Social inclusion

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 Social inclusion in the AIFS library catalogue

Feeling the pinch: National Economic and Social Impact Survey 2018

Salvation Army (Australia). Social Programme Dept.
Blackburn, Vic. : Salvation Army Australia Social Programme Department, 2018.
This annual survey provides insights into the challenges and deprivation experienced by clients of the Salvation Army's 'Doorways' emergency relief services in Australia. This report presents the findings of the 2018 survey and makes recommendations for action. 1,267 clients took part in surveys and interviews, regarding their income and employment, cost of living, housing, children, and wellbeing - providing information on their household and housing tenure, income support type, difficulties in finding work, food insecurity, accommodation expenses, financial stress, housing stress and adequacy, frequency and reasons for moving house, homelessness, child deprivation, and social connection and disconnectedness. The participants also spoke about the challenges of daily life and what support would make the biggest difference.

Material deprivation and social exclusion among young Australians: a child-focused approach

Saunders P, Bedford M, Brown J, Naidoo Y and Adamson E
Sydney, NSW : Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, 2018.
This project investigates two things: the extent and nature of deprivation among young people in New South Wales, and how it is best measured and calculated. It adopts the 'consensual approach' that aims to address the limitations of income-based approaches and incorporate the views of the study group themselves on what should be measured. Phase one of the project identified a set of 18 items and activities viewed as essential for all young people to lead a 'normal kind of life' - including a mobile phone and the internet at home but also books at home and a meal out with the family at least once a month. The set was developed through focus groups with over 80 young people and previous consensual studies and represents measures of material deprivation and social exclusion. Phase two measured the extent and form of deprivation experienced by young people aged 11 to 17 years old, and its association with wellbeing, social support, and school attitudes. The 'What Young People Need' survey involved over 3,000 young people: over 2,700 public high school students in years 7 to 10 and over 300 disadvantaged young people participating in The Smith Family's Learning for Life program. This project marks the first time that the consensual approach has been used to measure poverty in children, providing new insights and a multidimensional perspective. The findings indicate significant numbers of young people experience severe deprivation: about one in five of the student sample and two in five of The Smith Family sample are deprived of at least three essential items. Furthermore, a new Child Deprivation Index was calculated to reveal that the young people experiencing higher levels of deprivation also had lower levels of wellbeing and connectedness and were less likely to be doing well at school or consider getting good school marks as important.

Feeling the pinch: National Economic and Social Impact Survey 2018 : key findings

Salvation Army (Australia). Social Programme Dept.
Blackburn, Vic. : Salvation Army Australia Social Programme Department, 2018.
This annual survey provides insights into the challenges and deprivation experienced by clients of the Salvation Army's 'Doorways' emergency relief services in Australia. This booklet highlights findings from the 2018 survey, which involved 1,267 clients in surveys and interviews. Charts are provided on: the causes of financial hardship and disadvantage, barriers to finding work, income and the costs of living, food insecurity and going without, housing stress, living conditions, homelessness, needing to move house, and social isolation. The participants also noted the services and redress that made the biggest difference in their lives - whether assistance paying bills, accessing healthy food, or securing a safe place to live.

Engaging with children's voices on poverty: the value of their lived experience

Monks H
Subiaco, WA : CoLab, Telethon Kids Institute, 2018
Research on child poverty is been dominated by quantitative approaches investigating prevalence, mechanisms, and impact. However, there is a small but growing body of evidence that explores child poverty from the perspective of children themselves, as it is experienced in the context of their everyday lives. This paper provides an overview of this research, and its value for understanding the nature of poverty. Sections include: economic insecurity; emotional and psychological wellbeing; friendships, leisure and social participation; schooling and aspirations for the future; family functioning; housing, neighbourhood and community; coping strategies and pathways out of poverty; and the implications for policy and practice. A brief snapshot version of this research has also been published.

What promotes social and emotional wellbeing in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children? Lessons in measurement from the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children.

Marmor A and Harley D
Family Matters no. 100 2018: 4-18
Though social and emotional wellbeing is an important outcome for policy makers in health and education, it is not adequately reflected by mainstream mental health assessment tools - in particular for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families. This article aims to identify the early childhood factors associated with later social and emotional wellbeing when the child is ready to start school, and to develop a new indicator that could capture a more holistic view of wellbeing. It draws on data from the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children to look at selected individual and family factors during pregnancy and up to 2 years of age compared to children's prosocial behaviour, mental health, connectedness, and other surrogate proxies for social and emotional wellbeing at school commencement. Though the authors were unable to create a single index of social and emotional wellbeing, the findings highlight the need to apply caution in applying Western biomedical health and wellbeing measures to Indigenous concepts and states.

MDI grade 7: Loddon school district and community report 2016

Human Early Learning Partnership (Vancouver, B.C.), Social Research Centre (North Melbourne, Vic.)
Charlton, Vic. : North Central Local Learning & Employment Network, 2017.
The Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI) is a self-report questionnaire for children to help schools learn about the factors that promote social-emotional health and well-being in Grades 4 and 7. The MDI was designed in Canada and the recently revised 2015-2016 version is currently being trialled in Australia to assess whether the instrument continues to provide robust data in this content. 74 schools from 11 school districts in Victoria are participating in the trial. This report presents findings from one of the trial sites, the Loddon district, where 178 children in Grade 7 took part. Findings are presented for social and emotional competencies, physical and mental health, self-esteem, diet, connections to adults, peer belonging, use of after school time, organised activities and screen time, barriers to participating in desired after school activities, neighbourhood safety, attachment to school, academic self-concept, and bullying. The overall assets for well-being are also presented as a Well-Being Index.

Cultural inclusion.

Miller M
Deakin, ACT : Early Childhood Australia, 2017.
Written for parents and educators, this booklet highlights the critical role of adults in supporting the attitudes and behaviours that demonstrate respect for diversity and difference. It discusses the role of parents and community, racial literacy and racism in early childhood education, cultural competence and growing up in multicultural Australia, Indigenous Australia as a starting point for cultural competence, conscious and unconscious bias, and cultural inclusion and its barriers.

The hard road: National Economic & Social Impact Survey 2017

Salvation Army (Australia). Southern Territory, Salvation Army. Australia Eastern Territory
Blackburn, Vic. : Salvation Army, 2017.
This report presents findings from The Salvation Army's sixth Economic and Social Impact Survey. This survey series explores the levels of deprivation and disadvantage experienced by those who access Salvation Army emergency relief services in Australia, and the barriers and challenges they face. The findings are presented under 6 sections: Demographic profile; Housing, homelessness and mobility; Income and employment; Cost of living; Children; Technology; and Wellbeing. 1,380 people participated in the 2017 survey, providing insights into the financial strain that occurs from living on income support while trying to maintain an adequate standard of living. For many, this means going without essential items and seeking support through The Salvation Army's services for food and basic necessities to survive. This 2017 survey also explores digital access and participation for the first time, highlighting another area of exclusion.

Children making sense of economic insecurity : facework, fairness and belonging.

Butler R
Journal of Sociology v. 53 no. 1 Mar 2017: 231-244
This article explores how children cope with economic insecurity, drawing on a qualitative research study with families in regional Victoria. Drawing on Goffman's concept of 'facework', it develops a theoretical framework to analyse three types of 'facework' used by children from low-income families to maintain social inclusion and uphold dignity: going without, cutting down, and staying within. The concept of 'fairness' is also highlighted. The findings echo existing research that, for children in affluent nations, not being able to participate in important conversations, activities, and shared experiences with others is the most significant negative outcome of financial adversity.

Strengthening prevention and early intervention services for families into the future

Toumbourou J, Hartman D, Field K, Jeffery R, Brady J, Heaton A, Ghayour Minaie M and Heerde J
Australia : FRSA and Deakin University, 2017.
Many of Australia's health and social problems are preventable, and many arise from modifiable risk factors in families and child development. This paper aims to initiate discussion as to how a coordinated strategy to increase family-based prevention and early intervention services could be utilised to prevent eight priority problems: substance abuse, antisocial behaviour and crime, obesity, mental illness, developmental injury such as from foetal alcohol problems or child maltreatment, chronic illness, school failure, and social exclusion. The paper analyses the potential for family and relationship services to contribute to solutions for these key problems and presents recommendations for coordinating strategies to increase family and relationship-based prevention and early intervention services in Australia. It also discusses prevention and early intervention frameworks, how family and relationship services may increase protective factors, the need for advances in intake screening and assessment, the strengths within these services that support this approach, challenges for services taking on a prevention role, and the economic benefits of this approach.

Refugee settlers in South-East Queensland: employment, aspirations and intergenerational communication about future occupational pathways : final report

Hebbani A, Khawaja N, Colic-Peisker V, Obijiofor L, Gallois C and MacKinnon M
Brisbane, Qld. : School of Communication and Arts, University of Queensland, 2016.
This study investigates the employment experiences of recently arrived refugees in South-East Queensland, as well as their educational and occupational aspirations for themselves and their children. Surveys were undertaken with 222 adult refugees from Burma, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo - three of the main source countries for offshore humanitarian entrants - supplemented with interviews with 47 refugees. This report discusses the findings and the policy implications. Topics include: employment experiences, employment and education aspirations, life satisfaction, the impact of English language proficiency, involvement of parents in their children's lives and schooling, intergenerational communication, intergenerational acculturative differences, relations with neighbours, and social bridging with local communities. The findings show that level of education, length of stay, and English language proficiency were predictors of employment, and that English language proficiency not only affected employment, but also aspirations and life satisfaction.

Psychological distress in carers of Aboriginal children in urban New South Wales : findings from SEARCH (phase one).

Williamson A, D'Este C, Clapham K, Eades S, Redman S and Raphael B
Medical Journal of Australia v. 205 no. 1 4 Jul 2016: 27-32
This article adds to the research on the association between parental and child mental health with a study of Indigenous parents in urban New South Wales. Findings were taken from phase one of the Study of Environment on Aboriginal Resilience and Child Health (SEARCH), for 589 families living in urban communities and attending Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services. The article determines the proportion of parents and carers with high levels of psychological distress, and the association between psychological distress and demographic, health, neighbourhood, and social inclusion factors. The findings highlight some key areas for action in improving the social and emotional wellbeing of parents and carers of Aboriginal children, and at risk groups that may need additional support. In particular, mental health services and programs for increasing social connectedness should be emphasised.

Child social exclusion risk and child health outcomes in Australia.

Mohanty I, Edvardsson M, Abello A and Eldridge D
PLoS ONE v. 11 no. 5 May 2016: e0154536.
This paper considers the concept of social exclusion as it applies to children and their health outcomes. It studies the relationship between the risk of child social exclusion and child health outcomes, as measured by the Child Social Exclusion Index - developed by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) - and small area level health data from the National Hospital Morbidity Database and the National Mortality Database. The results show associations between negative health outcomes and the overall risk of child social exclusion and its component domains of socio-economic background, education, connectedness, housing and health services.

Out of reach: National Economic & Social Impact Survey 2016

Salvation Army (Australia). Southern Territory, Salvation Army. Australia Eastern Territory
Australia : Salvation Army, 2016.
This report presents findings from The Salvation Army's fifth Economic and Social Impact Survey. This survey series explores the levels of deprivation and disadvantage experienced by those who access Salvation Army emergency relief services in Australia, as well as the impact of cost-of-living pressures and experience of marginalisation. Over 1,600 people participated in the 2016 survey, painting a bleak picture of what real life is like for Australians on the breadline. The findings are presented under 6 sections: Demographic profile; Housing, homelessness and mobility; Income source and employment; Financial hardship and deprivation; Children and young people; and Wellbeing. Housing and homelessness were significant issues for many respondents, with severe housing stress due to inadequate financial resources and housing insecurity.

Relationships matter: the social and economic benefits of community playgroups

McShane I, Cook K, Sinclair S, Keam G and Fry J
Melbourne, Vic. : Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University, 2016.
This report investigates the social and economic value of community playgroups in Australia. In particular, it looks at the contribution of playgroups to the landscape of social care, their adaptive response to changing social and economic trends, their role in developing social capital and acting as a catalyst for parents and carers to engage with other social settings, and their contribution to the informal or non-market economy. The study draws on interviews with playgroup participants and coordinators and data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC).

Planning and designing healthy new communities: Selandra Rise : research summary

Maller C
Melbourne : VicHealth, 2016.
Selandra Rise is a new housing development located in Melbourne's south-east growth corridor. The development was deliberately designed to implement best practice planning for health and wellbeing, and is a collaborative project of Stockland property group, the Metropolitan Planning Authority, the City of Casey, the Planning Institute of Australia, and VicHealth. VicHealth has funded a five-year research project to study residents' health and wellbeing before and after they moved in and to inform future urban design and planning policy. This summary report outlines the research methodology and findings and presents recommendations for the design of future residential communities in relation to: work travel and health, physical activity, public transport, community engagement, and neighbourhood satisfaction and wellbeing.

Are the kids alright?: young Australians in their middle years : final summary report of the Australian Child Wellbeing Project

Redmond G, Skattebol J, Saunders P, Lietz P, Zizzo G, O'Grady E, Tobin M, Thomson S, Maurici V, Huynh J, Moffat A, Wong M, Bradbury B and Roberts K
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.

Are the kids alright?: young Australians in their middle years : final report of the Australian Child Wellbeing Project

Redmond G, Skattebol J, Saunders P, Lietz P, Zizzo G, O'Grady E, Tobin M, Thomson S, Maurici V, Huynh J, Moffat A, Wong M, Bradbury B and Roberts K
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.

The Victorian happiness report: the subjective wellbeing of Victorians

Victoria. Dept. of Health and Human Services
Melbourne : Victorian Government, c2015.
This report investigates the subjective wellbeing of adults in Victoria - and its determinants - using data from the 2012 statewide Victorian Population Health Survey. Determinants and drivers include health status and medical conditions, healthcare use, risk behaviours such as smoking and diet, socio-demographic determinants such as employment and marital status, psychosocial risk factors such as financial stress and food insecurity, and social capital, including social support networks, community engagement, and civic trust. Overall, approximately 94% of Victorian adults reported high or very high subjective wellbeing, and only 5% reported low or very low subjective wellbeing. Though the findings indicate that people with low subjective wellbeing have poorer mental and physical health, the findings also show that the strongest associations for subjective wellbeing are with the social determinants - with implications for public health policy and intervention.

Negotiating the normative : the other normal for mothers of disabled children.

Williams K and Murray D
Journal of Family Studies v. 21 no. 3 Nov 2015: 324-340
This study explores how mothers who care for a disabled child negotiate the social exclusion they experience. It utilizes constraint theory and explores the strategies mothers used to negotiate constraints. Whilst not all constraints were negotiated, it was apparent that mothers of a disabled child did manage to negotiate a range of constraints they faced, and that their negotiations were akin to those identified in the constraint negotiation literature. Findings from the study provide us with a greater insight into the nature of constraints faced by mothers of disabled children, and in particular the ways they negotiate these constraints. Another finding of interest was that the negotiation of constraints did provide some positive outcomes for the mother. More research that explores these positive aspects associated with caring for a disabled child is required. [13 mothers took part.]

How's life? 2015: measuring well-being

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Paris : OECD Publishing, 2015.
This is the third in a series of biannual reports measuring and comparing well-being across OECD countries. It examines quality of life and living conditions, using indicators in the areas of: income and wealth, jobs and earnings, housing conditions, health status, work-life balance, education and skills, social connections, civic engagement and governance, environmental quality, personal security, and subjective well-being. This 2015 edition also features sections on resources and capital for future well-being, well-being among children and young people, the impact of volunteering on well-being, regional well-being, and measurement issues.

Community factors influencing child and adolescent depression : a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Stirling K, Toumbourou J and Rowland B
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry v. 49 no. 10 Oct 2015: 869-886
Though many studies have investigated individual and family risk and protective factors for depression in children and young people, less is known about community-level factors. This article adds to the research with a systematic review of the Australian and international literature to identify community risk and protective factors for this age group, such as neighbourhood disadvantage, safety, immigrant concentration, community connectedness, and remote areas.

Dropping off the edge 2015: persistent communal disadvantage in Australia

Vinson T, Rawsthorne M, Beavis A and Ericson M
Richmond, Vic. : Jesuit Social Services ; Curtin, ACT : Catholic Social Services Australia, 2007.
The first 'Dropping off the edge' report of 2007 presented ground-breaking research into the characteristics and distribution of disadvantage across Australia. Cities and regions in each state were measured against social and economic indicators, producing a map of relative place-based disadvantage across Australia. This new 2015 report updates the information and compares the wellbeing of communities over time. Sadly, the findings highlight the prevalence of persistent and entrenched locational disadvantage, with the most disadvantaged localities in 2007 still ranked poorly in 2015. Indicators include: internet access, housing stress, low income, overall education, post-schooling qualifications, unskilled workers, youth not engaged, school readiness, disability pension receipt, long-term unemployment, rent assistance, numeracy and literacy in year 3, numeracy and literacy in year 9, child maltreatment, family violence, criminal convictions, juvenile convictions, prison admissions, and psychiatric hospital admissions.

Families and whanau status report 2015

SuPERU (New Zealand)
Wellington N.Z. : Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit, 2015.
This series explores the measurement of family and whanau wellbeing in New Zealand, to help investigate how families and whanau are faring today. This 2015 report presents a set of family and whanau wellbeing indicators, using measurement frameworks developed in the previous report that combine both western and Maori knowledge. The framworks incorporate family functions that help or hinder a family's capacity to function well, and whanau capability and wellbeing principles. These include health, relationships and connections, economic security and housing, safety and environment, learning and employment, identity and belonging, whakapapa (thriving relationships), manaakitanga (reciprocity and support), rangatiratanga (leadership and participation), kotahitanga (collective unity), and wairuatanga (spiritualand cultural strength). Data is largely taken from the New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings, the General Social Survey, and Te Kupenga - new the Måaori Social Survey.This report provides an initial benchmark and will be updated as new data become available.

General Social Survey: summary results, Australia, 2014.

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Canberra, ACT : Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2015.
Thsis website summarises findings from the 4th General Social Survey, conducted across Australia in 2014. Information is presented under the headlines: volunteering rate declines, other forms of support and participation decline or remain stable, proportion of males and females feeling rushed or pressed for time, people experiencing less violence and feeling safer, exposure to personal stressors and self-assessed health stay constant, lower educational attainment linked to less social participation, remoteness limits access to services, being in work likely to shield people from financial stress, social issues through the life course, and how do Australians feel about their life as a whole? Breakdowns are included for selected population groups, including: people with a mental health condition, people with disability, recent and other migrants, one parent families, sexual orientation, people who have experienced homelessness, and people in Tasmania.

Review of key risk and protective factors for child development and wellbeing (antenatal to age 25)

Toumbourou J, Hall J, Varco J and Leung R
Canberra, A.C.T. : Australian Research Alliance for Children and Young People, 2014.
This report summarises the key risk and protective factors for child and youth development and wellbeing, to help identify the optimal intervention points across the life course from conception to 25 years old. It outlines risk and protective factors that influence child development across areas relevant to both wellbeing and positive adjustment and also the prevention of health and social problems across a wide range of areas, as well as the factors associated with the escalation of risk. Seven major preventable outcomes are focused on: substance abuse, obesity, preventable disability, mental illness, chronic illness, school failure, antisocial behaviour, and social exclusion.

Evaluation of the 'Supporting Parents - Developing Children' Project: final report

Hopkins L
Broadmeadows, Vic. : Hume City Council, 2014.
The City of Hume, in a largely disadvantaged region of metropolitan Victoria, established The 'Supporting Parents - Developing Children' (SPDC) Project to bring about greater social inclusion and cohesion for migrant and refugee families in the area. It aimed to improve language, literacy, and learning outcomes for isolated migrant mothers and their children through the development of Community Hubs, playgroups, bilingual storytimes, and mother and child English language programs. The project ran from 1 July 2011-30 June 2014. This is the final report of the evaluation of the project, and builds upon the earlier interim reports. Outcomes are assessed for participation, social cohesion, training pathways, child development, service integration, and satisfaction. Notably, the project's Community Hub model, which was piloted in southern Hume, has led to the establishment of the National Community Hubs program.

Child disadvantage in NSW: recent findings

Montoya D
Sydney, N.S.W. : NSW Parliamentary Research Service, 2014.
This paper collates recent findings on child disadvantage in New South Wales. After reviewing defininitions of disadvantage, poverty, deprivation, and social exclusion, it presents the latest information on child poverty rates, poverty comparisons nationally and by state region, long-term poverty, social exclusion status from the Child Social Exclusion Index, developmental vulnerability identified in the Australian Early Development Index, Indigenous children, and health and wellbeing status from the Children's Headline Indicators. The data does draw attention to the significant numbers of children in New South Wales who are disadvantaged.

Strengthening Australian families : socioeconomic status, social connectedness, and family functioning.

Denny B, Gavidia-Payne S, Davis K, Francis A and Jackson M
Australian Social Work v. 67 no. 3 Jul 2014: 438-450
Social connectedness has been promoted as one factor that may facilitate optimal functioning for families experiencing economic adversity. Using data from 218 Australian families, the current study explored the relative importance of social connectedness to the functioning of economically diverse families. Overall, results indicated similar levels of social connectedness and family functioning across low- and high-income groups. However, important differences were identified with regards to the relative contribution of social connectedness to the functioning of families across the economic spectrum. Clinical implications arising from these findings include the potential benefit of exploring social connectedness as a routine part of clinical assessment and ongoing intervention for families experiencing economic vulnerability.

Youth social exclusion in Australian communities: a new index

Abello A, Cassells R, Daly A, D'Souza G and Miranti R
Bruce, ACT : NATSEM, University of Canberra, 2014.
This paper presents a new index to measure social exclusion among youth - defined here as young people aged 15-19 years. A number of domains and indicators that are important to youth wellbeing were identified, including socioeconomic background, participation, personal and family education, caring responsibilities, housing, and health service access. The index is tested with data from the 2011 Census and national school assessment data, identifying the characteristics of areas with the greatest and least risk of youth social exclusion in Australia.
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