health, and specialist support services; long term health impacts; homicide; community attitudes towards violence against women; Indigenous Australians; and vulnerable populations, including children, young women, older people, people with disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, LGBTIQ+ people, people in rural and remote areas, and socioeconomically disadvantaged people. The report also lists state and territory government policies on family, domestic and sexual violence. Family, domestic and sexual violence is a major health and welfare issue: 1 in 6 women and 1 in 16 men have experienced violence by a current or previous partner since the age of 15, with even higher rates experiencing emotional abuse. 1 in 5 women and 1 in 20 men have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15. This report updates the inaugural 2018 report, and a brief version is also available.
Fitzroy, Vic. : SNAICC, 2019
This paper presents the executive summary of a strategy to help develop community controlled out-of-home care services for Aboriginal people in Central Australia. The strategy aims to restore cultural authority and empower Aboriginal communities to lead and direct the policies, programs and practices that are developed to promote the care and protection of Aboriginal children. The overriding goal is to ensure that Aboriginal children and young people and their families who are in contact with child protection services in the Northern Territory are safe and have the opportunity to thrive through the provision of a holistic scope of quality and culturally safe supports led by Aboriginal families, communities and community-controlled organisations. This paper sets out the strategy's guiding principles, goals, priorities, and key actions. The full version of the strategy has not been published.
Australian Journal of Primary Health v. 25 no. 2 2019: 157-162
This article adds to what is known about the high rates of injuries among Indigenous children in remote communities. Health care clinic data from 2006-2001 from three communities in the Cape York peninsula region of far north Queensland were analysed. Data was available for 563 children aged 0-14 years old. The analysis found that the leading causes of injury were falls, sport accidents, and transport accidents - in line with surveys of the general child population - but also high rates of cutting and piercing, assault, and animal, insect and plant related injuries - more so than the general child population. The study also identified differences in injury patterns and rates between the three communities and that the strengthening of local alcohol restrictions during the study period did not help address injury rates.
Adelaide, S. Aust. : Early Intervention Research Directorate, 2019.
This strategy outlines how the South Australian Government will create a new Child and Family Intensive Support System, beginning immediately and continuing over the next three years. The approach has been developed by the cross-government Taskforce established to lead the redesign of the state's child abuse and neglect early intervention and prevention system, with support from the Early Intervention Research Directorate (EIRD). While there are currently a range of services aimed at preventing and reducing child abuse and neglect, they are not organised as a connected system - as identified in the 2016 Royal Commission into the Child Protection system. New initiatives include the establishment of a new Intensive Support Unit focussed on providing and commissioning intensive, evidence-based services and connecting the system to other related services, such as those for domestic and family violence. This strategy document concludes with a list of services to be consolidated in the new unit.
Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019.
This report provides statistics on child protection services in Australia for the 2017/2018 period. It provides data on child protection notifications, investigations and substantiations, children on care and protection orders, characteristics of children in out-of-home care, kinship care and foster care households, and intensive family support services. Statistics are provided by state and territory, with comparisons with previous years where appropriate, and with statistics for Indigenous children. In 2017-18, about 159,000 children were in contact with child protection services: a rate of 28.7 per 1,000 children. Just over half of these children were the subject of an investigation only, and only 7% of children were involved in an investigation, care and protection order, and out-of-home care placement. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are over-represented in the child protection system, at 8 times the rate for non-Indigenous children. Children from very remote areas had the highest rates of substantiations, at 4 times that of children from major cities. Emotional abuse was the most common type of substantiated maltreatment.
Canberra : Dept. of Social Services, 2019
The National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children was endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments in April 2009. Action plans are produced every three years under this Framework, setting out the strategic focus for the next few years and how all governments, the non-government sector, and the broader community will implement and measure progress towards these goals. This is the fourth and final action plan, for the 2018-2020 period. The first three action plans delivered some key achievements, including the appointment of the National Children's Commissioner and the development of national standards for out-of-home care. The fourth action plan builds on these foundations and focuses on place-based initiatives, improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, improving permanency outcomes, and implementing the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations. This document sets out the priority areas and how they will be implemented.
Report on government services 2019. Melbourne, Vic. : Productivity Commission, 2019 2205-5703: 276p
As part of the 2019 review of government services in Australia, this chapter reports on the performance of child protection services. Statistics are presented for 2017/18 or as of 30 June 2018. It reports on work undertaken and achievement against key performance indicators, for statutory child protection services, out-of-home care services, intensive family support services, and related family support services. It describes the roles and responsibilities of key bodies, common pathways through the system, the framework of performance indicators and objectives, and additional proposed indicators. Indicators include: client satisfaction, response times, finalised investigations, substantiation rate, safety in out-of-home care, placement stability, placement with extended family, placement in accordance with the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle, placement with sibling, resubstantiation, and documented case plans. The chapter also presents statistics on: notifications and investigations, substantiations, care and protection orders, out of home care placements, state and federal funding, and expenditure per child per placement night. Statistics are also published separately as a spreadsheet. Nationally, 245,382 children were the subject of notifications in the 2017/18 period, and 56,412 children were on care and protection orders - 11,178 children were admitted to care in this period. The over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the child protection system is also discussed.
Australian Journal of Psychology v. 71 no. 2 Jun 2019: 187-192
Operation RESET is a multi-agency child protection initiative aimed at remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia. This article explores Indigenous stakeholders' experiences and views of the intervention, drawing on interviews with 9 family members and Indigenous service providers. The stakeholders' discuss themes of engagement, trust, inclusion, and outcomes, and speak positively about this new approach.
Southbank, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2019.
This paper looks at the latest data on the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the child protection and out-of-home care systems in Australia. It examines rates of substantiations of notifications, the findings of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory, the extent of abuse and neglect among Indigenous children, why Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children might be more likely to be abused or neglected, the most common types of abuse and neglect reported, placement rates in out of home care, and how this differs from abuse and care among non-Indigenous children. Data is taken largely from the 2016-17 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, published in 2018. The paper also discusses the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Child Placement Principle for out of home care and the barriers to children being placed in accordance with this principle. It concludes with an outline of the key government and peak body campaigns to address this over-representation.
Ashfield, NSW : NSW Dept. of Family and Community Services, 2018.
The report investigates the outcomes of Aboriginal children placed into out-of-home care in New South Wales, using data from the Pathways of Care longitudinal study (POCLS). It examines the physical, socio-emotional and cognitive development of Aboriginal children in care, and how it varies over time compared to non-Indigenous children, and also investigates the nature and extent of contact between Aboriginal children and their families, the reasons underlying entry into care, the characteristics of Aboriginal carers and whether they face different or similar challenges to carers in general, and whether the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle is being applied. The findings are discussed in the context of other Australian studies on Indigenous children in care. Overall, the findings are encouraging, with most Aboriginal children in the study generally achieving good developmental outcomes with progress similar to that of other children in care. However, there are areas of concern, particularly about whether the children are maintaining appropriate cultural connections.
Ashfield, NSW : NSW Dept. of Family and Community Services, 2018.
The report investigates what is known about the factors that influence the outcomes of children and young people in out-of-home care. It reviews the Australian and international literature on pathways into and through care and characteristics such as child age and gender, Indigenous children and culturally appropriate placements or support, birth family characteristics and disadvantage, type of maltreatment, emotional and behavioural problems, placement stability and type, family reunification, adoption, carer characteristics, caseworker support, caseworker training, therapeutic approaches, and contact with birth family. It identifies which factors are known to influence positive or negative outcome, which factors have not been found to have an impact, and the factors where more evidence is needed. This study was conducted to inform the work of the Pathways of Care longitudinal study.
Abingdon, UK : Routledge, 2018.
This book on child sexual abuse examines it from within the broader social and historical context, to provide a more nuanced insight into its causes and impacts. The book is aimed at professionals including police, child welfare workers, the judiciary, teachers, and the medical profession. Chapters include: Childhood, sex and society; Sexual development and behaviour in children; Adverse experiences in childhood; Prevalence of child sexual abuse; Abuse and neglect of children in Indigenous communities in Australia, New Zealand and Canada; Institutional child sexual abuse; Disclosure of child sexual abuse; Assessment of child sexual abuse; The effects of child sexual abuse; Memory; When memory deceives: false and recovered memories; and Young people who sexually offend.
Adelaide, S. Aust. : Government of South Australia, 2018
This strategy sets out a framework to improve child welfare in South Australia. It highlights the need for the Government to shift the focus of investment and efforts to providing the right early help to children, families and communities before they are in crisis. This document covers the 2018-2019 period and identifies the first phase of commitments for the Government's prevention and early intervention effort. It outlines four priorities that combine improved evidence and intelligence gathering, system reforms to strengthen prevention and early intervention capacity, addressing the over-representation of Aboriginal people in the child protection system, and targeting services for those with greatest need. This strategy stems from 'A Fresh Start', the Government's response to the 2016 Royal Commission into the Child Protection system.
Parramatta, NSW : CREATE Foundation, 2018.
This report investigates children and young people's views on whether the introduction of the National Standards for Out-of-Home Care has led to improvements in care in Australia. The Standards were introduced in 2011 to foster a similar base level of support across the states and territories. The CREATE Foundation conducted an initial national survey of children and young people in 2012, followed by a government survey in 2015. This report presents findings from a new 2018 survey, and as such reviews the impact of the standards after 5 years of operation. 1,275 children and young people aged 10-17 years old were asked about their experiences of life in care, including placement stability, satisfaction with placement, interactions with care workers, sources of support, case planning, knowledge of family and case history, participation in decision making, connection to culture, leisure activities and the internet, contact with family and friends, health, service usage, education and educational planning and support, bullying, feedback and complaints, and transition to independence. Comparisons are included for type of care placement and jurisdiction. This report provides insights into the strengths and limitations of the out of home care system, as well as what children and young people in care value and need. The survey found that 81% of respondents felt quite happy in their current placement, and that 93% felt safe and secure. Particular issues identified include barriers to involvement in decision making, the lack of support available in residential placements, and the need for better preparation for the transition to independence.
Sydney, NSW : Australian Human Rights Commission, 2018.
In this report, the Australian Human Rights Commission presents 60 recommendations to the Australian Government on matters of children's rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. A wide range of issues are addressed, including civil rights and freedoms, human rights legislation, data collection, children detained in adult prisons, the age of criminal responsibility, violence against children, forced marriage and female genital mutilation, race and sex discrimination, family environment and alternative care, disability, basic health and welfare, education, leisure and cultural activities, surrogacy and recognition of legal parentage, cyberbullying and image based abuse, and special protection measures. Though most Australian children grow up in safe and healthy environments and do well, there are some groups of children whose rights are not adequately protected, impacting upon their wellbeing and ability to thrive. Recommendations include that the Government develops a National Plan for Child Wellbeing, amends the Family Law Act to require that children are provided with an opportunity to express their views, amends the Family Law Act to clarify the definition of parent for children born from surrogacy arrangements, explicitly prohibits the use of isolation and force as punishment in juvenile justice facilities, and facilitates a national model for working with children checks.
Child and Family Social Work 20 Jul 2018: Advance online publication
This article argues that child protection policy and practice for Indigenous families needs to acknowledge and address the role of historical and intergenerational trauma. It frames the issue of child neglect within the context of trauma and notes the international literature, though focusing on the Australian context.