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.
West Melbourne, Vic. : VicHealth, 2021.
This report highlights the impact of racism on children and young people and what works in prevention and intervention. It presents a review of the evidence on racism against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and ethnic minority children and young people. The review looked at: how racism affects children and young people's health and wellbeing; the prevalence of racism experienced by 5-25-year-olds in Victoria and Australia; and effective strategies for addressing systemic and institutional racism, interpersonal racism, and internalised racism. Although there is only limited evidence on what works to address racism for children and young people, several promising approaches and key principles can be identified: first, that racism must be named and addressed explicitly at a systemic, institutional level.
Fitzroy, Vic. : Brotherhood of St. Laurence, 2021.
The Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) is a 2-year early learning and parenting program targeting 4-5 year old children in low-income households, that aims to improve child school readiness and parent-child relationships. This report presents findings from a longitudinal study of the program. It describes the HIPPY program, considers issues in doing research in highly disadvantaged communities, then discusses the findings in light of theory of change and causal pathways. The sample comprised 569 parent-child dyads from 45 sites, who commenced HIPPY in either 2016 or 2017. Surveys were conducted at commencement, after the first year, and after completion. The findings suggest that these children experience a changed learning trajectory - improving from below average to above average literacy and numeracy scores. However, there are still recommendations for improvement.
Canberra, A.C.T. : National Disability Insurance Agency, 2020.
One component of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) approach for children under the age of 7 susceptible to - or experiencing - developmental delay or disability. However, a review found that its implementation needs to be 'reset' to better meet its objectives. In response, the National Disability Insurance Agency has launched an ECEI Implementation Reset project to identify the issues and implement the recommendations. It aims to improve outcomes for young children and their families, enable the right children to receive the right support at the right time, and develop short and long term solutions for identified pain points and gaps, and has involved extensive consultations and analysis. This paper outlines the project's findings and recommendations, and will help inform consultations in the second phase of the project.
Early Child Development and Care 11 Aug 2020: Advance online publication
This article looks at a program in Doveton, Victoria, to improve the school readiness and academic outcomes of children in disadvantaged areas. The wrap-around model, based at Doveton College, combines early intervention and community services for local families experiencing entrenched disadvantage. An evaluation of the model looked at reading, oral-language, writing and numeracy tests from school entry to Year 3, comparing students who attended the program with those who did not. The evaluation found higher test scores among students who attended the program, suggesting the benefits of this approach.
Children Australia v. 45 no. 2 Jun 2020: 125-132
The Keeping Children Safe programme was developed by Uniting Care Burnside in New South Wales to educate parents about child abuse and neglect and how it can be prevented. It was launched in 2004 and targets vulnerable and disadvantaged families and parents of at risk children. This article presents an evaluation of the programme, based on client surveys from 2004-2017 completed by parents at the start and end of the course. It discusses recruitment and retention, impact on knowledge and confidence in seeking help, and the key ideas they took away from the course. The findings highlight that this hard to reach group can be attracted to parenting education courses.
Journal of Advanced Nursing 10 Oct 2020: Advance online publication
This article presents a review of the evidence on the benefits and impacts of sustained nurse home visiting programs. It summarises the findings of a systematic review of home visiting programs that targeted disadvantaged mothers, commenced during pregnancy or prior to the child's first birthday, had an intended duration of at least 12 months from the time of enrolment, and were delivered by nurses or midwives. The study found that these programs are of benefit to disadvantaged families, though effects vary and further research is needed.
Canberra, A.C.T. : The Australia Institute, 2020.
As part of the Federal Government's response to the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment payments were temporarily increased with the introduction of the 'coronavirus supplement', which almost doubled the base rate of JobSeeker payments. This single change lifted 425,000 Australians out of poverty. However, the supplement is due to end on the 24th of September, returning those welfare recipients into poverty. The Australia Institute commissioned this report to look at the impact that the coronavirus supplement has had on the number of people in poverty, the impacts of poverty by age and housing tenure, and the number of people that would be living below the poverty line if the supplement is removed in September. It also looked at the impact on poverty if the supplement of $275 per week is replaced by an increase in the base rate of just $75 per week, as suggested by some groups. The modelling finds that the removal of the supplement will push 650,000 Australians back into poverty including 120,000 vulnerable children, with likely flow on effects for landlords and bank mortgage holders. Though an increase of $75 a week will ameliorate the impacts some what, it would only have a limited effect.
Canberra, ACT : ARACY, 2020.
This policy brief explores the ways in which science can help develop policies to address the ongoing and seemingly intractable problem of childhood disadvantage and vulnerability in Australia. It summarises the evidence on the core skills children need to thrive, especially the role of executive function capabilities, then looks at how entrenched disadvantage compromises the development of these core skills. It concludes by proposing a promising strategy - capability investing - to support children and their families develop these core skills to achieve family wellbeing, social and economic mobility. Capability investment is a potential way forward to improve public policy and investment decisions to improve social and economic wellbeing, based on brain science, experimental programs, the experiences of families living with ongoing stress, and the knowledge of many practitioners. This paper sets out the logic and supporting evidence to support trialling a Capabilities Investment Strategy as an integrative approach to achieve delivery of developmental expectations and opportunities for children and young people in communities characterised by deep and persistent disadvantage.
Early Childhood Research Quarterly v. 53 4th quarter 2020: 391-402
The Tasmanian Government has established a comprehensive free universal early childhood health and education service system, but uptake is still low - particularly among more vulnerable families. The Tassie Kids project aims to investigate this further. This article presents findings from one component of the project, focusing on the scope and role of outreach in supporting family engagement. Case studies were conducted in four sites, involving site visits and interviews with service providers and parents. Services reviewed include the Child Health and Parenting Service (CHaPS), Launching into Learning (LiL), and Child and Family Centres (CFCs). The study found that all of the services were offering outreach, and - though variable in practice - it was facilitating engagement with more vulnerable families. However, there was no guidance about the role of outreach in the practice frameworks for any of the services, resulting in a lack of clarity for practice.
Canberra, A.C.T. : Dept. of Education, Skills and Employment, 2020.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools in Australia have moved to online 'learning from home' arrangements. This is one of five reports commissioned by the Australian Department of Education, Skills and Employment to investigate the possible impacts of this for vulnerable students. This report provides a high-level summary of the major factors impacting upon educationally at-risk students in Australia and the learnings from overseas on how they can be addressed. Topics include long-term educational disengagement, digital exclusion and technology skills, and emotional wellbeing and anxiety.
Canberra, A.C.T. : Dept. of Education, Skills and Employment, 2020.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools in Australia have moved to online 'learning from home' arrangements. This is one of five reports commissioned by the Australian Department of Education, Skills and Employment to investigate the possible impacts of this for vulnerable students. This report presents insights from key informants from schools, education departments, and agencies and advocacy bodies for children, education, and social support. Participants were asked about: at risk home environments; useful support to overcome those concerns; the nature, quality, and quantity of home learning undertaken; feedback from parents; the key things that children are missing out on by not going to school and attempts to fill those gaps; the key supports needed for staff and students when schools re-open; and innovations to support student learning that should be retained. Particular issues raised include child protection and respite, provision of basic needs, quality learning at young ages, loss of learning, VET students, students on track for university, the loss of broader school elements, opening schools for on-site learning, targeting at risk students and possible stigma, and effective online learning for a range of student abilities. The findings suggest that 46% of the student population are vulnerable to adverse effects on their educational outcomes, nutrition, physical movement, social, and emotional wellbeing by being physically disconnected from school.
Canberra, A.C.T. : Dept. of Education, Skills and Employment, 2020.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools in Australia have moved to online 'learning from home' arrangements. This is one of five reports commissioned by the Australian Department of Education, Skills and Employment to investigate the possible impacts of this for vulnerable students. This report profiles disadvantaged students in Australia and looks into the merits of a range of home learning models. Section 1 presents data on students from four large-scale, representative assessment programs - the Australian National Assessment Program ICT Literacy and three international research programs. Section 2 discusses themes emerging from the literature pertaining to equity and access in Australia; the preparedness and skills of teachers and students to teach and learn using technology; student engagement; and the role of parents. Section 3 presents different models of home learning. Section 4 summarises evidence-based actions which will support learning, particularly for vulnerable children in the short and medium term, and which will contribute to a flexible, resilient, and responsive education system in the event of any future interruptions in schooling. The findings highlight the challenges faced by vulnerable children and their parents in these times.
Canberra, A.C.T. : Dept. of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, 2020.
The Closing the Gap framework is a national approach to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Australia. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has developed seven targets aimed at significantly reducing the gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, in the areas of child mortality, early childhood education, school attendance, literacy and numeracy, Year 12 attainment, employment, and life expectancy. This annual report series outlines progress made towards each target since 2008 and the Federal Government's priorities for the year ahead. This 2020 report shows that improvements have been made in key areas, but that there are also areas of concern that require more progress: in particular, the Indigenous child mortality rate is twice that of non-Indigenous children. This report also highlights the establishment of a new Partnership Agreement between the Commonwealth, states and territories, the Australian Local Government Association, and the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations to work together in genuine partnership to develop the new Closing the Gap framework.
Hobart : Commissioner for Children and Young People Tasmania, 2020.
In this paper, the Commissioner for Children and Young People calls for a new way forward in the way we think about and approach improving the wellbeing of children and young people in Tasmania. The paper outlines why the wellbeing of children and young people matter and looks at progress in improving wellbeing outcomes, then makes recommendations for a new way forward for Tasmania. It proposes that wellbeing be brought to the centre of government policy and decision making through the establishment of a whole-of-government strategy and highlights critical opportunities for strategic investment. These include earlier intervention and reducing service fragmentation. Despite significant focus and investment over several decades, the paper argues that there remain long-standing factors, often influenced by intergenerational poverty and trauma, poor health and low educational outcomes and now climate change, which affect children's wellbeing now and will continue to do so unless improvement is prioritised and acted upon.
London : What Works for Children's Social Care, 2019
Research has found an association between poverty and child abuse, so there is growing interest in whether policies and interventions that affect a family's income also affect rates of child abuse. This report reviews the literature on whether family budget interventions affect the number of children entering care and the number of children reunified with their families. The review found that the various causal pathways involved affected the impact of budget measures. Reducing family budgets through welfare benefit cuts was linked either to increased numbers of children in care or it made no difference; while increasing family budgets as part of a multi-component intervention was linked to a decrease or no difference. Overall, financial help is an important aspect of what children's services can do to support children to stay with their families, by reducing challenges and improving living conditions, indirectly improving parenting. On the other hand, proposed benefit cuts such as the two-child limit in the United Kingdom could risk increasing the number of children in care.
Sydney, N.S.W. : The Smith Family, 2019.
The Preschool Attendance Strategies Project aims to add to the evidence base on what works to increase preschool participation across Australia, particularly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children from vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds and children living in outer regional, remote and very remote areas. It also aims to provide practical strategies that can be implemented to increase participation rates. This document reports on Stage One of the project. It summarises findings from a review of the research and initial consultations, identifies barriers to participation, identifies key opportunities to improve participation, and identifies five strategies for intervention. These strategies will be trialled in Stage Two of the project. The full findings of the research review are available in a separate appendix.
Adelaide, S. Aust. : Commissioner for Children and Young People, 2019.
This report aims provides insight into how children and young people in South Australia understand poverty and makes recommendations to help address its ill effects. It discusses findings from several engagement projects with children and young people undertaken over the last 2 years, regarding the causes, impacts and responses to poverty, the impact of poverty on children and young people and what can be done to eradicate poverty, as well as focus groups with young people with personal experiences of poverty.
Australian Journal of Primary Health v. 25 no. 4 2019: 310-316
This article investigates why a strategy to increase child vaccination rates in a disadvantaged community in New South Wales has not been fully implemented. The strategy involved reminders, outreach and home visiting and was based on the World Health Organization's Tailoring Immunization Programmes approach. A process evaluation was conducted to identify the barriers and facilitators for implementation, drawing on focus groups with 24 health managers and staff including child health nurses and general practitioners. The findings highlight that though there was a strong motivation for change, service capability and resourcing needed to be enhanced.
Acton, A.C.T. : The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust of Australia, 2019
This report looks into how the service system can be designed to identify vulnerable children early and prevent the intergenerational transmission of disadvantage. Supported by a Winston Churchill Fellowship, the author visited agencies in New Zealand and the United States to investigate effective cross-sector collaborations and their lessons for Western Australia. Though there is a growing evidence base on intergenerational disadvantage, more work is needed to translate this into systemic policy and practice. Topics in this report include adverse childhood experiences and early childhood brain development, long term biological impacts and intergenerational transmission, proactive identification, screening parents and children, and two-generation approaches to targeted early intervention. The report argues that breaking the cycle of disadvantage in Western Australia requires systems to be recalibrated to the long-term issue - that is, moving from managing the problem to proactively taking a generational view of well-being, starting at conception. This involves better use of integrated data, ensuring systems are responsive to need, and prioritising collaboration across the system.
Washington, DC : National Academies Press, 2019.
"The strengths and abilities children develop from infancy through adolescence are crucial for their physical, emotional, and cognitive growth, which in turn help them to achieve success in school and to become responsible, economically self-sufficient, and healthy adults. Capable, responsible, and healthy adults are clearly the foundation of a well-functioning and prosperous society, yet America's future is not as secure as it could be because millions of American children live in families with incomes below the poverty line. A wealth of evidence suggests that a lack of adequate economic resources for families with children compromises these children's ability to grow and achieve adult success, hurting them and the broader society. [This report] reviews the research on linkages between child poverty and child well-being, and analyzes the poverty-reducing effects of major assistance programs directed at children and families. This report also provides policy and program recommendations for reducing the number of children living in poverty in the United States by half within 10 years."--Publisher's description.
Washington, DC : Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, US Administration for Children and Families, 2019.
The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program was launched in America in 2010 to expand evidence-based home visiting programs for families living in at-risk communities. The Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation (MIHOPE) is investigating the impact of the program on families, focusing on the four evidence-based models that the majority of states chose to implement in 2010/2011. These models are: Early Head Start: Home-based option, Healthy Families America, Nurse-Family Partnership, and Parents as Teachers. Under MIHOPE, about 4,200 families were assigned to receive either one of these models or information on community services. This report presents the early effects on family and child outcomes, from 2012 through 2017, and considers differences by family type, features of local programs, or dosage received. The evaluation found some positive but small impacts, but it may be too early to assess impacts on child development.
Watson, A.C.T. : Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University, 2019.
'Family Foundations' is an early intervention therapeutic parenting program in the Australian Capital Territory. It was developed in 2016 by Belconnen Community Services and targets families with young children who are dealing with complex parenting needs and difficulties but who are not in crisis or involved with child protection services. This report assesses the impact of the program, and follows on from a process evaluation of the program published in 2018. This report evaluates the extent to which Family Foundations achieved its intended outcomes of improving parents' self-confidence, emotional regulation, help seeking, and parenting knowledge and skills, as well as improvements in children's emotional regulation and behaviour. It also investigated unintended consequences and whether the program attracted its target audience. The report describes the program and the evaluation methodology and discusses the quantitative and qualitative findings. The evaluation found that the program enhanced parenting capacity and the quality of the parent-child attachment and contributed to improved outcomes for children, with parents with the greatest need seeing the greatest benefits.
Watson, A.C.T. : Institute of Child Protection Studies, 2019.
This paper highlights the findings and practice learnings from an evaluation of the 'Family Foundations' early intervention parenting support program. This program was developed in 2016 by Belconnen Community Services in the Australian Capital Territory and targets families with young children who are dealing with complex parenting needs and difficulties but who are not in crisis. This paper describes the families in the study, the evaluation methodology, and impacts on parenting efficacy and knowledge and child outcomes, and concludes with practice tips for practitioners and further resources.
International Journal of Social Welfare v. 28 no. 3 Jul 2019: 333-344
This article describes the underlying framework of the Families New South Wales supported playgroup model and explains how it has been successfully adapted for use with three different populations: mothers living with mental illness, children with disabilities, and families in economically disadvantaged areas. The supported playgroup model provides both prevention work and a 'soft' entry point for community services, while also offering parent peer support and opportunities for children to play.
Parkville, Vic. : University of Melbourne, 2019.
The Early Years Education Program is an early years care and education program in Victoria targeting children who are exposed to significant family stress, abuse, or social disadvantage. The program aims to address the consequences of family stress on children's development and ensure that at-risk and vulnerable children arrive at school developmentally equal to their peers and equipped to be successful learners. This is the fourth report from an evaluation of the program, and looks at the impacts on children and their carers after the first 2 years of enrolment. A total of 145 infants and toddlers were recruited to the EYEP trial, from 99 families engaged with family services or child protection services. Outcomes include IQ, language skills, protective factors related to resilience, social-emotional development, carer psychological distress, and the home environment. This fourth report found that the program had a significant positive impact on IQ, protective factors related to resilience, and social-emotional development. However, these varied by gender: for example, resilience was significantly improved for boys but not at all for girls.
Parkville, Vic. : University of Melbourne, 2019.
The Early Years Education Program is an early years care and education program developed by the Children's Protection Society. The program targets children who are exposed to significant family stress, abuse, or social disadvantage, and aims to address the consequences of family stress on children's development and ensure that at-risk and vulnerable children arrive at school developmentally equal to their peers and equipped to be successful learners. This report describes the conceptual frameworks underpinning the model and its key components. It discusses the background of the program, early years education pedagogy, attachment theory, parent engagement and participation, wrap around services, and structures and processes to support and scaffold the work of EYEP educators. The Victorian Department of Human Services 2007 list of risk factors to healthy child development are included as an appendix.
London : Institute for Fiscal Studies, 2019.
Sure Start is one of the biggest programs for disadvantaged preschool children in the United Kingdom, and provides integrated services with the aim of improving school readiness, health, and social and emotional development. This report reviews the program's impact on selected health outcomes, from the program's inception in 1999 to its peak in the late 2000s. It uses big data to compare the location and opening date of all Sure Start centres, area levels of disadvantage, and hospitalisation rates, childhood obesity, and mothers' mental health for children up to the age of 11. Cost-effectiveness is also considered. It finds that Sure Start reduced the likelihood of hospitalisation among children of primary school age, in particular reducing infection-related illnesses in younger children and injury-related hospitalisations at older ages, and in disadvantaged areas rather than more affluent neighbourhoods. However, no evidence was found that Sure Start improved child obesity or maternal mental health. The findings have implications for how Sure Start is implemented and developed.
Sydney, NSW : Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, 2019.
This report presents the findings and recommendations of an evaluation of the Integrated Domestic and Family Violence Service program (IDFVS) in New South Wales. The program provides a multi-agency, integrated and coordinated response to domestic and family violence among high-risk target groups and in targeted communities. Following identification of domestic violence by such agencies as child protection or the police, the IDFVS program then intervenes to provide ongoing practical and emotional support to adult and child victims, whether they leave or remain living with the perpetrator, and, in some sites, interventions to perpetrators. In particular, the program aims to target Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people, people from non-English speaking backgrounds, and socio-economic disadvantaged people. The State Government commissioned this evaluation to assess the value and critical elements for success of the integrated approach, explore client needs and outcomes, identify gaps in service provision and integration, evaluate cost-effectiveness, and make recommendations on ongoing implementation and program improvement. The evaluation draws on administrative data from 2015-16 and 2016-17 as well as interviews and focus groups.
Canberra, A.C.T. : Dept. of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, 2019.
The Closing the Gap framework is a national approach to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Australia. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has developed six targets aimed at significantly reducing the gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, in the areas of life expectancy, child mortality, education and employment. The framework is underpinned by seven Building Blocks that support these targets: early childhood; schooling; health; healthy homes; safe communities; economic participation; and governance and leadership. This annual report series outlines progress made towards each target since 2008 and the Federal Government's priorities for the year ahead. This 2019 report highlights achievements and lessons learned over this period. Two targets, early childhood education and Year 12 attainment, are on track to be met, but child mortality rates, life expectancy, school attendance, literacy and numeracy, and unemployment have not been sufficiently improved. Note, this 2019 report will be the final report using the 2008 framework, as next year will see the transition to a new system.
Washington, DC : Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, US Administration for Children and Families, 2018.
"This implementation research report [from America] describes the local programs, home visiting staff, and families who participated in the Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation (MIHOPE), a national evaluation of the federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program launched in 2011. This national evaluation is systematically examining how program features and implementation systems are associated with services delivered and impacts across four of the home visiting models designated as evidence-based by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Early Head Start: Home-based option, Healthy Families America, Nurse-Family Partnership, and Parents as Teachers."--Overview.