Child protection and CALD families

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.

See more resources on Child protection and CALD families in the AIFS library catalogue

Childrearing practices among sub-Saharan African migrants in Australia : a systematic review.

Mugadza H, Mujeyi B, Stout B, Wali N and Renzaho A
Journal of Child and Family Studies 21 May 2019: Advance online publication
This article reviews the literature on childrearing practices within sub-Saharan African communities, to help inform child protection practitioners working with migrant families with this background in Australia. It reviews the impact of cultural beliefs and values on parenting, and discusses beliefs regarding such matters as illness conception, community responsibility, family dynamics, discipline, the supernatural, and female genital mutilation.

Housing outcomes after domestic and family violence

Flanagan K, Blunden H, Valentine K and Henriette J
Melbourne : Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, 2019.
Research has found that domestic and family violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and children and that their safety and wellbeing can be improved when services and supports are linked to long-term housing stability. This report investigates how housing support for vulnerable families can best be integrated with other forms of support to improve safety and wellbeing. It draws on a review of national policy, AIHW Specialist Homelessness Services data, and interviews with service users, policy makers, service providers, and other stakeholders from New South Wales and Tasmania. The report considers: pathways through homelessness services; integration with social services, immigration, child protection services, and the Family Court; housing options and the experiences of the research participants; how limited housing options can prevent a victim leaving a violent relationships; and safety, risk and choice. The report concludes by discussing the policy implications and options. Though shelters and transitional accommodation are vital immediate responses and provide valuable support, the lack of secure, affordable and permanent housing is a systemic issue and a greater investment is needed in a range of affordable longer-term housing options. This report is part of a broader project on the provision of integrated housing support for families.

Support for new parents and babies in New South Wales

Conolly K
Sydney, N.S.W. : Parliament of New South Wales, 2018.
This inquiry investigates current services and supports for parents of infants in New South Wales, and how they can be improved. Research highlights the benefits and cost-effectiveness of early intervention and support for parents during their children's early years, so this inquiry was established to examine the adequacy of current services and structures, especially for vulnerable parents, and consider the changes to current services and structures that could improve physical health, mental health and child protection outcomes, models of support provided in other jurisdictions, and the opportunities for new and emerging technology to enhance support. This report presents the findings and recommendations of the inquiry, beginning with the need for better coordinated and integrated universal child and family health services. Topics include home visiting services and services targeting fathers, perinatal mental health, parents with disability, Indigenous families, parents from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and young homeless parents.

People who experience family violence [The Justice Project].

Law Council of Australia
The Justice Project : final report. Braddon, A.C.T. : Law Council of Australia, 2018: 84p
This is the final report of the Justice Project, a comprehensive national review into the state of access to justice for at risk groups in Australia. This chapter focuses on the issues facing people experiencing family violence. Leaving an abusive relationship can engender complex legal issues involving separation, parenting, criminal justice, victims of crime assistance, and child protection - victims are often dealing with other forms of disadvantage too. This chapter provides information on the nature and prevalence of family violence, gender inequality, recent inquiries and law reform, the legal needs of people experiencing family violence, how these people respond to their legal problems, the barriers constraining these people from accessing justice, laws and policies that exacerbate barriers, critical service gaps, and priorities for reform. Issues discussed include fear and reluctance to report, cultural competence, re-victimisation and system abuse, self-representation in court by victims or offenders, gaps in rural and remote services, child protection and family violence, police attitudes, enforcement of restraining orders against both parties, the presumption of equal shared parenting in family law, housing and tenancy, and immigration.

What can surveillance data and risk factor research contribute to a public health approach to preventing child sexual abuse?

Broadley K
Australian Journal of Social Issues v. 53 no. 4 Dec 2018: 372-385
One key component of applying a public health approach to an issue is identifying risk factors and at risk populations. This article provides a case study on how surveillance data and risk factor research can be used to inform a public health approach to preventing child sexual abuse. It focuses on the risk factor of ethnicity, and considers whether it is appropriate to recognise the risks faced by different ethnic groups, whether such an approach would stigmatise and marginalise vulnerable populations, or whether this approach would instead inform context-specific and culturally sensitive policy and practice. Though identifying at-risk populations enables the tailoring of intervention programmes, it is important to identify and mitigate harms associated with collecting data about child sexual abuse and ethnicity.

Inclusivity in interagency responses to domestic violence and child protection.

Tsantefski M, Wilde T, Young A and O'Leary P
Australian Social Work v. 71 no. 2 2018: 202-214
The Gold Coast Domestic Violence Integrated Response (GCDVIR) in Queensland involves over 15 agencies, including child protection, domestic violence, and justice. It aims to support the safety and wellbeing of women and children living with and separated from domestic and family violence. This article explores its work with clients from minority backgrounds and whether the values and goals of the underlying model are permeating through all of the agencies. It draws on interviews with 30 professionals from a range of agencies involved with GCDVIR, who describe their work with Indigenous, culturally and linguistically diverse, and LGBTIQ community people. The findings reveal high awareness and a desire for inclusion, but also service challenges and a lack of knowledge.

Nexus between domestic violence and child protection : multidimensional forms of oppression impacting on migrant and refugee women in Australia.

Kaur J and Atkin N
Australian Social Work v. 71 no. 2 2018: 238-248
This article highlights the complex intersections of oppression impacting upon women from migrant and refugee backgrounds, in the context of child protection and family violence. It calls for social workers to develop a culturally nuanced approach when working with culturally and linguistically diverse families who become involved with the family violence or child protection systems.

Interim report of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Jay A
London : Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, 2018.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse was established in 2015 in Great Britain in response to concerns that some organisations have failed and have continued to fail to protect children from sexual abuse. It will investigate the extent to which State and non-State institutions have failed in their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation, whether failings have since been addressed, and identify what more needs to be done. This interim report sets out the key emerging themes from the Inquiry's work to date and presents recommendations for specific changes which will better protect children from sexual abuse. Work to date has been undertaken into child migration programmes to such countries as Australia, the English Benedictine Congregation, the Anglican Diocese of Chichester, and the Cambridge House, Knowl View and Rochdale residential institutions.

Preventing child sexual abuse (CSA) in ethnic minority communities : a literature review and suggestions for practice in Australia.

Sawrikar P and Katz I
Children and Youth Services Review v. 85 Jan 2018: 174-186
This article presents a systematic review of the literature on child sexual abuse in ethnic minority communities, to help address the immense knowledge gap in Australia on this issue. It discusses prevention approaches, consideration for program elements, school-based programs, prevention issues stemming from family and community culture, differences in disclosure and help-seeking, and considerations for designing and evaluating prevention programs.

Family Law Council report to the Attorney-General on families with complex needs and the intersection of the family law and child protection systems: final report - June 2016 (terms 3, 4 & 5)

Family Law Council (Australia), Australia. Attorney-General's Dept.
Barton, A.C.T. : Attorney-General's Dept., 2016.
The Australian Attorney-General has asked the Family Law Council to inquire into the legal and practical obstacles preventing greater co-operation between the family law and child protection systems. An earlier interim report focused on the first two terms of reference; this final report presents findings and recommendations regarding the remaining three terms: the opportunities for enhancing collaboration and information sharing within the family law system, such as between the family courts and family relationship services; the opportunities for enhancing collaboration and information sharing with other relevant support services, such as child protection and mental health services; and current data limitations.

Supporting adult care-leavers : international good practice.

Murray S
Bristol, UK : Policy Press, 2016.
This book looks at best practice to support care leavers aged 25 years and over, comparing policy and service responses from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Initiatives examined include public inquiries, symbolic acknowledgements, redress schemes, specialist support services, access to personal records, and family reunification programs - with special mention made of Indigenous children and child migrants, as well as the impact of childhood institutionalisation on later life.

Report and recommendations

Neave M, Faulkner P and Nicholson T
Melbourne, Vic. : Royal Commission into Family Violence, 2016.
The Royal Commission into Family Violence was appointed in February 2015 to investigate how best to reduce and prevent family violence in Victoria and support those affected. In particular, its task was to identify the most effective ways to: prevent family violence; improve early intervention; support victims and address the impacts of violence; make perpetrators accountable; develop and refine systemic responses to family violence; better coordinate community and government responses; and evaluate and measure the success of any strategies, frameworks, policies, programs, and services. Reference is also made to the needs of children, Indigenous peoples, older people, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, faith communities, sexually diverse communities, people with disabilities, male victims, rural and remote communities, incarcerated women, and sex workers. This document presents the findings and recommendations of this inquiry, laid out across 8 sections or 'volumes'.

Building safety around children in families from refugee backgrounds : ensuring children's safety requires working in partnership with families and communities

Losoncz I
Child Abuse and Neglect v. 51 Jan 2016: 416-426
This article demonstrates how a move towards responsive regulatory practices in child protection can create a safer environment for immigrant families. The article draws on qualitative research with South Sudanese families in Australia. Sections include: culture in the context of regulatory institutions and migrant communities; integergenerational conflict in the context of refugee settlement; transforming parenting practices; government intervention; and recommendations.

Child maltreatment: indicators on children and youth

Child Trends, Incorporated
Washington, D.C. : Child Trends, 2016.
This document presents the latest statistics on cases of child abuse and neglect in the United States. Information is provided on: trends on the number and rate of cases from 1990 to 2014, age differences, differences by race, rates for Hispanic and Indigenous children, and rates by type of child maltreatment. The rate of substantiated child maltreatment, as of 2014, has shown little change over the past five years, though it is significantly lower than in 1990. In 2014, there were approximately 702,000 maltreated children in the United States, a rate of 9.4 per thousand - note, these data reflect states' definitions of what constitutes maltreatment, which do vary.

How effective do families of non-English-speaking background (NESB) and child protection caseworkers in Australia see the use of interpreters? A qualitative study to help inform good practice principles.

Sawrikar P
Child and Family Social Work v. 20 no. 4 Nov 2015: 396-406
This article investigates what constitutes effective practice with interpreters in child protection. Drawing on interviews with 29 non-English-speaking background client families and 17 child protection caseworkers, as part of a larger study, it identifies examples of both good and ineffective practice. The findings echo similar studies from overseas, indicating that features of good practice, and barriers to them, are similar across multicultural countries.

Protecting the lonely children: recommendations to the Australian Government and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child with respect to unaccompanied children who seek asylum and refuge in Australia

Basham J
Fitzroy, Vic. : Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce, 2014.
This report examines the significant existing and emerging concerns regarding the guardianship of unaccompanied child refugees in Australia. Unaccompanied children are some of the most vulnerable in our society and throughout the world; they have been forced, separated, or orphaned from their families through violence, fear, and persecution. Yet the current system of guardianship and care in Australia is failing on many fronts, is arguably cruel, and constitutes state sanctioned child abuse in many cases. This report synthesises the issues into six key problem areas, and proposes solutions for each of these. The report follows on from the 2013 discussion paper, All the Lonely Children: Questions for the Incoming Government Regarding Guardianship of Unaccompanied Minors.

'Normalizing the novel' : how is culture addressed in child protection work with ethnic-minority families in Australia?

Katz I and Sawrikar P
Journal of Social Service Research v. 40 no. 1 2014: 39-61
This article investigates how culture is - and should be - addressed in child protection work in Australia. It draws on a larger research study of 120 case files of children from ethnic-minority, Aboriginal, and Anglo backgrounds as well as interviews with ethnic-minority client families and their caseworkers. The findings indicated that the issue of culture for ethnic-minority families receives less consideration than it does for Aboriginal families and more than it does for Anglo families. The authors stress that culture must receive a balanced amount of attention - it is important that culture is neither overlooked nor used to essentialise the needs and experiences of ethnic-minority families.

Inadequate supervision or inadequate sensitivity to cultural differences in parenting? Exploring cross-cultural rates of neglect in an Australian sample.

Sawrikar P
Qualitative Social Work v. 13 no. 5 Sep 2014: 619-635
During the author's postdoctoral research into the needs and experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse families in the New South Wales child protection system, it was noticed that reports of inadequate supervision by parents seemed high when compared to their Anglo-Australian counterparts. This article explores this further. It re-analyses the data to assess whether cultures underpin the differential rates of prevalence across cultures in inadequate supervision, or whether the difference is attributable to other factors - in particular reporting bias from caseworkers. The article also highlights the importance of taking into account the role of culture in the way ethnic minority parents raise their children.

Recommendations for improving cultural competency when working with ethnic minority families in child protection systems in Australia.

Sawrikar P and Katz I
Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal v. 31 no. 5 Oct 2014: 393-417
To help address the lack of Australian research on cultural competency, the New South Wales Department of Family and Community Services commissioned a large scale study of this issue, which included a review of the international literature review. This article summarises what has been learned so far about the needs, challenges and experiences of ethnic minority groups in the child protection system and presents recommendations regarding the specific roles and responsibilities of workers, agencies and systems in providing cultural competency. Any implementation of cultural competency needs to move beyond the emphasis on culture and acknowledge the dimensions of inferiority and oppression to truly promote value for diversity and protect ethnic minority children from the dangers of systematic disadvantage that institutional racism represents.

Integrating human rights and trauma frameworks in social work with people from refugee backgrounds.

Nelson D, Price E and Zubrzycki J
Australian Social Work v. 67 no. 4 Dec 2014: 567-581
Social work practice informed by human rights and trauma frameworks can be empowering and enabling. While both frameworks are complex and contested, their implementation 'from below' via praxis can maximise benefits for social work with people who have experienced trauma and human rights abuses, such as those from refugee backgrounds. This article presents an exploration of this practice approach through the presentation of the story of Zillah and Amman, a fictionalised composite of many real refugee experiences. Taking as examples the education and child protection systems, the discussion highlights how theory to practice integration requires cross-cultural engagement, critical reflection, dialogue, and an understanding of human rights 'from below'.

Everyone deserves to feel safe: the culturally and linguistically diverse Safe from the Start program.

Spinney A
2014
Safe from the Start is an early intervention project which provides resources and training to professionals who work with children impacted by trauma and family violence. The Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) component of the project aimed to develop a training module of the program specifically for CALD children.

Social workers, the law and interpreters.

Ozolins U
Rice, Simon, ed. Day, Andrew, ed. Social work in the shadow of the law. 4th ed. Annandale, NSW : Federation Press, 2014. 9781862879492: 406-423
This text book explores social work practice in different legal contexts in Australia. This chapter looks at the benefits of employing interpreters in social work practice and the legal requirements and issues of their use in different matters, such as child protection, family law, mental health, criminal justice, sexual assault, and family violence.

Parenting in a new culture : working with refugee families.

Lewig K, Arney F, Salveron M and Barredo M
Arney, Fiona, ed. Scott, Dorothy, ed. Working with vulnerable families : a partnership approach. 2nd ed. Port Melbourne, Vic. : Cambridge University Press, 2013 9781107610668: 77-102
Written for both students and practitioners, this book provides an introduction to family-centred practice in Australia. This chapter looks at issues in working with refugee and newly arrived migrant families. The first section provides background information on refugee entry to Australia and the experiences refugees may have had prior to migration and then during resettlement in another country, including trauma, family separation, acculturation, and health issues. The second section discusses the findings of a survey exploring why refugee families in South Australia come into contact with child protection services. It discusses the challenges of parenting in a new culture, changes in children's roles and responsibilities, Australian laws and cultural norms, challenges to parent rights and authority, and changes in social support. The chapter concludes with practice implications for working with refugee and newly arrived migrant families.

Ethnic minority families in child protection systems : culturally appropriate service delivery for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) children and families in the New South Wales child protection system.

Sawrikar P
Germany : Lambert Academic Publishing, 2013.
This 3-year study was commissioned by the New South Wales Department of Human Services to address the lack of knowledge about the needs and experiences of ethnic minority families in the child protection system. The study had 3 components: a review of the Australian and international literature, a review of 120 client case files, and semi structured interviews with caseworkers and client families. This report presents the findings of the study and recommendations for good practice with this client group. The report is published in two volumes: volume 1 is the main report and volume 2 contains the appendices.

A qualitative study on the pros and cons of ethnically matching culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) client families and child protection caseworkers.

Sawrikar P
Children and Youth Services Review v. 35 no. 2 Feb 2013: 321-331
This article explores the advantages and disadvantages of matching culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) client families to child protection caseworkers from the same background. Interviews were conducted with 29 CALD client families and 17 child protection caseworkers. Issues raised include confidentiality, language barriers, cultural sensitivity, shame, and caseworker bias and 'over-identification'.

Broken circles to a different identity: an exploration of identity for children in out of home care in Queensland, Australia

Moss M
2012.
"Child protection manuals and literature emphasise that developing a sense of identity is one of the most important elements in achieving good outcomes for children and young people in out of home care ... Current theories of identity development in children lack evidence from the children and young people themselves in informing these notions, which have been criticised as adult-centric. Essentially this research is about placing the narratives of children and young people in care to the forefront, whilst exploring what this means in practice by contextualising these narratives within the systemic paradigms that impinge upon their lived experience. The research presented in this paper surveys the formation of identity for children and young people in out of home care, using narrative art therapy, with a particular emphasis on multi-cultural and Indigenous children and young people ... The research was undertaken in a regional area of Queensland Australia where the majority of children in the child protection system who are identified as Indigenous come from two or more cultural backgrounds. Hence, the unique racial mix of the research site also provides insight into multi-cultural identity. The second part of the research views identity from the perspective of professionals working in child protection and out of home care ... The narratives within the research highlight the depth and complexity of working with children and identity in child protection, particularly for Indigenous workers ... This research proposes a new working paradigm that acknowledges non-western notions of identity as a way forward in developing alternative ways of working with Indigenous children in out of home care."--Author abstract.

Culturally appropriate service provision for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) children and families in the New South Wales (NSW) child protection system (CPS): final report

Sawrikar P
Sydney, NSW : Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales, 2012.
This 3-year large-scale research project was commissioned by the New South Wales Department of Community Services (now the Department of Human Services) to address the lack of knowledge about the needs and experiences of ethnic minority families in the child protection system. The project was conducted in three stages - a literature review, client case file reviews, and interviews with parents and caseworkers - with the findings and conclusions of each stage published in interim reports. This final report summarises the interim reports and collates the overall learnings for service delivery.

Culturally appropriate service provision for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) children and families in the New South Wales (NSW) child protection system (CPS): interim report 3 : interviews with CALD carers and DHS staff

Sawrikar P
Sydney, NSW : Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales, 2012.
This 3-year large-scale research project was commissioned by the New South Wales Department of Human Services to address the lack of knowledge about the needs and experiences of ethnic minority families in the child protection system. This report summarises the findings of Stage 3 of the project - interviews with 17 case workers and 29 parents from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds involved in the child protection system. The interviews aimed to explore: cultural norms on parenting, the most common CALD groups coming to the attention of the system and the most common reasons why, perceived commonalities and differences in working with CALD families compared to Indigenous and Anglo Saxon families, how caseworkers take into account different cultural contexts, whether and why CALD families and caseworkers prefer an ethnic-match, effective and ineffective practice with interpreters, appropriate and inappropriate practice, personal and organisational barriers to culturally appropriate practice, and suggestions for improving the cultural appropriateness. Based on these findings, the report concludes with best practice principles for workers, agencies, and systems.

Culturally appropriate service provision for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) children and families in the New South Wales (NSW) child protection system (CPS): interim report 2 : case file review

Sawrikar P
Sydney, NSW : Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales, 2012.
This 3-year large-scale research project was commissioned by the New South Wales Department of Human Services to address the lack of knowledge about the needs and experiences of ethnic minority families in the child protection system. This report summarises the findings of Stage 2 of the project - a review of 120 case files of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD), Indigenous, and Anglo Saxon child protection client families. The review compared reported types of abuse and neglect, family issues, family strengths, child issues, and assistance provided for these 3 groups, as well as examples of culturally appropriate and inappropriate practice and personal, organisational, or institutional barriers to culturally appropriate practice. The results of this study can be used to improve caseworkers' awareness of the needs and differences of CALD families in New South Wales.

Cultural issues in child maltreatment.

Raman S and Hodes D
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health v. 48 no. 1 Jan 2012: 30-37
This article explores the role of culture in assessing and working with child protection cases. Using examples from Europe and Australia, it explores how culture shapes the experiences of childhood and child-rearing practices and considers common barriers in working with children and families from culturally diverse backgrounds.
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