Research to practice

The latest material added to the Australian Institute of Family Studies library database is displayed, up to a maximum of 30 items. Where available online, a link to the document is provided. Many items can be borrowed from the Institute's library via the Interlibrary loan system.

See more resources on Research to practice in the AIFS library catalogue

Reducing the harm caused by gambling

Greaves A
Melbourne, Vic. : Victorian Government Printer, 2021.
The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation was established in 2012 to reduce gambling harm, through its research work, prevention programs, and treatment services. This audit investigates whether the Foundation is achieving its intended outcomes and impacts. The audit found that the Foundation lacks appropriate outcomes measurement frameworks and is unable to identify its impacts, and, while the Foundation funds research and program evaluation, it does not always use this evidence to improve program design and service delivery. The audit concludes with recommendations for measurement, program design, and collaboration.

Building a positive evaluation culture: key considerations for managers in the families and children services sector

El-Murr A
Southbank, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2021.
Evaluation works best when an organisation has an 'evaluation culture' - when the whole organisation embraces evaluation, acts on findings, and shares responsibility. Managers are essential to building a positive evaluation culture, and this paper shares some tips and key considerations for managers interested in fostering this culture. This paper is based on a research project on the ways in which organisational leaders in the families and children's sector championed and developed positive evaluation culture. It involved a small scoping review of the literature and interviews with managers and evaluation officers on what they have found most helpful or effective in building positive evaluation culture within their organisations.

What is an evidence-informed approach to practice and why is it important?

Alla K and Joss N
CFCA short article 16 Mar 2021
Written for practitioners, this article describes the role of research within an evidence-informed approach to practice and introduces the different types of research that can be used in decision making. This article is the first in a series focusing on the use of evidence in practice.

Using research to answer practice questions.

Joshi A, Alla K and Joss N
CFCA short article 16 Mar 2021
This article highlights how practitioners can incorporate research into their decision making. It focuses on common practice-related questions and the types of research that answer those questions. Examples relevant to the child, family and community welfare sector are also included. This article is the second in a series focusing on the use of evidence in practice.

Creating an organisational culture for evidence-informed practice.

Joshi A and Joss N
CFCA short article 16 Mar 2021
This article highlights how organisations can support practitioners to use evidence in decision making and practice for improved outcomes. It is the third in a series focusing on the use of evidence in practice, and describes three key ways that organisations can create a supportive culture for their practitioners to use research findings in practice.

Creating 'deep knowledge' and transformative change : a critical social work approach to researching formal kinship care.

Borenstein J, Frederico M and McNamara P
British Journal of Social Work 3 Dec 2020: Advance online publication
This article highlights how critically-oriented social work research can deliver useful knowledge directly to practitioners and promote change. It describes one critical participatory study from Victoria, concerning formal kinship care, which involved researchers, service users and practitioners working together. The study showed that new understandings and practical solutions can be generated by exploring research findings with stakeholders.

From risk to opportunity: framing adolescent development : strategic brief

Busso D, O'Neil M and Kendall-Taylor N
Washington, DC : FrameWorks Institute, 2020.
This paper aims to help experts and advocates communicate better about the needs and issues of young people in America. Previous research shows that adolescence is misunderstood and that the public are frequently exposed to negative messages about young people. The public are also unclear about the role of racial inequities and young people's environments. These misperceptions can create obstacles to productive policies and practices. The paper outlines seven key framing shifts necessary to advance public understanding about adolescent development and shift their attitudes, illustrated with examples of how to integrate them into a variety of communications styles and contexts.

How child welfare professionals access, use, and share information: results from the National Child Welfare Information Study

Child Welfare Information Gateway (U.S.), United States. Children's Bureau
Washington, DC : Children's Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2020.
The ways in which child welfare professionals in America access information are rapidly changing, and the technologies and types of resources that are most useful are evolving for a digital age. This study was commissioned to better understand how child welfare professionals search for, access, and share information and use technology in their practice. Surveys and focus groups were held with over 4,000 child welfare professionals in state and county agencies, child welfare professionals in private practice, child welfare professionals working with Tribes, legal professionals working in child welfare, and students in child welfare. The study aimed to identify how professionals currently get and share information that they use in their jobs, what makes professionals more likely to use new technologies and what types of information are they most likely to access through those technologies, in what ways do professionals' information habits and preferences vary based on their role and clients, and in what ways are these habits and preferences expected to change in the future.

Building capacity for evidence-informed policy-making: lessons from country experiences

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, European Union Joint Research Centre
Paris, France : OECD Publishing, 2020.
"This report analyses the skills and capacities governments need to strengthen evidence-informed policy-making (EIPM) and identifies a range of possible interventions that are available to foster greater uptake of evidence. Increasing governments' capacity for evidence-informed is a critical part of good public governance. However, an effective connection between the supply and the demand for evidence in the policy-making process remains elusive. This report offers concrete tools and a set of good practices for how the public sector can support senior officials, experts and advisors working at the political/administrative interface. This support entails investing in capability, opportunity and motivation and through behavioral changes. The report identifies a core skillset for EIPM at the individual level, including the capacity for understanding, obtaining, assessing, using, engaging with stakeholders, and applying evidence, which was developed in collaboration with the European Commission Joint Research Centre. It also identifies a set of capacities at the organisational level that can be put in place across the machinery of government, throughout the role of interventions, strategies and tools to strengthen these capacities. The report concludes with a set of recommendations to assist governments in building their capacities."

Adding prenatal development to the core story of early development

L'Hote E, Hawkins N, Kendall-Taylor N and Volmert A
Subiaco, W.A. : CoLab, Telethon Kids Institute, 2020.
This document is part of a project to help better communicate the evidence around early child development. The 'Core Story of Early Childhood Development' sets out a communications framework to advance public understanding of early childhood in Australia. The main framework provides examples of clearer framing and wording, what to focus on, things to avoid, and why it works, that can be common for all communicators. For specific issues, the framework can be supplemented by companion strategies or 'chapters' - that can be added to the Core Story. This document focuses on the specific issue of prenatal health, and how to talk about it as a part of the overall Story. Leading with the Core Story helps shift the broader public conversation around early childhood while making it possible to position children's prenatal experiences as vital to development.

Adding child mental health to the core story of early development

L'Hote E, Hawkins N, Kendall-Taylor N and Volmert A
Subiaco, W.A. : CoLab, Telethon Kids Institute, 2020.
This document is part of a project to help better communicate the evidence around early child development. The 'Core Story of Early Childhood Development' sets out a communications framework to advance public understanding of early childhood in Australia. The main framework provides examples of clearer framing and wording, what to focus on, things to avoid, and why it works, that can be common for all communicators. For specific issues, the framework can be supplemented by companion strategies or 'chapters' - that can be added to the Core Story. This document focuses on the specific issue of mental health, and how to talk about it as a part of the overall Story. Leading with the Core Story helps shift the broader public conversation around early childhood while making it possible to position child mental health as vital to development.

Adding play to the core story of early development

L'Hote E, Hawkins N, Kendall-Taylor N and Volmert A
Subiaco, W.A. : CoLab, Telethon Kids Institute, 2020.
This document is part of a project to help better communicate the evidence around early child development. The 'Core Story of Early Childhood Development' sets out a communications framework to advance public understanding of early childhood in Australia. The main framework provides examples of clearer framing and wording, what to focus on, things to avoid, and why it works, that can be common for all communicators. For specific issues, the framework can be supplemented by companion strategies or 'chapters' - that can be added to the Core Story. This document focuses on the specific issue of play, and how to talk about it as a part of the overall Story. Leading with the Core Story helps shift the broader public conversation around early childhood while making it possible to position play as vital to development.

The core story of early childhood development in Australia: supplement on research methods and evidence

L'Hote E, Hawkins N, Kendall-Taylor N and Volmert A
Subiaco, W.A. : CoLab, Telethon Kids Institute, 2020.
The 'Core Story of Early Childhood Development' sets out a communications framework to advance public understanding of early childhood in Australia. This companion report provides the evidence behind the recommendations within the framework and describes the methods used throughout the research process. The project began with consultations to investigate the differences and similarities in how experts and members of the public think about early childhood development. A series of communication frames were then designed and tested. Overall, more than 7,350 people from across Australia participated in the research.

Moving early childhood up the agenda: a core story of early childhood development in Australia

L'Hote E, Hawkins N, Kendall-Taylor N and Volmert A
Subiaco, W.A. : CoLab, Telethon Kids Institute, 2020.
This document is part of a project to help better communicate the evidence around early child development. It sets out a communications framework to advance public understanding of early childhood in Australia, based upon the research evidence. This framework outlines the 'Core Story of Early Childhood Development' that can be common for all communicators. It provides examples of clearer framing and wording, what to focus on, things to avoid, and why it works. For specific issues, the framework can be supplemented by companion strategies - 'chapters' - that can be added to the Core Story, such as for play, mental health, and prenatal development.

How judges and attorneys use research in the juvenile court system [executive summary]

Jordan E and Murphy K
Bethesda, MD : Child Trends, 2020
There is a growing amount of research into how best to young people who have come in contact with the juvenile justice system while still maintaining public safety. However, despite the availability of this research, there is often a large gap between research and practice in the juvenile justice system. This paper summarises findings from a recent study into how American decision makers in juvenile justice settings use research in their work. Interviews with undertaken with 30 judges and 28 attorneys on how they define, acquire, interpret, and use research, and about the forces that shape their use of research. The paper concludes with implications for training, policy and research.

STARTTS in schools : integrating evaluation and practice to support students from refugee backgrounds.

Momartin S, McGrath K, Nemorin S, Coello M, da Silva Miranda E and Bibby H
Developing Practice: The Child, Youth and Family Work Journal no. 53 2019: 74-91
This article looks at some of the issues involved in incorporating evaluation into practice when working with vulnerable groups. The STARTTS in Schools program works with schools in New South Wales to provide a range of services to refugee students, parents, teachers and school counsellors, including counselling, group programs, psychoeducation, community development projects, professional development training, and clinical consultation. This article highlights the synergies between evaluation and practice that inform the program, to raise discussion about the ways in which service providers and schools that work with similarly vulnerable and marginalised groups of people might ensure their work is informed by evidence and is community-oriented. First, the article describes the biopsychosocial systemic model informing the program and outlines the services provided. Then, using their Capoeira Angola project, it discusses how the program integrates evaluation into practice, the factors that help integrate research into practice, and the challenges in evaluating services for vulnerable people.

Evidence-informed practice and the integration of research, policy, teaching and practice in family services.

Stuart G and Hartman D
Developing Practice: The Child, Youth and Family Work Journal no. 53 2019: 34-53
This article highlights lessons from a project in New South Wales to the build the capacity of rural family services to implement evidence-based programs and practices. In particular it explores how the practitioners used research evidence, their experience of evidence-based programs, their use of the experience and insights of themselves and other practitioners, and the importance they placed on the experience and insight from families. The article then discusses the implications for evidence-informed practice, evidence-based programs, and integrating research evidence, practitioner wisdom, and family experience and insights. A potentially contentious issue is finding a balance between program fidelity and adaptation to meet local contexts.

Talking about early childhood development in Australia: interim guide for communicators

L'Hote E, Hawkins N and Kendall-Taylor N
Subiaco, W.A. : CoLab, Telethon Kids Institute, 2019.
This guide is part of a project to help better communicate the evidence around early child development. This guide identifies the key challenges and opportunities for communicators, and provides guidance on navigating public beliefs and assumptions. The public has multiple ways of thinking about children's development and the factors that shape it, and this guide aims to help communicators build better understanding, promote why this matters, and address the barriers to being heard and understood. This guide will be followed by a comprehensive re-framing strategy to be published in 2020.

From caring to conditions: strategies for effectively communicating about family, school, and community engagement

O'Neil M, Volmert A and Pineau M
Washington, DC : FrameWorks Institute, 2019.
This paper aims to help experts and advocates in America communicate about the importance of family, school, and community engagement. Engagment between family, school, and community is critical to the success of the education system and in building equitable communities, yet getting these messages across to the public, education practitioners, and policymakers has proven challenging. This paper outlines a re-framing strategy that broadens people's understanding of the importance of leveraging the assets of all adults in a child's life and how engagement can improve outcomes at every level. It draws on an analysis of interviews in America with the public, education practitioners, policymakers and experts, followed by the development and testing a set of candidate messages to explore and refine possible reframes: overall, more than 5,300 people were included in this research. The new framing of this engagement moves from the individualistic view of child development being due to child characteristics and parenting efforts, as well as engagement occurring at the individual parent and teacher level, and instead highlights the role of institutional factors.

Framing two-generation approaches to supporting families: guidance from the FrameWorks Institute.

FrameWorks Institute, Ascend at the Aspen Institute
Washington, D.C. : FrameWorks Institute, 2019.
This resource aims to help experts and advocates communicate about the benefits and role of 'two-generation approaches' to supporting families. 'Two-generation' or 'whole family' approaches have emerged as a way that governments can better deploy public resources and involve identifying the factors that undermine a family's overall well-being, then working with the family to address these issues. To help promote the need for such innovative approaches to social policy and social services, two-generation advocates will need to communicate clearly and carefully. This resource offers guidance on how to frame this mesage and make intentional choices about where to start, what to emphasize, and what to leave unsaid.

Telling a new coming-of-age story: mapping the gaps between expert and public understandings of transition age youth

Pineau M
Washington, DC : FrameWorks Institute, 2019.
This paper is part of a suite of resources to help experts and advocates communicate about the needs and issues of young people ageing out of the foster care system. The American public do have ways of thinking about the foster care system and adolescence. And, when asked about coming of age in the foster care system, they draws on these ways of thinking to understand what this might means. This report explores these ways of thinking, and uses the findings to produce a strategy for reframing the issue of transition age youth and what society must do to support them. It summarises findings from interviews with the public and experts and considers the cultural models that underlie how Americans understand and reason about adolescence and foster care. The first and most important finding from this research is that the very concept of transition age youth is missing in the public conscience: Americans don't recognize transition age youth as a discrete population with specific challenges and lack established ways of thinking about this group.

Reframing developmental relationships

O'Neil M
Washington, DC : FrameWorks Institute, 2019.
This paper is part of a suite of resources to help experts and advocates communicate about developmental relationships. It advises advocates to adopt a master frame of Cultivating Connections to update public thinking about relationships. Relationships are central to how young people learn and develop, and professionals in education and youth development are working to ensure they are integrated into planning, measurement, and practices. However, because everyone has relationships, there are a variety of ideas about their purpose, the way they function, and their benefits and drawbacks. Unless advocates have a plan for how to frame the issue, communications about developmental relationships will get mired in misconceptions. The paper discusses moving from narrow and simple to critical and complex, anticipating public thinking, and framing recommendations.

'They all play a role': mapping the gaps between expert and public understandings of developmental relationships

Pineau M, Down L and Volmert A
Washington, DC : FrameWorks Institute, 2019.
This paper presents strategies to help experts and advocates communicate about developmental relationships. Relationships are central to how young people learn and develop, and professionals in education and youth development are working to ensure they are integrated into planning, measurement, and practices. However, because everyone has relationships, there are a variety of ideas about their purpose, the way they function, and their benefits and drawbacks. Unless advocates have a plan for how to frame the issue, communications about developmental relationships will get mired in misconceptions. This paper offers insights into what needs to be communicated, which concepts are likely to be tough to get across, and how to frame developmental relationships in a way that conveys their essence and importance. It compares expert and public understandings of developmental relationships in America, yielding actionable strategies that communicators can use to anticipate and navigate public thinking.

Beyond the bubble: the online conversation on research and development

Jones E
London : Demos, 2019.
This report examines how the public discuss and communicate about research and development online in Great Britain, with a survey of a wide range of platforms: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Mumsnet, Buzzfeed, Reddit and Google News. It findings provide insights for organisations that produce research on how to communicate effectively.

Cultivating nature: mapping the gaps between expert and public understanding of early development in Australia

L'Hote E, Hendricks R, Volmert A and Kendall-Taylor N
Subiaco, W.A. : CoLab, Telethon Kids Institute, 2019.
This report is part of a project to help better communicate the evidence around early child development. Public perceptions of early development in Australia in 2019 are still built on, and expand on, the fundamental tension between two conflicting views: that development is a natural but largely passive process of growth, and that development is an actively cultivated and contingent process of learning. This report maps the terrain of public thinking about early development to understand how public thinking overlaps with and differs from the thinking of experts in this area. It then identify the challenges for communicators looking to translate the expert understanding of early development. Fifteen experts and twenty-six members of the public were interviewed. Chapters include: the expert story of early development; what is early development and why is it important?; what do children need for positive development?; what threatens positive development?; public perceptions of early development; foundational cultural models of children; cultural models of early development; Australians' view of play; and cultural models of child mental health.

Putting children first : changing how we communicate with parents to improve children's outcomes.

McCormack D and Taylor L
11 September 2019.
This webinar will discuss new research on ways to communicate with parents to improve children's development and wellbeing. Parents play a vital role in supporting children's development and wellbeing, especially in the early years. Similarly, professionals working with families play a critical role in their work to support parents to help children grow up safe and well. However, it can be challenging for practitioners to know how to best communicate with parents in ways that resonate with their experiences and support them in their parenting role. This webinar will discuss new research on effective ways to talk about parenting. It will introduce new tools to help put children first in our conversations about parenting, and outline practical steps to help apply this child-centred approach in practice. The webinar will also feature case examples to illustrate how this approach has been applied in various ways, including in early childhood settings, youth-serving organisations, out-of-home care services and in rural and remote communities. This webinar will interest practitioners, service/program managers and policy makers who work with parents and children.

Flipping the researcher knowledge translation perspective on knowledge use : a scoping study.

Shibasaki S, Sibthorpe B, Lui F, Harvey A, Grainger D, Hunter C and Tsey K
AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples 31 Jul 2019: Advance online publication
This article presents the findings of a scoping review of knowledge translation (KT) models and frameworks, focusing on those that demonstrate understanding of knowledge use and the knowledge user in research KT and provide advice on approaches and strategies to support KT mobilisation. The review found that there appear to be very few knowledge translation models and frameworks framed from the perspective of the knowledge user. The review was undertaken to support the work of a Community of Practice of Torres Strait Islander researchers.

Evidence-based policing: a survey of police attitudes

Cherney A, Antrobus E, Bennett S, Murphy B and Newman M
Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Criminology, 2019
"Evidence-based policing (EBP) advocates the use of scientific processes in police decision-making. This paper examines results from a survey of officers in the Queensland Police Service and the Western Australia Police on the uptake of and receptiveness towards EBP research. Using a combined dataset, the paper examines a variety of factors related to the perceived value and usefulness of academic and internal research, and individual and organisational barriers to the use of EBP research. It also explores whether leadership and EBP workshops influence the adoption of evidence-based practices."--Publisher abstract.

Marie McInerney reported on the Lowitja Institute Knowledge Translation Forum held in Melbourne on 2 April 2019, for the Croakey Conference News Service

McInerney M
Australia : Croakey, 2019.
This paper highlights a recent forum held by the Lowitja Institute into knowledge translation and Indigenous health research in Australia. The forum showcased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research translation in action. The paper features photos of participants and tweets posted during the day.

Engagement and impact assessment 2018-19: national report

Australian Research Council
Canberra : Australian Research Council, 2019.
The report presents the findings of an inaugural assessment of the engagement and impact of academic research in Australia. It provides an assessment of how higher education institutions are translating their research into economic, environmental, social, and other benefits as well as how institutions support knowledge transfer, infrastructure, and ongoing collaboration. Overall ratings are provided by discipline for each institution. This assessment aims to provide clarity on how public investment in university research translate into tangible benefits beyond academia, identify institutional processes and infrastructure that enable research engagement, and identify the ways in which institutions currently translate research into impact.
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