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.
Rural and remote issues
Children Australia v. 44 no. 1 Mar 2019: 13-22
This article looks into what factors influence young people's wellbeing in rural and remote regions, as compared to the broader population. Data is taken from the adolescent rural cohort of the Hormones, Health, Education, Environment and Relationships (ARCHER) longitudinal study, with 342 young people New South Wales, aged 9-14 years old in, surveyed twice over two years. The young people were asked about self-efficacy and the material, subjective and relationship factors affecting their wellbeing, including local amenity, public transport and barriers to participation, sense of community belonging, safety, participation in sport, and trusted adults outside of the home. The findings identify the role of belonging, safety, and supportive adults in enhancing wellbeing, and highlight the role of the environmental context in which young people are growing. It challenges universal approaches to improving youth wellbeing and urges policy makers to consider the specific role of 'spatial factors'.
Fitzroy, Vic. : SNAICC, 2019
This paper presents the executive summary of a strategy to help develop community controlled out-of-home care services for Aboriginal people in Central Australia. The strategy aims to restore cultural authority and empower Aboriginal communities to lead and direct the policies, programs and practices that are developed to promote the care and protection of Aboriginal children. The overriding goal is to ensure that Aboriginal children and young people and their families who are in contact with child protection services in the Northern Territory are safe and have the opportunity to thrive through the provision of a holistic scope of quality and culturally safe supports led by Aboriginal families, communities and community-controlled organisations. This paper sets out the strategy's guiding principles, goals, priorities, and key actions. The full version of the strategy has not been published.
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.
Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019.
This report provides statistics on child protection services in Australia for the 2017/2018 period. It provides data on child protection notifications, investigations and substantiations, children on care and protection orders, characteristics of children in out-of-home care, kinship care and foster care households, and intensive family support services. Statistics are provided by state and territory, with comparisons with previous years where appropriate, and with statistics for Indigenous children. In 2017-18, about 159,000 children were in contact with child protection services: a rate of 28.7 per 1,000 children. Just over half of these children were the subject of an investigation only, and only 7% of children were involved in an investigation, care and protection order, and out-of-home care placement. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are over-represented in the child protection system, at 8 times the rate for non-Indigenous children. Children from very remote areas had the highest rates of substantiations, at 4 times that of children from major cities. Emotional abuse was the most common type of substantiated maltreatment.
Sydney, N.S.W. : UNICEF Australia, 2019.
This report provides insights into the impact of drought on children and young people in Australia. It discusses findings from consultations with primary, secondary, and boarding students in Tamworth, Gunnedah, Narrabri, and Walgett, all drought-affected areas of New South Wales, as well as school counsellors, chaplains, principals, and teachers and community service providers. 16 children and 38 young people took part, regarding their life on farms and in rural areas, how daily life has changed since the drought, the impact on their family and community, coping strategies, their thoughts and hopes about the future, and their ideas about what is needed to limit negative impacts and the messages they wished to convey to decision-makers. The findings highlight the significant impacts of prolonged drought on these children and young people, and how they have been forced to grow up prematurely. However, these children and young people are making reasoned, informed, adult decisions on a daily basis and this report encourages governments and policy makers to listen to and consult with these children and young people to help build their resilience and provide support.
Journal of Global Health Reports v. 2 2018: Article e2018010
Mental and behavioral ill-health are growing global problems and while there are promising evidence-based approaches aimed at reducing their impact, availability of services varies greatly, not only across nations, but also between urban, regional, and remote locations. Rural areas face accessibility and acceptability challenges related to mental health services that are similar to barriers experienced in developing countries. Initiatives to address mental health challenges in under-served rural areas can inform global mental health strategies. Using a public health approach, we illustrate how innovations in rural communities build community capacity and capability in areas that are currently, and are likely to remain, under-served by specialist mental health services. We provide examples of initiatives and key principles of action from three locations in Nebraska, United States of America, and New South Wales, Australia, to highlight similarities of context and practice. While each of the initiatives was developed independently, there are striking similarities across them.
Growing Up in Australia, the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children - annual statistical report 2017. Melbourne : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2018: 125-142
This chapter provides a snapshot of children and young people's use of health services in Australia. Using data from 'Growing Up in Australia, the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children' (LSAC), it presents information on usage of different types of health services, patterns of use across age groups, problems gaining access to health services, and how use of health services differs depending on characteristics such as child's age, household income, parental education, private health insurance coverage, and location. The chapter also reports on medical attention for injuries, and how this varies by age and gender.
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.
BMC Health Services Research v. 18 9 Feb 2018: Article 100
This article assesses how well social and emotional wellbeing services are being implemented in primary care settings for Indigenous families with young children in Australia. An audit was conducted of 2466 client files from 109 primary care centres across Australia from 2012 to 2014, using data from the Audit and Best Practice for Chronic Disease (ABCD) program. It looked at variations by child age, 3-11 month old infants, 12?59 month old young children, geographic location, referral, types of advice or assessment provided, type of professional or practitioner involved, child gender, and reason for last clinic visit. 'Social and emotional wellbeing' care is defined here as advice about domestic environment, social support, housing condition, or child stimulation. The authors' conclude that though the families of young Indigenous children appear to receive priority for social and emotional wellbeing care, many Indigenous families are not receiving services.
PLoS ONE v. 12 no. 4 2017: e0176563
This article adds to what is known about the use of health services by different socioeconomic groups. It investigates children's use of general practice services across childhood, and whether there are differences among socio-economic groups, non-English speaking, remote and rural areas, health status, and by health insurance coverage. Data is taken from Medicare Australia claim records linked to data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). The analysis finds that the average number of annual doctor visits declines from infancy for all children, but children from higher socio-economic families, without private health insurance, or living in non-metropolitan areas were less likely to visit the doctor.
Ashfield, NSW : FACS Analysis and Research, 2017.
The Mobile Child Protection Unit (MCPU) is an example of an innovative response to meeting the needs of at-risk children and young people in remote communities in western New South Wales. This paper presents findings from an initial analysis of the performance of the MCPU in its first year of operation, which used administrative data to examine response timeliness, frequency of home visiting, and staffing levels. Overall, the analysis provides some encouraging findings, though further research is required. The proportion of high priority reports of risk of significant harm that received a response on the same or next day almost doubled, and caseworkers' face-to-face contact with families also increased.
N.S.W. : ANROWS, 2017.
This report presents the results of a qualitative study examining the experiences of women seeking help for domestic and family violence who live in regional, rural, and remote areas in Australia. The study contributes to the limited evidence on how geographical and social isolation shapes women's coping with and decisions to seek assistance for domestic and family violence, and their efforts to live safely. Case studies were conducted in five locations - Whyalla, Riverland, Mount Gambier, and Murray Bridge in South Australia and Derby in Western Australia - and involved interviews with clients, managers, and practitioners from specialist domestic and family violence. Of the 23 clients participating, 6 identified as Aboriginal. The findings provide insights into women's experience of abuse and the coping strategies they employ, and highlight the effectiveness of the hub-and-spoke model of service delivery for assisting women living in isolated places and across large distances.
N.S.W. : ANROWS, 2017.
This paper presents key findings for policy and practice from a 2015 qualitative case study on the prevalence of domestic and family violence and sexual assault in rural Australia, and issues of service provision for women. The study - undertaken in 5 sites in South Australia and Western Australia - examined the extent of this violence in rural and remote areas and the impact of social and geographical isolation on the ability of women to disclose, report, seek help, and receive appropriate interventions.
Children Australia v. 42 no. 2 Jun 2017: 75-78
This article describes the development of the 'Wondering From the Womb' antenatal yarning resource for Indigenous families. This resource was created through an action research project in the Loddon Mallee region of rural Victoria, involving Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members and professionals.
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health v. 53 no. 9 Sep 2017: 841-849
A longitudinal study on the development and wellbeing of refugee children in regional Australia was established in 2009, with 61 refugee children in Illawarra, New South Wales. This article describes the family and settlement circumstances of the children, and their physical health, development and social-emotional well-being over the first two years. The study found that though most of the children had developmental and well-being outcomes comparable with their local peers by year 3, a minority of the children had persistently poor social-emotional outcomes.
Children Australia v. 41 no. 4 Dec 2016: 249-257
In this article, the authors describe the development, piloting and evaluation of a parenting programme delivered to Aboriginal families of young children in remote NSW. The parenting programme was based on Parents as Teachers, an evidence-based early intervention and prevention home visiting programme that draws on child development theory, and was developed in collaboration with representatives from the local Aboriginal community. The impetus for the programme came from concern about the poor early learning and child wellbeing indicators in this community, pointing to the need for early parenting support that could be effectively delivered by trained Aboriginal workers in a remote area where early childhood resources were very limited. The sessions, implemented within a group setting, were structured and intensive. Six topics identified as being most important to parents of children aged from birth to 18 months, and six topics for parents of children aged from 18 months to 3 years were presented, with three sessions developed for each topic. An evaluation of the programme to date revealed that parent satisfaction with the programme was very high, as were reports of increased knowledge of child development and parenting skills, and increased connection with other families. Aboriginal staff valued the structured programme and resources that were developed. They reported increased knowledge of child development and how to run groups effectively, and observed positive changes in the participating families.
Melbourne : Dept. of Education and Training, 2016.
This annual report series provides an overview of how children are faring in Victoria, serving as an evidence base to support planning and policy development. The 2013-14 report focuses on resilience, vulnerability and disadvantage in children, young people, and their families. It examines the prevalence of vulnerability, resilience, and disadvantage; summarises the key risk and protective factors that affect children and young people's development; considers critical periods such as early childhood and the transition to school; and reviews risk and protective factors within the family environment. The report also considers the role of universal and targeted services in supporting vulnerable children and families. Although the majority of Victoria's children and young people are doing well, a notable proportion face poorer outcomes than their peers - including Aboriginal children and young people, those who live in the most disadvantaged areas, and those involved with the child protection system or who live in out of home care. Note, that though these groups are more disproportionately affected, risk factors exist for all children and all families.
Australia : Australian Child Wellbeing Project, 2016.
This document summarises the final report of the Australian Child Wellbeing Project. The project explored children and young people's perspectives on what is important for their wellbeing, and was conducted by a team of researchers from Flinders University of South Australia, the University of New South Wales, and the Australian Council for Educational Research. The report describes the methods and findings of the project, which drew upon in-depth discussions with over 100 young people and a national survey of over 5,400 young people in school years 4, 6 and 8 regarding family, health, friends, school, neighbourhood, material, and life satisfaction factors. The project found that most young people in their middle years are doing well. However, a significant proportion of participants had low wellbeing and are missing out on opportunities - in particular, young people with disability, young carers, materially disadvantaged young people, culturally and linguistically diverse young people, Indigenous young people, young people in rural and remote areas, and young people in out of home care.
Australia : Australian Child Wellbeing Project, 2016.
This is the final report of the Australian Child Wellbeing Project. The project explored children and young people's perspectives on what is important for their wellbeing, and was conducted by a team of researchers from Flinders University of South Australia, the University of New South Wales, and the Australian Council for Educational Research. The report describes the methods and findings of the project, which drew upon in-depth discussions with over 100 young people and a national survey of over 5,400 young people in school years 4, 6 and 8 regarding family, health, friends, school, neighbourhood, material, and life satisfaction factors. Analysis is also included for young people in five marginalised groups - young people with disability, young carers, young people who are materially disadvantaged, culturally and linguistically diverse young people, and Indigenous young people - as well as some limited analysis for young people in rural and remote areas and young people in out of home care. Particular themes include bullying, marginalisation, affluence and deprivation, and family health, and their association with wellbeing.
Australian Social Work v. 69 no. 3 2016: 283-296
Recent shifts toward individual choice and consumer-directed practices largely conflict with traditional expectations of familial obligation and informal caregiving. The research reported on in this paper aimed to understand how practitioners' perspectives of spousal caregiving obligations impact on choice in rural communities. Seven focus groups were conducted in rural and outer regional areas of North East Victoria, comprising 42 practitioners who work with older couples who reside in the community. Thematic analysis revealed practitioners' personal values and constraints of the direct practice environment impact on the experience of choice for older Australians. This discussion considers the problematic nature of choice in policy and practice for older people and their caregivers in light of these findings. (Journal article)
Communities, Children and Families Australia v. 9 no. 2 Dec 2015: 57-70
Baby Makes 3 is a couple's relationship education program for new parents that has previously been found to be successful in metropolitan Melbourne. However, programs developed in urban areas may face challenges when implemented in rural and regional Australia. This paper reports on research that evaluated the implementation of Baby Makes 3 in rural Victoria, drawing on semi-structured interviews with 15 service providers involved with the program in the Great South Coast Region. Despite some concerns about the receptivity of the community to a program focusing on gender equity, facilitators and parents were recruited across the region. However, adaptations to the original model developed in an urban context were required including consideration as to the number of facilitators to be recruited, smaller groups, and groups running less often where there are few children being born to new parents. The timing of groups may also need to take into account farming and sporting cultures in the region. Furthermore, the research revealed a need to recognise the heterogeneity of agricultural communities, and associated variety in issues which need to be addressed in scheduling group programs for parents.
Australian Journal of Rural Health v. 23 no. 6 Dec 2015: 322-326
The Halls Creek Community Families Program uses peer support workers to support Aboriginal parents with young children in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia. This article examines the role of the child health nurse in facilitating the program and empowering workers.
People, places, possibilities : proceedings of the 13th National Rural Health Conference : 24-27 May 2015, Darwin Convention Centre, NT. Deakin, ACT : National Rural Health Alliance, 2015: 12p
The Australian Government Department of Social Services has invested in a number of longitudinal studies that provide policy relevant data and insights into wellbeing at varying levels of geography across the life course. This presentation highlights some of the relationships between mental health and geography uncovered in cursory analyses of data from these studies. The studies are: The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey (HILDA), Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC), Footprints in Time: The Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC), and Building a New Life in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Humanitarian Migrants (BNLA).
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health v. 39 no. 6 Dec 2015: 518-523
There is a long-held assumption that droughts increase mental health problems, but is this actually the case? Using data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, this article investigates the association between drought and mental health for 45-61 year old women living in rural Australia. Particulat attention was paid to the vulnerable sub-populations of women who were more isolated, poorer and less educated and women who had histories of chronic disease or poor mental health. The survey was conducted in 1996, 1998, 2001, 2004, and 2008, with 6,664 women participating for this age cohort.
Journal of Rural Studies v. 39 Jun 2015: 229-238
This article explores the ways in which the peculiarities of rural life in Australia impact upon the quality, efficiency, and availability of domestic violence service provision. It draws on interviews with 49 service providers in New South Wales, including professionals and practitioners from police and court services, housing and crisis services, health, welfare, and counselling. The article argues that the architecture of rural life shapes domestic violence service provision in several unique ways - in particular through a 'silencing' effect - and that urbancentric policy models are inadequate for addressing the issues faced by rural service providers.
Shepparton, Vic. : Greater Shepparton City Council, 2014.
This report provides an overview of how children and young people are faring in the Great Shepparton area of regional Victoria. It presents a range of data related to the key domains of health, education, safety, family support, and community wellbeing for children and young people aged 0-18 years old - highlighting both the areas in which Greater Shepparton's children and young people are doing well and those which must be addressed if they are to thrive and succeed in adulthood. The report will serve as a baseline on the impact of local initiatives, such as the Greater Shepparton Best Start Program, the City of Greater Shepparton Communities for Children program, and the Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project.
This thesis explores the meaning of parenting for vulnerable families, with the aim of improving practice. Previous research on this topic has taken a 'deficit' approach, with vulnerable families being compared to what is considered the normative standard of high and middle-class families. This new study was conducted with 20 parents participating in a home visiting programme for at risk families in rural Victoria. The findings reveal that the meaning of parenting for vulnerable families is shaped by past and present life experiences, including the impact of previous involvement with child protection services as children, current judgment from professionals, and the resultant hypervigilance in parenting. However, the families developed healthy self- and parental-efficacy and revelled in their parenting role, seeking a better future for their children and experts on their own needs.
Richmond, Vic. : Berry Street Victoria, 2014.
Berry Street is a non-government agency providing a wide range of services for children in out-of-home care and high-risk children and families in Victoria. One of their programs is the Early Learning is Fun (ELF) Play and Learn Group - an intensive supported playgroup for vulnerable parents with young children from either refugee or disadvantaged backgrounds. The program integrates with local child and family support systems and aims to help reduce the incidence of notifications to child protection services. This report presents the findings of a 2 year evaluation of the program. Data was collected from four of the five groups operational during the study period, which included one group serving targeting disadvantaged parents in a regional town, and three groups targeting refugees in metropolitan areas. The report describes the development of program, recruiting and engaging vulnerable families, and the impact of the program on child development and parent confidence.
Children Australia v. 39 no. 1 Mar 2014: 25-33
The family service work environment has been linked to the parent-worker relationship (relationship) for many years. However, there is still much to understand about how the working environment and these relationships are connected. This paper reports on a small-scale qualitative study exploring the story of eight relationships between parents and family workers in four rurally based family services in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Hermeneutics provided a way of examining the dynamics of the relationships, as it enabled an in-depth exploration and interpretation of the participants' perspectives of how they experienced and understood the relationship. It became apparent that the work environment is an important influence on the relationship. New insights that emerged include the important role that staff not directly involved in the relationship (such as other family workers, supervisors, and administration and other professional staff) may play in assisting relationships. They also include the way in which flexible service delivery options support parent feelings of comfort, readiness to change, reciprocity, a sense of ownership to the service and need for support outside of planned appointments (both during and after intervention has ceased). These all support the development and maintenance of such relationships.
The Sustainable Farm Families (SFF) study aimed to develop an effective and useable health education model for the improvement of family health, wellbeing, and safety across different agricultural sectors in Australia. The study featured four projects undertaken across the major agricultural industries of broadacre, cropping, cotton, sugar, wool, dairy, lamb and beef production in Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Northern Territory, and Western Australia. The study considered the cultural, economic, emotional and gendered relationships of family farming businesses, the role of social context in determining health and wellbeing and occupational health and safety, as well as the practical issues of engaging with farm men and women. This thesis investigates the effectiveness of the model and how well it addresses specific industry related health and wellbeing issues. The thesis begins with background information on the cultural and historical circumstances that have shaped agriculture in Australia over the last 200 years and the current literature identifying priority areas for health, wellbeing, and safety.