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.
Children Australia v. 45 no. 1 Mar 2020: 40-47
This article explores conceptions of child rearing and development among urban dwelling Nyoongar/Aboriginal people in Perth, Western Australia. It presents findings from the Ngulluk Koolunga Ngulluk Koort (Our Children Our Heart) project, which aims to identify priorities and values associated with early childhood development for children under 6 years of age, incorporating an Aboriginal worldview and knowledge framework. 138 parents, grandparents and family members of Aboriginal children have participated in community forums and focus groups, and nine Aboriginal Elders are co-researchers in the project. The project has identified a number of common attitudes, values and beliefs about the things that are deemed important in raising healthy, confident and proud Aboriginal children, as well as the things that might get in the way of Aboriginal kids growing up solid. The findings highlight differences in beliefs from those of mainstream western society in Australia and challenge assumptions underpinning a range of early childhood development policies.
Disability and Health Journal v. 13 no. 2 Apr 2020: Article 100871
Parent intellectual disability is a risk factor for adverse outcomes for pregnancy and infants, but how does it compare to other risk factors? This article compares the pregnancy outcomes for mothers with and without intellectual disability, along with socioeconomic and Aboriginal status. It links administrative data for all mothers with children born in Western Australia from 1983 to 2012 with data from the Intellectual Disability Exploring Answers database. The study finds that mothers with intellectual disability were more likely to be of low socio-economic status, be without partner, smoke, and face increased risk of pregnancy complications. Differences in outcomes for Indigenous and non-Indigenous mothers with and without intellectual disability are compared.
BMC Pediatrics v. 20 2020: Article 13
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are thought to be at higher risk of developmental problems when starting school, as compared to non-Indigenous children, but most data comes from small, clinical, or rural and remote studies. This article adds to the evidence base with a study of Aboriginal children from urban New South Wales. It analyses parent and caregiver reports concerning 725 children aged 0-7 years old enrolled in the Study of Environment on Aboriginal Resilience and Child Health (SEARCH). Data was collected between 2008 and 2012. The study found that parents and caregivers reported no or few developmental concerns for 40% of these children. For the 60% of children with moderate or high levels of concern, risk was associated in particular with housing instability, ear infections, poor caregiver mental health, and being in foster care.
Dickson, A.C.T. : Playgroup Australia, 2020
This report looks into recent trends in playgroup attendance in Australia and the association between attendance and children's early development. Using data from the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) for 2012, 2015 and 2018, it finds that attendance has grown in recent years, particularly among disadvantaged among communities. More than 1 in 3 children had attended a playgroup before starting school in 2018, though rates vary significantly between the states and territories and among different groups. Though attendance is lowest amongst children with an Aboriginal background or from a non-English speaking background, and is low for children living in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas, rates have increased over recent years. Children who did not attend playgroup had 1.71 times greater odds of being developmentally vulnerable on one or more domains of the AEDC. Children from remote areas were even more at risk: however, these children also had the highest rate of attendance. Variations were also noted in the relationship between playgroup and child development in the different states and territories, which warrants further investigation.
Subiaco, WA : Commissioner for Children and Young People WA, 2020.
This report shares the views of children and young people on what it's like to grow up in Western Australia. It presents preliminary results from the inaugural Speaking Out Survey, which involved 4,912 students from Grade 4 to Year 12 from across the state. Participants were asked about family and friends, community, physical and mental health, healthy behaviour and drug use, safety, bullying and abuse, gaming and social media, living standards, connection to culture and community, sport and leisure, education and wellbeing. Overall, most students report they are physically and mentally healthy, their material needs are covered, and they like school. However, some groups are not faring as well. Results for Aboriginal participants and participants from rural and regional areas are also discussed. Many children and young people also say their relationships with family, friends and teachers are positive overall and that they feel like they belong in their community. The methodology involved weighting and over-sampling to provide a better picture of the total student population and Aboriginal students, and now that this proof of concept has been tested, the Commissioner hopes to conduct the survey every three years.
Sydney, NSW : The Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney, 2020
This report looks into the mental health of young people involved in the justice system in Australia. It presents findings from a survey of 465 justice-involved young people from Queensland and Western Australia, aged 14-17 years of age, regarding their general health, history of justice system involvement, experiences of non-sexual abuse, mental health, mental illness, post-traumatic stress disorders, alcohol abuse, substance use, self-harm and suicidal behaviours, and use of mental health services. Comparisons are made by gender and by Indigenous status, as well as with findings from the Young Minds Survey of mental health in the general youth population. The findings highlight the significant co-occurrences of mental ill-health, abuse, head injury, and justice involvement, and the disproportionately high rates of attempted suicide and self-harm.
International Journal of Intercultural Relations v. 74 Jan 2020: 80-93
Research suggests that a strong sense of cultural identity has a positive impact on a range of outcomes for Indigenous people. This article investigates the cultural engagement of Indigenous parents also has a positive impact on their young children's development. Using data from the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC), it compares child health, wellbeing, and cultural experiences and the parent's views on what aspects of their culture they'd like to pass on to their child at 4 years of age. Overall, the findings add to the evidence that a strong sense of cultural identity promotes wellbeing and positive socio-emotional adjustment. The articles concludes by calling for Indigenous cultures and Indigenous Australians' identification with those cultures to be supported and celebrated.
Brisbane, Qld. : Queensland Government, 2019.
This Wellbeing Outcomes Framework outlines the aspirations that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities and the Queensland Government have for the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to thrive and grow up safe, connected to community and culture. The Framework defines wellbeing, identifies the outcomes that should be sought to achieve wellbeing and how these should be measured, and explains the responsibility held by 'adult institutions' to help fulfil these children and young people's wellbeing. This strategic document aligns with and supports the whole-of-government objectives and commitments outlined in the 'Our Future State: Advancing Queensland's Priorities' and the 'Our Way: A generational strategy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families' policies. The Framework will be used to inform policy development and decision making as well as the development of indicators and measures for monitoring and evaluation of the Our Way strategy and its associated action plans.
Melbourne : Dept. of Education and Training, 2019.
This annual report series provides an overview of how children and young people are faring in Victoria, serving as an evidence base to support planning and policy development. This 2018 report focuses on adolescents, and presents the latest data on young Victorian's physical health, social and emotional wellbeing, education, and family and community safety. Topics include service use, diet, obesity, screen use, drug use, sexual activity and pregnancy, sexually transmitted infection, social connection and life satisfaction, bullying, resilience, mental wellbeing, suicide, self harm, attitudes to school, school disengagement and absenteeism, school achievement, educational outcomes and subject choice, family functioning, trusted adults, family violence, homelessness, out of home care, and youth offending. The report also features art work contributed by young people from around Victoria.
British Journal of Social Work v. 49 no. 8 Dec 2019: 2021-2041
This article discusses the issue of 'projective identification' for social workers working in child protection practice with Aboriginal families in remote communities of Australia. It highlights the role of reflective practice for social work and the challenge of child protection work in remote Aboriginal communities.
Ashfield, NSW : NSW Dept. of Family and Community Services, 2019.
This report looks into the circumstances, placement and development of children and young people in out of home in New South Wales. It summarises statistics from the first 3 waves of the Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study over about five years. POCLS is the first large scale prospective longitudinal study on out-of-home care (OOHC) in Australia and will follow 4,126 children aged 0-17 years old entering OOHC in the state. This report highlights findings on children's experience prior to entering care, reported parental issues, children's permanency trajectories, exits and re-entries, final orders, duration of care and number of distinct placements, developmental trajectories, physical health, socio-emotional wellbeing, change in behaviour problems by age at entry into care, change in behaviour problems by Aboriginality, and cognitive development. Approximately three-quarters of the children had less than four placement changes, with the number of placement changes and also exits and re-entries into care increasing with age at entry to care.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health v. 43 no. 1 Feb 2019: 8-14
This article investigates resilience among Aboriginal young people living in urban settings in New South Wales. It examines levels of resilience and the factors that are associated with resilience during adolescence, drawing on data from 119 young people participating in the Study of Environment on Aboriginal Resilience and Child Health (SEARCH). The participants were assessed on social and emotional wellbeing, behaviour problems, and known protective factors such as knowledge of Aboriginal culture, family educational support, and satisfaction with recreation. The study found that most of these young people displayed resilience, and that resilience was associated with family encouragement to attend school, having someone to talk to about problems, and regular exercise or sport. However, 16% of the participants were at high risk of clinically significant behavioural and emotional problems.
Casuarina, NT : Menzies School of Health Research, 2019.
This biennial report series will profile the wellbeing of children in the Northern Territory, from the antenatal period to young adulthood. It presents statistics against the 48 indicators of The Nest framework of the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY), in the six domains of: being loved and safe; having material basics; health; learning; participation; and having a positive sense of identity and culture. Statistics are presented as total figures for all children, with regional profiles, and case studies and stories of young people and services are also included. This inaugural report presents the latest statistics to 2019.
Melbourne, Vic. : Commission for Children and Young People, 2019.
This report presents the findings and recommendations of an inquiry into children and young people's experiences of out of home care in Victoria. It draws on consultations with 204 children and young people from across Victoria who were currently living in or had recently left out-of-home care, regarding what it is like to live and grow up in the out-of-home care system, what works well and what needs to change, supplemented with administrative data. Topics include: trends in the out of home care system, case file and incident data, the distinct issues facing Aboriginal children in care, participation in key decisions, the extent to which out of home care feels like home, personal safety while in care, contact with parents and family, building and maintaining friendships, and what makes good carers. The findings highlight the strain within the child protection system, the over-representation of Aboriginal children and young people in care, poor compliance with processes to support connection to culture, safety concerns in residential care, and the lack of involvement of children and young people in case planning and significant decisions.
Lancet Child & Adolescent Health 19 Nov 2019: Advance online publication
This article examines the association between maternal age and early childhood development outcomes in Indigenous and non-Indigenous children in New South Wales. It draws on data from the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) linked to administrative health, birth registration, and public school datasets. 166,278 children were included in the study. The study finds that both Indigenous and non-Indigenous children born to young mothers are developmentally vulnerable. This risk decreased with increasing maternal age in both populations, although to a significantly lesser extent in the Indigenous population - Indigenous children still had an increased risk of developmental vulnerability across the maternal age range relative to their non-Indigenous peers. A substantial proportion of this developmental inequality was attributable to socioeconomic factors. This article is part of the Seeding Success study.
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.
Melbourne : Dept. of Education and Training, 2018.
This annual report series provides an overview of how children and young people are faring in Victoria, serving as an evidence base to support planning and policy development. Sections include: demographics of Victoria's children; a healthy start; families and the family environment; inclusive and enabling communities; physical and mental health; learning and education; and within Victoria. This 2017 report illustrates that most children and young people in Victoria are healthy, happy and have adequate support to help them to thrive. However, family pressures, socioeconomic disadvantage and an accumulation of risk factors can lead to a compounding effect on health and wellbeing outcomes. The report also features art work contributed by children from around Victoria.
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.