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.
Hilton, S. Aust. : Emerging Minds, 2021.
A family's first post-natal session with a Child Health Nurse is a key opportunity for supporting parents - particularly for families with significant vulnerabilities or disadvantages. This resource provides Child Health Nurses with practical strategies for making the most of their first session with clients. Sections include: engaging families, practice principles to consider, working in partnership with families, promoting parenting confidence, pre-session activities and strategies, the first session, after the first session, and challenges and barriers. This resource may also be of interest to other practitioners delivering ongoing child-focussed services to vulnerable families.
Melbourne, Vic. : Centre for Family Research and Evaluation, 2021.
New parenthood is a period of high risk for the onset of family violence in heterosexual relationships - but what about LGBTIQ+ families? This paper reports on a project to learn more about the risk and protective factors for LGBTIQ+ families during the transition to parenthood and design and pilot a series of family violence prevention initiatives. The first phase involved a review of the literature, consultations with LGBTIQ+ parents and perinatal service providers, and an audit of client files from a counselling service in Victoria. The second phase involved co-design and testing with parents, service providers and practitioners. The project highlights how norms about gender, heterosexual violence, and idealised LGBTIQ+ families are barriers for both parents and practitioners.
Wellington, N.Z. : Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children, 2021.
'Family Start' is a voluntary intensive home-visiting programme in New Zealand that supports families facing health and social challenges to achieve better outcomes for their children. This report provides an evaluation of the programme, synthesising findings from two separate studies. The impact evaluation looked at the impact of the programme of children's health, educational, and social outcomes, based on statistical data, while the process evaluation examined the effectiveness of the programme's design and delivery, drawing largely on interviews with staff and clients. Overall, the findings indicate that Family Start is having a positive impact on the wellbeing and safety of children and their families, and that that families are receiving an effective service that they value, and that is creating meaningful change in their lives.
Wellington, N.Z. : Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children, 2021.
'Family Start' is a voluntary intensive home-visiting programme in New Zealand that supports families facing health and social challenges to achieve better outcomes for their children. This report looks at the impact of the programme on children's wellbeing, including immunisation rates, infant mortality, enrolment in early education, maternal service use, and child protection outcomes. Outcomes for Maori and Pasifica children are also considered separately. Overall, the findings are promising, but highlight issues in using a purely quantitative approach to evaluate the programme. A separate process evaluation study has also been produced, as well as synthesis report of the evaluations.
Paris : OECD Publishing, 2021.
This report provides an overview of family support services provided in OECD countries, including their nature, staffing, key priorities and the characteristics of main programmes. In particular, it looks at the factors that contribute to their quality and delivery effectiveness, including engaging families, making referrals to services which best meet families' needs, delivering high quality services, operating in line with the available evidence, adapting service delivery in response to service user feedback, and leveraging digital tools and data sources to provide appropriate and responsive services. The report also looks at public policies that govern and promote the provision of family support services in OECD countries at national and local levels. It draws on a survey of delegates to the OECD Working Party on Social Policy, concerning public policies approach the role of family support services, including its development and monitoring, as well as a survey of 170 family service providers regarding their delivery and monitoring practices.
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.
Children Australia v. 45 no. 4 Dec 2020: 317-325
There is increased pressure on parents to do well and to acquire the right skills and knowledge. So, what resources are new parents drawing upon, and who do they turn to for advice? This article draws on interviews with 30 parents about the information they sought, dealing with conflicting advice, and their use and opinion of different resources, including antenatal services, Maternal and Child Nurse services, other medical and allied health services, peers, friends, family, and written and video material. The parents - some new, some older - reflected on their needs during the transition to parenthood. While all of these resources were considered helpful at various points along the parenting journey, there were also times when they contributed to feelings of stress.
Thomastown, Vic. : Kids First Australia, 2020.
Caring Dads is a groupwork program for fathers who have used domestic and family violence. Developed in Canada. it has now been implemented around the world. This report presents the findings of its evaluation in 3 trial sites in Victoria. The program aims to develop trust and motivation to engage men in the process of examining their fathering, increase their awareness and application of child-centred fathering, increase their responsibility for abusive and neglectful fathering, and to rebuild trust with their children and plan for the future. It involves a parenting intervention for fathers, safety outreach for mothers, and collaborative case management with the other professionals working with the family. The evaluation looked at the impact of the program on fathers' motivation, knowledge, and parenting, and also considered how the program fits within the Victorian service delivery system and its adaptation needs for the Australian context. The evaluation found that the program made a helpful contribution to reducing harmful fathering practices and improving mother and child safety, though not for all participants.
Journal of Child and Family Studies v. 29 o. 12 Dec 2020: 3609-3620
Father involvement is been linked to a range of positive developmental outcomes for children, and one of the key ways fathers bond with their children is through physical play. However, fathers often spend more time being active with their sons, so many girls may miss out on these opportunities to connect. This article describes a new physical activity program for fathers and daughters in New South Wales and looks at its impacts on father and child outcomes. The 'Dads And Daughters Exercising and Empowered' (DADEE) pilot study was run with 115 fathers and 153 school-aged daughters. Interviews with 23 of the fathers revealed improvements in daughters' wellbeing, father involvement with their daughter, the father-daughter relationship, fathers' parenting skills, knowledge of gender stereotypes and gender bias, co-parenting, and family relationship dynamics. The findings highlight how programs that engage fathers and daughters in physical activity can also have significant benefits for girls' mental health as well as family wellbeing more broadly.
Brisbane, Qld. : Queensland University of Technology, 2020
'Sing and Grow' is a music therapy group program that aims to help parents of young children learn new ways to integrate positive social and communication experiences into their daily routines. Thousands of families have taken part in the program in Australia and reviews since 2005 have been positive. This report presents the findings of a new evaluation of the program, focusing on the program's impact on parents' self-efficacy and responsive parenting skills, as well as the use of music with children in the home, child self-regulation and behaviour, and the transition to school. It draws on surveys with 318 parents before and after the program and interviews with 10 parents. The findings indicate that the program is effective in increasing parental capacity, with small but significant improvements in parents' self-efficacy, parental responsiveness, and children's cognitive self-regulation, behavioural regulation, prosocial skills, sociability, and internalising problems. The interview findings also suggest that the program supports parents' social relationships, family relationships, and children's skill development and readiness to learn.
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.
Current Opinion in Psychiatry v. 33 no. 6 Nov 2020: 586-601
Emotion-focused parenting interventions aim to help parents' develop healthy emotional communication and connections and promote their child's emotional development. Interventions tends to focus on four key domains: parents' own histories or experiences, their emotion competence, their responses to and communication with their children when emotions occur, or their skills to guide their children in emotional competence. This article investigates whether such these approaches could be used in preventing or treating children and young people's mental health difficulties. It reviews evaluation studies of such interventions as emotion-focused family therapy, attachment-based parenting programs, and mindfulness parenting programs.
Advances in Mental Health v. 18 no. 1 Building workforce capacity to promote parent and child mental health and development 2020: 39-49
This article looks at the feasibility and acceptability of video conferencing for providing parent counselling within child health services. It reports on a 2-year pilot project in Queensland involving parents, social workers, psychologists, including evaluation findings on participants' confidence, experience and satisfaction with the system and parents' sense of competence, self-efficacy, and parenting satisfaction. The evaluation found that both parents and clinicians found the system easy to use and effective for counselling. Most parents reported improved parenting satisfaction and self-efficacy. Though parents were satisfied with the system and found it comparable to face to face sessions, half reported some technical issues and indicated a preference for a combined service using both video conferencing and in-person counselling.
CFCA short article 20 Oct 2020
This short article explores how a population approach to early intervention and prevention can support parents and improve child safety and wellbeing. It discusses the evidence on the effectiveness of this approach and considers what policy makers and service managers can do to help children thrive. This is the second in a series of articles exploring early intervention strategies in Australia, including how they can be applied in particular areas of policy and practice.
Psychology of Men and Masculinities 30 Apr 2020: Advance online publication
This article explores new fathers' experiences with parenting supports during the perinatal period, including their support needs and the barriers and challenges they face in accessing services. It presents a review of literature, focusing on studies that captured fathers' views and voices. The findings reveal use of a range of formal and informal sources of support, but also issues in engaging with support due to unawareness, inaccessibility, exclusion, stigma, or privacy.
Melbourne : Centre of Research Excellence in Childhood Adversity and Mental Health, 2020.
This report reviews and summarises the evidence on interventions and strategies that prevent and respond to childhood adversity associated with common mental health disorders. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are stressful and potentially traumatic experiences during childhood that can have negative and lasting impacts on health and well-being across the life course. ACEs include child abuse, poor parenting, divorce, family violence and socio-economic adversity. A range of interventions have been developed to prevent ACEs or ameliorate their impact, including parenting programs, home visitation programs, community-wide programs, school-based interventions and psychological therapy. This report looks at the what evidence is available on the effectiveness of different interventions, focusing on those designed to reduce the occurrence of ACEs in childhood or reduce the impact on mental health during or after childhood. The report was prepared to support a national Delphi consensus study with experts, as part of the work of the Centre of Research Excellence in Childhood Adversity and Mental Health.
Wellington, N.Z. : Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children, 2020.
'Family Start' is a voluntary intensive home-visiting programme in New Zealand that supports families facing health and social challenges to achieve better outcomes for their children. This report presents the findings of a process evaluation on the effectiveness of the programme's design and implementation. It investigated: how well the programme is delivering services; the outcomes and impacts for whanau; and how the programme can be optimised. A detailed appendix is included of evaluation methodology, criteria and questions. The evaluation found that all clients felt that engagement with Family Start had positively impacted on themselves and their children, including in their confidence and ability to provide warm, safe and loving care. However, some aspects of the model do not align with Maori worldviews and practices, and workers and managers report feeling stretched and overwhelmed by the challenge of working with whanau who need intensive support beyond that for parenting.
Ashfield, NSW : NSW Dept. of Communities and Justice, 2020.
SafeCare is an in-home training program to help parents of young children at risk of neglect and abuse, which aims to help parents develop the practical skills and knowledge needed to keep their children safe and healthy. The program is currently being trialled in eight services across New South Wales, as part of the Brighter Futures program. This paper provides an overview of SafeCare and summarises findings from evaluation studies of the program in the United States.
Children Australia v. 45 no. 4 Dec 2020: 305-311
Aboriginal Cradle to Kinder is a home-visiting programme in Victoria that aims to promote the health of Aboriginal mothers and children before and after birth. This article evaluates the impact of the programme from the perspective of staff and clients. Six workers and seven mothers were interviewed, regarding their experiences and the strengths and limitations of the programme. The findings are discussed under three themes: how well the programme facilitates cultural connection, the service system complexities, and programme features and benefits. Overall, both staff and mothers evaluated the programme positively, highlighting a greater connection to culture and increased parenting skills. However, recommendations for service delivery were also made.
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.
Dickson, ACT : Playgroup Australia, 2020.
PlayConnect is a supported playgroup for families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders or ASD-like characteristics. It is a free service that is available without a referral or diagnostic requirements, since this age-group often precedes a diagnosis, and, by July 2019, was funded by the Australian Government across 41 sites. This report evaluates the program and makes recommendations for development. It investigates program design and implementation, program outcomes, meeting community needs and key contractual outcomes, support of families and networking and referral opportunities, capacity to provide support, play opportunities for children, and the most positive and successful elements of the program for families. The evaluation found that PlayConnect is highly valued by participants and fills an important service gap for families. However, one particular challenge identified was engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and culturally and linguistically diverse families.
Child and Family Social Work v. 25 special issue S1 Aug 2020: 198-206
Much of the research on engaging men in family services focuses on the barriers to access. This article focuses instead on the factors that retain men, drawing on a study of fathers in the Australian Baby Makes 3 (BM3) programme in Victoria. BM3 is a pilot universal intimate partner violence prevention programme that aims to promote equal and respectful relationships between men and women during the transition to parenthood. Couples attend three group sessions with mixed- and single-gender group discussions, role plays and homework exercises. It was trialled in seven largely middle-class municipalities in Victoria from 2013 to 2015 and offered alongside the New Parenting Groups, which are free, voluntary, 3-week respectful relationships programmes offered to all first time parents in Victoria. Drawing on interviews and focus groups with fathers, programme facilitators and nurses, this article explores the factors that promote father engagement. The findings reveal that men have shared experiences of transitioning to parenthood, which foster understanding, comfort and engagement within the group setting, and that male-only groups can provide a safe space for such interaction. The findings suggest that men often feel silenced and marginalised in mixed group setting.
Parkville, Vic. : University of Melbourne,2020
'Caring Dads' is a groupwork program for fathers who have used domestic and family violence. It features group parenting sessions with fathers, systematic outreach with mothers to ensure their safety and freedom from coercion, and ongoing case management of fathers by existing service providers. The program was developed in Canada and has now been implemented in several countries. This report describes a three-year trial of the program in Victoria in three sites: metropolitan North East Melbourne (a partnership between Kids First and UnitingCare ReGen), metropolitan Western Melbourne (a partnership between Anglicare Victoria and IPC Health), and rural Gippsland (by Anglicare Victoria). The evaluation found promising evidence that the fathers' behaviour change is commencing and moving in a positive direction, in particular their ability to reflect on abusive and harmful fathering. Hostility towards the mothers of their children was more difficult to change. Though both fathers and mothers reported improved fathering practices at the completion of the program, only some men showed sustained improvement.
Bethesda, MD : Child Trends, 2020.
This report provides information on how Responsible Fatherhood programs in the United States can prevent and address intimate partner violence. It summarises findings from the Preventing and Addressing Intimate Violence when Engaging Dads (PAIVED) research study, including the approaches that RF programs take to provide IPV-related services, the challenges and successes to providing these services, promising practices to improve service provision, and areas for growth. This report was commissioned to inform the funding partners of the PAIVED study, including the US Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, and the broader fatherhood and domestic violence sector. Existing IPV services and batterer intervention programs reach a relatively small proportion of potential clients and suffer from stigma and high costs. Thus, RF programs are in a unique position to address IPV among fathers, and especially to help prevent it from occurring in the first place.
Canberra : Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, 2020.
'Strong Culture, Strong Families' is a prison-based program run for Aboriginal male detainees and their families in the Australian Capital Territory. It draws on culture to create a positive parenting experience for Aboriginal male detainees and their children, break the cycle of intergenerational offending, strengthen family relationships, and build the capacity of adults caring for Aboriginal children with incarcerated parents. This paper describes the program and how it operates, and presents insights from observations of two program sessions. 'Strong Culture, Strong Families is an innovative volunteer Indigenous justice program with great promise, but it needs further resourcing and evaluation.
Southbank, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2020.
Research has found that a significant number of children with mental health problems have not consulted a mental health professional. This paper investigates this trend in more detail, by linking service use data from Medicare with data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). It examines patterns of health care service use across childhood, the characteristics of children and their families who access various health care services, and whether children at higher risk of developing social-emotional and conduct problems access health care services at greater rates than other children. It also examines use of family and parent services such as parent education, helplines, and relationship counselling. The study found that children's use of medical services varied by age, and that general practitioners were the most commonly consulted service. It also found that children at increased risk of social-emotional problems and psychosocial adjustment issues had higher rates of contact with various service types, including psychiatric and behavioural therapy services and other medical professionals, as well as hospital emergency and outpatient services, than their peers. Nonetheless, substantial proportions of these children were not accessing specialist mental health services, and many parents reported difficulties in accessing these services.
Journal of Family Studies 19 Feb 2020: Advance online publication
'Working Out Dads' is a pilot therapeutic parenting program for fathers of young children in inner-Melbourne, Victoria. The program combines facilitated group discussion, a guided gym workout, and text messages, and discusses issues regarding parenting, relationships, mental health, fitness, and well-being. This article reports on an evaluation of the pilot, which involved pre-, post- and 3-month follow-up assessment and surveys with 53 fathers who completed the program. The evaluation found that the participants had significant improvements in a range of measures including psychological distress, depression, anxiety, stress, and vitality and improvements in general physical health, social support, parenting self-efficacy, and the couple relationship.
U.S.A. : Fatherhood Research & Practice Network, 2020.
Responsible Fatherhood Programs are a family-focused intervention in America for both residential and non-residential low-income fathers, and aim to improve children's well-being through men's personal development. Though these programs focus on healthy relationships, few programs have given any explicit attention to domestic violence. This report was commissioned to explore to what extent and how Responsible Fatherhood Groups are addressing domestic violence in their curricula; factors at the intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational, community, and policy levels that act as barriers and supports to addressing domestic violence or incorporating this content into programs; and strategies and approaches for incorporating this content in ways that support fathers' educational and other needs. The study draws on interviews with 40 practitioners who work in or with agencies that provide Responsible Fatherhood Groups as one of their core services, recruited from four programs: 24/7 Dad: AM, the Fatherhood Development Program, Fatherhood Is Sacred & Motherhood Is Sacred, and the Nurturing Fathers Program. The findings provide insights into one overlooked aspect of the responsible fatherhood field.
Child Abuse and Neglect v. 99 Jan 2020: 104226
This article looks into the use of parenting support services by parents involved in the criminal justice system. It examines key parenting challenges, barriers to accessing parenting services in the community, and pathways to parenting support through Corrective Services and community agencies, drawing on focus groups with 8 parents serving community-based corrections orders and 62 staff from probation and parole services and community agencies. The groups raised similar issues of program availability, concerns about child protection, intergenerational parenting problems, multiple parenting issues, and stigma. The article concludes with recommendations to improve services access and engagement.
Journal of Attention Disorders v. 24 no. 12 2020: 1716-1726
This article evaluates the effectiveness of an online self-help program for the parents of young children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms. This study of Triple P Online involved 53 families in New Zealand with children aged three or four with extreme levels of hyperactivity and inattentiveness. Outcomes were assessed upon completion and after 6 months, regarding improvements in children's symptoms and social functioning, and parenting competence, satisfaction, well-being and stress. The findings have implications for the management of ADHD. Note, this program is currently available free to Queensland families.