Rural issues and child abuse

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 Rural issues and child abuse in the AIFS library catalogue

Central Australia Aboriginal Community-Controlled Out-of-home Care Strategy 2019-2023: executive summary.

Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care. Central Australia Aboriginal Community-Controlled Out-of-home Care Strategy Steering Committee
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.

Cause and incidence of injuries experienced by children in remote Cape York Indigenous communities.

West C, Fitts M, Rouen C, Muller R and Clough A
Australian Journal of Primary Health v. 25 no. 2 2019: 157-162
This article adds to what is known about the high rates of injuries among Indigenous children in remote communities. Health care clinic data from 2006-2001 from three communities in the Cape York peninsula region of far north Queensland were analysed. Data was available for 563 children aged 0-14 years old. The analysis found that the leading causes of injury were falls, sport accidents, and transport accidents - in line with surveys of the general child population - but also high rates of cutting and piercing, assault, and animal, insect and plant related injuries - more so than the general child population. The study also identified differences in injury patterns and rates between the three communities and that the strengthening of local alcohol restrictions during the study period did not help address injury rates.

One is too many: trends and patterns in domestic homicides in Canada 2010-2015 : Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative with Vulnerable Populations

Dawson M
London, Onc. : Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative, 2018
This report reviews cases of domestic homicide in Canada from 2010-2015, drawing on media reports and court documents. It examines general trends and trends across at four risk population groups: Indigenous people, migrants and refugees, people from rural, remote, and northern communities, and children exposed to domestic violence. These population groups experience factors that enhance their vulnerability to domestic violence and homicide as well as challenges in accessing safety and support. This is the first report of the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative with Vulnerable Populations, a five-year project to identify risk factors and help prevent homicide in vulnerable populations. This study identified 418 cases of domestic homicide in Canada from 2010-2015: 90% of victims were aged 18 and over, 79% of the adult victims were female, 61% of victims were in a current relationship with the accused perpetrator, and 26% were separated from the accused. 53% of the cases were from one of the four at risk populations.

People who experience family violence [The Justice Project].

Law Council of Australia
The Justice Project : final report. Braddon, A.C.T. : Law Council of Australia, 2018: 84p
This is the final report of the Justice Project, a comprehensive national review into the state of access to justice for at risk groups in Australia. This chapter focuses on the issues facing people experiencing family violence. Leaving an abusive relationship can engender complex legal issues involving separation, parenting, criminal justice, victims of crime assistance, and child protection - victims are often dealing with other forms of disadvantage too. This chapter provides information on the nature and prevalence of family violence, gender inequality, recent inquiries and law reform, the legal needs of people experiencing family violence, how these people respond to their legal problems, the barriers constraining these people from accessing justice, laws and policies that exacerbate barriers, critical service gaps, and priorities for reform. Issues discussed include fear and reluctance to report, cultural competence, re-victimisation and system abuse, self-representation in court by victims or offenders, gaps in rural and remote services, child protection and family violence, police attitudes, enforcement of restraining orders against both parties, the presumption of equal shared parenting in family law, housing and tenancy, and immigration.

Rural child welfare practice : stories from the field.

Riebschleger J and Pierce B
New York : Oxford University Press, 2018.
Written for students and new practitioners, this book presents insights into child welfare practice in the rural context, drawing on case studies from Australia, Canada, and the United States. Chapters include: Theories for rural child welfare; Poverty, pavement, and paying attention: rural child welfare practice in the American Great Plains; Rural resource family and child matching; Cultural humility within rural-practice wisdom; Adoption social work in rural New England; Working with Aboriginal families in Canada; On your country: living and working respectfully with Aboriginal families in rural Australia; Rural social work in a Native American community; Providing services to children of recent military veterans; Domestic violence post-deployment; Coming-out in rural America; Technology and child welfare practice: lessons from Montana; Foster-care stigma and ethical boundary violations in the rural child welfare workplace; Rural relationship, resources, and rhythms: a child welfare training program learns about workforce development for (and from) rural and tribal child welfare workers; and Secondary trauma prevention in rural child welfare: professionals' self-care strategies.

The wellbeing of children and young people: East Gippsland Report 2018

Save the Children Australia
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.

Resilient families, strong communities: mapping service expenditure and outcomes in the Pilbara and the Kimberley

Seivwright A, Callis Z and Flatau P
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.

Family violence primary prevention: building a knowledge base and identifying gaps for all manifestations of family violence.

Equality Institute (Organization), Victoria
Melbourne, Vic. : State Government of Victoria, 2017
The Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence highlighted the diversity of experiences of family violence among different populations. To better inform the State Government's 'Prevention of Family Violence and Violence Against Women Strategy', this report was commissioned to investigate the factors that contribute to experiences of family violence among diverse communities, review what is known about what works in prevention with these groups, and identify the key gaps in the evidence that pose a substantive barrier to prevention efforts. This report establishes the state of knowledge and provides an evidence base. The diverse communities reviewed are: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; Older people; Culturally and linguistically diverse communities; Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities; Male victims; Rural, regional, and remote communities; People with disabilities; Women in the sex industry; Children; Faith communities; and Women in prison. Recommendations are made for further, targeted research.

Service delivery in remote and discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities: final report

Queensland Productivity Commission
Brisbane, Qld. : Queensland Productivity Commission, 2017.
The Treasurer has asked the Queensland Productivity Commission to investigate service delivery in remote and discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. There have been many innovative and successful programs implemented by, and for, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, but community outcomes for some programs and services have been mixed. This inquiry aims to understand what works well and why, and considers changes in government investment, service duplication and coordination, evaluation of service design and delivery, and best practice. Service areas include education, employment, health, community safety, housing, and wellbeing. This report presents the final findings and recommendations of the inquiry, and follows on from draft report. It sets out a reform proposal to enable the Queensland Government and communities to achieve real, long lasting and sustainable change, which features a substantial and ambitious package of structural, service delivery, and economic reforms.

An Aboriginal community's perceptions and experiences of child neglect in a rural town.

Newton B
Australian Journal of Social Issues v. 52 no. 3 Sep 2017: 262-277
Despite the high rates of Aboriginal children in the child protection system, very little is known about how child neglect is perceived by Aboriginal parents. This article discusses findings from the author's PhD research, which investigated Aboriginal parents and human services workers' views and experiences on child neglect in a country town in New South Wales. The study found that there are little differences in the way Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people understand child neglect - instead, it is the difficult circumstances experienced by Aboriginal families that keep parents from actualising their parenting expectations.

Service delivery in remote and discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities: draft report

Queensland Productivity Commission
Brisbane, Qld. : Queensland Productivity Commission, 2017.
The Treasurer has asked the Queensland Productivity Commission to investigate service delivery in remote and discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. There have been many innovative and successful programs implemented by, and for, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, but community outcomes for some programs and services have been mixed. This inquiry aims to understand what works well and why, and considers changes in government investment, service duplication and coordination, evaluation of service design and delivery, and best practice. Service areas include education, employment, health, community safety, housing, and wellbeing. This draft report has been released to provide an opportunity for consultation on the issues raised, and invites submissions to help inform the final report.

Reporting the health and development of children in rural and remote Australia

Arefadib N and Moore T
Parkville, Vic. : Centre for Community Child Health, Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, 2017.
This review was commissioned to help inform the improvement of children's access to health services in rural and remote Australia. The review profiles the population characteristics of children in rural and remote Australia; identifies the current context and the developmental health needs of vulnerable children and families in rural and remote Australia; and provides an overview of the evidence on what is causing the status quo, and what is most effective in addressing these issues. The review found that children in the identified rural and remote areas shared many common characteristics and experience challenges in accessing services. Despite gaps in the data, several opportunities for service improvement are identified.

Report and recommendations

Neave M, Faulkner P and Nicholson T
Melbourne, Vic. : Royal Commission into Family Violence, 2016.
The Royal Commission into Family Violence was appointed in February 2015 to investigate how best to reduce and prevent family violence in Victoria and support those affected. In particular, its task was to identify the most effective ways to: prevent family violence; improve early intervention; support victims and address the impacts of violence; make perpetrators accountable; develop and refine systemic responses to family violence; better coordinate community and government responses; and evaluate and measure the success of any strategies, frameworks, policies, programs, and services. Reference is also made to the needs of children, Indigenous peoples, older people, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, faith communities, sexually diverse communities, people with disabilities, male victims, rural and remote communities, incarcerated women, and sex workers. This document presents the findings and recommendations of this inquiry, laid out across 8 sections or 'volumes'.

Hospitalised injury in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people, 2011-13

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Canberra : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016.
This report provides information about the types and incidence of injuries that lead to hospitalisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people. It compares hospital separations data from the National Hospital Morbidity Database for 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2013, for causes of injury for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in each group from infancy to young adulthood. Differences by gender and regional area are also reviewed. While Indigenous children and young people experience many of the same types of injuries at similar ages to non-Indigenous children and young people, they experience significantly higher rates of injury at a greater range of ages. Three of the external causes of injury that disproportionately affect Indigenous children and young people are burns - a leading cause of hospitalised injury among children less than 5 years of age, assault - with Indigenous children and young people are more likely to be victims of child abuse, neglect and sexual assault than their non-Indigenous peers, and intentional self-harm - the second most common cause of death from external causes.

Measuring community and service provider attitudes to child sexual abuse in remote Indigenous communities in Western Australia.

Bailey C, Mace G and Powell M
Psychiatry, Psychology and Law v. 23 no. 3 2016: 435-445
This article evaluates a scale for measuring attitudes to child sexual abuse in remote Australian Indigenous communities. The scale was developed to gauge attitudes that may be inhibiting reporting to police, as well as to evaluate whether interventions that focused on collaborative relationships between community members and police resulted in changes in attitudes. The scale was tested in Western Australia with externally-based service providers, community members, and service providers who were also community members - 18% of participants identified as Indigenous.

Hospitalised injury in children and young people, 2011-12

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Flinders University of South Australia
Canberra : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2014.
This report provides information on injury in children and young people aged 0 to 24 years requiring hospitalisation, for the year 2011?12. Just over 130,000 children and young people were hospitalised as a result of an injury in 2011?12, boys outnumbering girls by 2 to 1, and with the highest overall rate for males aged 18?24 years. Rates of injury were also higher in rural and remote areas and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people. The report takes a developmental stage approach to examining injury acknowledging that age and injury are more closely linked at some periods of life - for example, early childhood and young adulthood.

The meaning of parenting for vulnerable families participating in a home visiting programme: a critical ethnomethodological study

Caldwell J
2014.
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.

The service environment in relationship-based practice : 'it's like a community'.

Reimer E
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.

Preventing youth sexual violence and abuse in West Cairns and Aurukun: establishing the scope, dimensions and dynamics of the problem : final report

Smallbone S, Rayment-McHugh S and Smith D
Brisbane, Qld. : Dept. of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, 2013.
Queensland Government commissioned this investigation into the scope, dimensions and dynamics of youth sexual violence and abuse in the suburbs of West Cairns and the Aboriginal community of Aurukun, as an evidence base for future prevention initiatives. It discusses reported sexual offences, births to young mothers, and sexually transmitted infections. It also considers possible prevention strategies aimed at potential offenders and potential victims, as well as situational and community approaches. The study draws on official records, case files, site observations, and interviews with professionals and community members. Note, the report has been redacted to conceal personal information.

Prepared for difference?: exploring child protection practice with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in rural Australia

Aitchison R
2013.
This thesis explores cultural practice among rural child protection workers working with Indigenous families at two rural sites in Queensland. The thesis draws on interviews with 30 practitioners, regarding the pathways used to enter child protection practice, their experiences in rural locations, their views on cultural competency as an approach to practice, their preparedness to respond to the demands of working with Indigenous communities, and how well Indigenous and non-Indigenous child protection workers are working together.

The state of East Gippsland's children & youth report : a snapshot.

Good Beginnings Australia (Organization)
Pyrmont, N.S.W. : Good Beginnings Australia, 2013.
This report provides a framework to measure how children and young people are faring in the East Gippsland region of Victoria. This first edition provides baseline data against indicators of child wellbeing across five priority areas - developing well; safe and secure; happy and healthy; engaged, learning and achieving; and active citizens - with statistics comparing East Gippsland to the Victorian average. These five areas, or domains, are taken from the UNICEF Child Friendly Cities framework and have also been used by the City of Bendigo, allowing further regional comparisons in Victoria.

Community education and social marketing literature review: to inform a campaign to prevent child abuse and neglect in the NT

McGuninness K, Arney F, Chessell S and Salveron M
Darwin, NT : Menzies School of Health Research, 2013.
This literature review will inform a community education and social marketing strategy to improve the safety and wellbeing of children in the Northern Territory. The review examines research from Australia and overseas on: what helps communities and families to keep their children safe, the use and effectiveness of social marketing and community education approaches in preventing child abuse and neglect, the use of such approaches with remote and Indigenous communities, and the applicability of these approaches in the Northern Territory.

Young people in out-of-home care in rural and regional Victoria: a discussion paper.

Youth Affairs Council of Victoria, Victorian Rural Youth Services (Program)
Melbourne, Vic. : Youth Affairs Council of Victoria, 2013.
One of the most vulnerable groups of young people in Victoria are those living in out-of-home care, and the government is developing new approaches to support these young people. However, this paper argues that addressing the need of young people in out-of-home care in rural and regional communities - and the specific barriers they face - is particularly important. The paper discusses the over-representation of rural and Indigenous young people in the child protection system, rural and regional disparities, rural disadvantage and service shortages, leaving care, the government's Protecting Victoria's Vulnerable Children policy, and recommended approaches to addressing rural disadvantage.

Giving rural children the best chance : improving multidisciplinary screening strategies.

Ramsden R, St Clair B, Colbran R, Harris C, Iglesias D and Davis S
12th National Rural Health Conference : strong commitment, bright future : 7-10 April 2013, Adelaide Convention Centre. Deakin, ACT : National Rural Health Alliance, 2013: 3p
This paper describes a project of the Royal Far West non-government health care provider to improve child protection screening in rural and remote New South Wales. The Child Aware Screening Pilot Project aimed to develop, implement and evaluate an improved assessment at intake for children at risk of exposure to domestic violence, childhood sexual assault, parental mental health difficulties and alcohol and other drug issues. The new procedures enabled early identification of issues experienced by families that would previously have been unknown, and gave parents the opportunity to discuss these issues more fully or be linked into local support services.

A brave new world.

Perino J and Jack V
12th National Rural Health Conference : strong commitment, bright future : 7-10 April 2013, Adelaide Convention Centre. Deakin, ACT : National Rural Health Alliance, 2013: 7p
This paper details the establishment and implementation of child protection policy and practices on Norfolk Island. Norfolk Island is a small, semi-autonomous, and isolated island off the east coast of Australia, with limited capacity to support the levels of response of mainland services. This paper describes the culture and context of the Island, relevant child welfare legislation, the development of the position of a part-time Child Welfare Officer, collaboration with New South Wales on child protection responses, mandatory and voluntary reporting, achievements, challenges in establishing a child welfare service, and future directions.

The Family Referral Service model and KTS.

Cohen A and Steffner J
12th National Rural Health Conference : strong commitment, bright future : 7-10 April 2013, Adelaide Convention Centre. Deakin, ACT : National Rural Health Alliance, 2013: 5p
The Family Referral Service (FRS) is a key initiative of the 'Keep Them Safe' state government response to the Wood Inquiry into Child Protection Services in New South Wales. The Family Referral Service assists vulnerable and at risk children, young people and families below the statutory threshold of risk of significant harm through provision of information and links to supports and services in order to address concerns and prevent escalation. This paper describes the FRS model and its operation in rural and regional areas, drawing upon the experiences of the Mid-North Coast service.

Trauma and young children - a caring approach project: final report

Women's Health Goulburn North East
Wangaratta : Women's Health Goulburn North East, 2013.
The 'Trauma and Young Children - A Caring Approach' project aimed to help early childhood educators and caregivers better respond to children who have experienced trauma. Trauma is this context includes experience of, exposure to, or risk of exposure to domestic violence, mental illness, or sexual abuse. Based in north-east Victoria, the project aimed to design, develop, and evaluate a suite of professional development activities and training resources, and also produce a DVD resource, suitable for community/hospital waiting rooms, which could showcase opportunities for parents to help their children learn. This final report explains the background and development of the project, describes the resources and training developed by the project, and evaluates their suitability and effectiveness. The report concludes with recommendations for further development.

The decision making processes adopted by rurally located mandated professionals when child abuse or neglect is suspected.

Francis K, Chapman Y, Sellick K, James A, Miles M, Jones J and Grant J
Contemporary Nurse v. 41 no. 1 Apr 2012 Special Issue, Advances in contemporary community and family health care, 3rd ed. 9781921980039 Advances in Contemporary Nursing no. 22: 58-69
The reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect is a mandated role of medical doctors, nurses, police and teachers in Victoria, Australia. This paper reports on a research study that sought to explicate how mandated professionals working in rural Victorian contexts identify a child/ren at risk and the decisions they make subsequently.

Evaluating a creative arts program designed for children who have been sexually abused.

Hunter S and Rosevear S
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art Therapy v. 6 no. 1 2011: 39-50
This article evaluates the use of creative arts classes as an adjunct to therapy for children for whom there had been an allegation of child sexual assault. Children and young people aged 4 to 18 years old attending therapy in a rural Australian town were invited to attend free after-school classes in clay modelling, African dance and drumming, mosaics, and Aikido. The evaluation draws on interviews with 22 teachers and non-offending parents.

Report no. 4: December 2010 to May 2011

Beadman B
Darwin, NT : Dept. of Housing, Local Government and Regional Services, 2011.
The biannual report of the Coordinator-General for Remote Services reports on government efforts to address Indigenous disadvantage in the Northern Territory. It takes into account several major initiatives currently in progress, including 'Working Future' and 'Territory Growth Towns' of the Northern Territory government, the national 'Closing the Gap in Indigenous Disadvantage' initiative, and its sub-agreement, the 'National Partnership Agreement on Remote Service Delivery'. This report reviews conditions in 20 towns identified under those schemes, including recent improvements and priority issues in the areas of town planning, service delivery, Closing the Gap targets, economic development, roads and transport, leasing arrangements, and homelands and outstations. This is the fourth report of the Coordinator-General, for the period December 2010 to May 2011. Sections include: A quick summary of outcomes arising from previous reports; Progress in Territory Growth Towns and Local Implementation Plans; Persistent obstacles to Closing the Gap - leasing, welfare, jobs and training, school attendance and attainment, homelands/outstations; and The view from a lookout: some Territory-wide issues affecting most towns - dogs, marijuana, gambling, early childhood development.
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