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.
Indigenous families - Children and young people
Penrith, NSW : Western Sydney University, 2019.
NAPCAN has developed a trauma-informed respectful relationships education program in the Northern Territory for young people experiencing complex challenges. The program aimed to address a gap in the field of prevention education: young people with complex challenges are at high risk of abuse and yet have least access to educational experiences that can teach them to navigate relationships more effectively. The program provides training and resources to practitioners in the youth services sector and is adapted from its Love Bites school-based program to provide a more flexible-approach in informal settings. This report describes the development of the program and the evaluation findings. Drawing on consultations with practitioners from a variety of services, the development project investigated the specific needs of the youth sector, evaluated the perceived effectiveness of the program, assessed the program against current research literature, and reviewed the extent to which the program met the social and cultural needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community organisations. The report concludes with recommendations for further development.
Sydney, N.S.W. : Institute of Open Adoption Studies, University of Sydney, 2019.
Under previous out of home care policy, child welfare case workers would help manage children's contact arrangements with their birth families in New South Wales. However, guardianship and open adoption are now prioritised over long-term foster care, and there is now an expectation that carers manage these contact arrangements without any agency support. This report investigates the benefits and challenges of contact for carers, children, and birth parents, and what supports are needed to help carers and birth parents overcome difficulties and have constructive and collaborative relationships. It presents findings from interviews with 12 birth parents, 19 children and young people, and 26 carers, including legal guardians, kinship carers, adoptive parents, and foster carers. It also considers the views of Aboriginal children and how well the transition from agency-supervised to carer-facilitated contact is progressing. The report concludes with the implications for case work.
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.
Canberra, ACT : ANU Centre for Social Research & Methods, 2019.
This report investigates the extent of racism and racist bullying against children and young people - at school and in the community. It presents findings from a survey of 4,664 primary and secondary students from New South Wales and Victoria, as well as 202 of their teachers, on racism, racial discrimination, bullying, gender discrimination, religious discrimination, bystander responses, health and wellbeing, socioemotional development, sleep, the school climate, and school connectedness. Though the students reported a positive school racial climate and positive sentiments towards engaging with students from other backgrounds, one-third of the students experienced racial discrimination from their peers - including students from Anglo-Celtic backgrounds, albeit at lesser rates than those from Indigenous and overseas backgrounds. Nearly one-third of the students also experienced racial discrimination from wider society and many - including nearly 20% of students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds - experienced racial discrimination from their teachers. The teachers themselves also reported being treated unfairly by students because of their race, ethnicity, culture or language. This survey constitutes part 1 of The Speak Out Against Racism (SOAR) project; part 2 will involve trialling a school-based bystander intervention program.
Children Australia v. 44 no. 2 Jun 2019: 55-59
This article describes the Turn 'em around Healing (TeaH) therapeutic model of practice, which was developed for children experiencing trauma in remote Aboriginal communities. The model incorporates Aboriginal concepts of healing and spirit within a creative therapeutic framework, and is built upon community involvement and a recognition of the trans-generational trauma present within Aboriginal communities. This article explains the development of the model, outlines how it was implemented in one community, and highlights the key learnings so far.
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.
Sydney, N.S.W. : Mission Australia, 2019
The Gift of Gallang is a suicide prevention program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community children in Inala, Queensland. The program has two main components: ongoing community engagement via cultural nights and school-based prevention program targeting primary school aged children. This report evaluates the development and implementation of the program, with a particular focus on community engagement and ownership, program outcomes, and the role of establishing and strengthening genuine partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members and organisations. Given the potential age of children and the school-based context, it was decided that no reference to suicide or suicide ideation would be made: instead, the program was framed around a strengths-based approach, with a focus on healing mind, body and spirit through cultural connection and self-determination. Overall, the findings of the evaluation are promising and the report concludes with recommendations for revising and strengthening the program.
Canberra, ACT : Dept. of Education and Training, 2019.
This report presents a snapshot of young children's health and development in Australia in 2018. It presents findings from the 2018 Australian Early Development Census (AEDC), previously known as the Australian Early Development Index (AEDI), which measures children's development in their first year of school to help schools, communities, and policy makers understand how children are developing before school, what is being done well, and what can be improved. Development is measured across five domains: physical health and wellbeing, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills (school-based), and communication skills and general knowledge. For each domain, children receive a score between zero and ten, identifying the percentage of children who are considered to be 'developmentally on track', 'developmentally at risk', and 'developmentally vulnerable'. This report presents the findings and compares results by gender, region, socioeconomic status, Indigenous background, and English-speaking background. Trends since the previous 2009, 2012, and 2015 reports are also examined. The Census shows that the majority of children are developmentally on track, and the overall percentage of children developmentally vulnerable on multiple domains has decreased from 11.8% in 2009 to 11.0% in 2018. However, some groups at children are still at risk.
Kensington : University of New South Wales, 2018.
The 2016 study, 'No child should grow up like this', investigated the long-term life experiences of people who had been in out-of-home care in Australia. This new report provides more detail on one of the groups that took part in that study: Stolen Generations survivors and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were forcibly removed from their families as children. Drawing on surveys, interviews, and focus groups, the report explores their entry into care, the care environment, experiences of maltreatment, contact with family, leaving care, education and employment outcomes, income, involvement with the justice system, relationships and parenting, social contact and community involvement, religion, physical and mental health, suicide, seeking help and support, barriers and access to services, dealing with authority figures, and public responses and formal apologies. Overall, this report presents an extremely grim picture of Aboriginal children's 'care' in the twentieth century. The multiple losses related to child removal and relentless neglect and abuse have resulted in untold damage. However, the Aboriginal participants in this study have showed remarkable resilience, courage, self-healing and activism. The report concludes with recommendations for supports for survivors and contemporary child welfare policy.
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 looks into the service needs of children and young people in out-of-home care and their carers in New South Wales, including use of health and behavioural services, changes over time, and barriers to service utilisation. The report draws on the first two waves of data from the Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study (POCLS) from New South Wales, supplemented with a review of the Australian and international literature on service engagement. It looks at use of specialist services such as paediatricians and speech pathologists, as well as universal services such as dentists and general practitioners, and formal and informal supports for carers. Overall, the findings indicate that the children in the POCLS study are faring relatively well, with their wellbeing improving over time and good access to services.
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.
Darwin, N.T. : Dept. of Health, 2018.
This document sets out some of the evidence used to develop the 'Northern Territory Child and Adolescent Health and Wellbeing Strategic Plan 2018-2028'. It includes: statistics on children, adolescents and young people; a summary analysis of consultations with children and youth; a table detailing the input received from partner organisations; examples of programs that work that are evidence based and consistent with the plan's principles, particularly those around place based design and local involvement or co-design; a detailed timeline on implementation and monitoring; a potential Monitoring Report using a KPI traffic light matrix; and a discussion on data governance and data sovereignty - the key to Aboriginal data sharing.
Darwin, N.T. : Dept. of Health, 2018.
This document sets out a 10 year plan of how the Northern Territory government will improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people aged 0-24 years old. It outlines the framework and priority actions that will guide stakeholders, decision makers, and health and social services towards collective action on improving the health and wellbeing of all children and young people who live in the Territory, with a particular focus on those most in need. The actions are grouped into 5 key themes: children and young people are provided the best opportunities in life; there are healthy, safe and sustainable communities and places; health and wellbeing are improving; health equity for Aboriginal children and young people is increasing; and children and young people receive high quality support when and where they need it. The plan is supported by a background document setting out the evidence used to develop the plan, including statistics on target populations, the findings of consultations with children and youth, examples of evidence-based programs, and a detailed timeline on implementation and monitoring.
Child Indicators Research v. 11 no. 2 Apr 2018: 459-485
This article investigates how wellbeing varies among disadvantaged young people. It compares the wellbeing of non-marginalised young people and young people from five marginalised groups: young people with disability, young carers, materially disadvantaged young people, young people from non-English speaking background, and Indigenous young people. Data is taken from the Australian Child Wellbeing Project, for 5,440 children and young people aged from 9-14 years old. The findings indicate that young carers, the materially disadvantaged, and young people with a disability are at particular risk of experiencing low wellbeing, in particular for 13-14 year olds than 9-12 year olds. However, half of the young people reporting the lowest levels of wellbeing were not in any of the marginalised groups studied here, indicating that health promotion efforts can be directed at all young people rather than targeting specific groups.
BMC Public Health v. 18 18 Dec 2018: Article 1382
This article explores the challenges for families living in poor and overcrowded housing in one remote Aboriginal community and its impact on children's health and wellbeing. Longitudinal case studies were conducted with six Yolngu families in the Northern Territory, highlighting in particular the issue of insufficient housing stock and being forced to rely on extended family in overcrowded conditions. Running out of food, sharing diseases, poor role modelling for children, and family conflict were also raised. This study is part of the broader Growing up children in two worlds project.
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.
N.S.W. : Just Reinvest NSW, 2018.
The Maranguka Justice Reinvestment project was developed in response to the number of Aboriginal families experiencing high levels of social disadvantage and rising crime in the small remote town of Bourke in New South Wales. This place-based, Aboriginal-led model redirects funds away from crisis responses and prison and detention and instead towards preventative, diversionary, and community development initiatives that address the underlying causes of crime. This report assesses the project's impact after 5 years, now that local initiatives and processes have had time to embed and develop. It reviews progress towards building leadership, collaboration, new program design, and procedural change, as well as changes from 2016 to 2017 in rates of domestic violence, school attendance and completion, bail breaches, juvenile charges, time in custody, and obtaining drivers licences. The report highlights the financial and social cost savings of the justice reinvestment approach.
Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018.
This paper presents key findings from the forthcoming report 'Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adolescent and youth health and wellbeing 2018'. It collates data on wellbeing, health, social and economic determinants of health, health risk factors, and health service use, for Indigenous people aged 10-24 years old. Here, the concept of wellbeing includes connection to culture, having a say, stressors, and racism. Demographic data on population distribution and young motherhood are also included, as well as comparisons with the non-Indigenous population on selected health and wellbeing indicators.
Australian Social Work v. 71 no. 3 2018: 265-276
This article provides a brief overview of historic and current legislative approaches to Indigenous child protection in Australia and in particular in Victoria. Though placement in out of home care is designed to make children safe, it threatens the cultural connections that are essential to identity and wellbeing. Indeed, this article argues that family relationships need to be recognised as critical as placement stability
Melbourne, Vic. : Koorie Youth Council, 2018
'Ngaga-dji' is a plan to enable Aboriginal children in Victoria to thrive, in response to the systemic issues that lead to young people harming themselves and others and exposure to the youth justice system. It incorporates solutions that aim to provide effective services, keep children safe and strong in their culture, families, and communities, provide community designed and led youth support solutions, and create just and equitable systems. Ngaga-dji translates as 'hear me' in the Woiwurrung language, and the plan is based on consultation with 42 children and young people who were currently or previously under youth justice supervision. This report sets out the elements of the plan and presents several of the young people's stories, with illustrations, to capture their voices and highlight not only how systems can cause harm and entrench trauma and disadvantage, but also how strong families and communities and culturally-based services can change pathways.
Canberra : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018.
This website collates the latest information on how Australia's children are faring, presented as interactive graphs and tables. Children's welfare is measured against the Children's Headline Indicators - 19 priority measures of: smoking during pregnancy, infant mortality, birthweight, breastfeeding, immunisation, overweight and obesity, dental health, social and emotional wellbeing, injuries, attending early childhood education programs, transition to primary school in terms of developmental vulnerability, attendance at primary school, literacy and numeracy, teenage births, family economic situation, shelter, child abuse and neglect, social and emotional wellbeing, and family social network.
Camberwell, Vic. : Australian Council for Educational Research, 2018.
This paper explores young people's sense of belonging at school in Australia, including ability to make friends and feeling excluded, awkward, or lonely. Data is taken from the 2015 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), an international comparative study of student achievement and preparedness among 15-year-olds. The paper compares sense of belonging across nations and Australian jurisdictions, and by gender, socioeconomic status, geographic location, Indigenous background, and migrant or first-generation background. Comparisons are also made across the 2003, 2012, and 2015 PISA results. It finds that Australian students, on average, reported having a significantly poorer sense of belonging at school compared to students across the OECD, with a significant decline between PISA 2003 and 2015. However, significantly higher proportions of Australian students reported that they made friends easily at school and that other students liked them.
Child Abuse and Neglect v. 78 Apr 2018: 85-95
This article demonstrates the application of a person-based resilience framework for better understanding the factors that affect psychosocial functioning of Western Australian Aboriginal youth and thus providing insights for policy and practice. The framework incorporates the differential influence of individual, family, cultural, and community factors on psychosocial outcomes depending on family-risk context. The article draws on a synthesis of the authors' previous work utilising the 2000-2002 Western Australian Aboriginal Child Health Survey (WAACHS). These studies found that prosocial friendship and living in a low socioeconomic neighbourhood uniquely protected psychosocial functioning, whereas exposure to racism was an additional risk factor for otherwise low-risk exposed youth.
East Melbourne, Vic. : Save the Children Australia, 2018.
This report presents a snapshot of how children and young people are faring in the East Gippsland region of Victoria. Using the latest data, it compares local, state, and national statistics in the domains of the Nest Action Agenda for 'developing well', 'safe and secure', 'happy and healthy', 'engaged, learning, and achieving', and 'active citizens'. This report follows on from the baseline report 'State of East Gippsland's children & youth report' conducted in 2013 by Good Beginnings Australia. That initial report led to the development of the 'Children's Wellbeing Initiative - East Gippsland', led by Save the Children, which aims to strengthen and build collaborative community responses to the needs of local children and youth. It is intended to update the report at least every five years in order to review the progress of the Initiative and ensure monitoring of children and young people's wellbeing. Whilst this second report highlights advances, it reveals that there are still more children in East Gippsland who are developmentally vulnerable than the Victorian average, and with higher rates of family violence, crime victimisation, bullying, additional needs, depression, and low breastfeeding.
Family Matters no. 100 2018: 4-18
Though social and emotional wellbeing is an important outcome for policy makers in health and education, it is not adequately reflected by mainstream mental health assessment tools - in particular for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families. This article aims to identify the early childhood factors associated with later social and emotional wellbeing when the child is ready to start school, and to develop a new indicator that could capture a more holistic view of wellbeing. It draws on data from the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children to look at selected individual and family factors during pregnancy and up to 2 years of age compared to children's prosocial behaviour, mental health, connectedness, and other surrogate proxies for social and emotional wellbeing at school commencement. Though the authors were unable to create a single index of social and emotional wellbeing, the findings highlight the need to apply caution in applying Western biomedical health and wellbeing measures to Indigenous concepts and states.
Social Indicators Research v. 139 no. 3 Oct 2018: 11871218
This article introduces a new approach for examining child disadvantage, using a holistic, dynamic measure that accounts for multiple sources of disadvantage and also the recurrence and persistence of disadvantage throughout a child's life. The utility of this measure for policymakers is illustrated with a study of data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) and the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC). The measure identifies the dimensions in which rates of child disadvantage are most severe, finding that poor body weight and bullying among children in general should be of significant concern to policymakers, as are housing conditions, schooling, and exposure to risky behaviours for Indigenous children in particular.
Child : Care, Health and Development v. 43 no. 6 Nov 2017 899-905
This article investigates the health and developmental needs of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care and the impact of trauma-informed and culturally respectful therapeutic interventions. It reviews the case files of 26 children who had been in stable care for at least a year, supplemented with interviews with therapists and caseworkers. These children were all being supported through intervention and assessment services provided by Kari Aboriginal Resources Inc. (KARI). The article discusses the children's use of clinical interventions, attendance at cultural programmes, improvements in developmental health, and individual, carer, and home risk and protective factors. The barriers to delivering care and elements of good practice are also discussed.
Child : Care, Health and Development v. 43 no. 6 Nov 2017 906-917
This article investigates what factors influence language acquisition among Aboriginal children in urban areas of Australia. Using data from the Gudaga longitudinal study in South Western Sydney, New South Wales, it examines maternal, child, and family factors for receptive vocabulary acquisition. Children were assessed at 3 years of age, just prior to school entry, and at the end of the first and the second years of formal schooling. The findings indicate that higher maternal education, non-verbal cognitive skills, and the number of children in the household all played a role on language acquisition by age 3 and its trajectory over time.
Broome : Regional Services Reform Unit, 2017.
This report looks at Indigenous disadvantage at a sub-regional level, comparing how government spending relates to outcomes and providing greater insight than is seen with the usual national- or state-level comparisons. The report focuses on the Kimberley and Pilbara regions, examining government outcome data and service provision expenditure in the 2015/16 fiscal year. Outcomes are discussed in terms of the seven 'Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage' report areas: governance, leadership and culture; early child development; education and training; healthy lives; economic participation; home environment; and safe and supportive communities. The study finds that government expenditure tends to be higher in areas with poorer outcomes, that is, areas of higher need. Recommendations for further data collection and analysis are also made.