What we do
Producing and sharing research
AIFS undertakes high-quality research that is:
- rigorous and ethical
- high-quality and cost-effective
- relevant and responsive to policy and practice settings.
Most especially, we respect and value the commitment, views and input of all those who contribute to our research.
For over 40 years, AIFS has been conducting high-quality research relevant to policy and practice. We are the experts in family research.
AIFS projects with a significant reliance on data collection, representative sampling, and data and statistical analysis include:
- Growing up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children
- Building a New Life in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Humanitarian Migrants
- Ten to Men: The Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health.
Accessing our datasets
Access to the datasets of current AIFS projects requires either an individual or organisational licence. To apply, go to National Centre for Longitudinal Data Dataverse.
Datasets derived from past research undertaken by AIFS are available from the Australian Data Archive.
AIFS is an Accredited Integrating Authority. We can access a rich variety of administrative and other data sets to provide new information for research and policy making. See Data Linkage section, below.
We use qualitative research methods to uncover trends in thoughts or opinions and gain a deeper understanding of how a person feels on a particular issue. Recent research projects with a significant qualitative research component include:
- Weighing up the odds: Young men, sports and gambling
- Children and Young People in Separated Families
- Child Care Flexibility Trials.
Survey data collection
AIFS runs numerous surveys, some of which collect information on very sensitive topics, including violence and safety, mental health, gambling and substance abuse. Recent AIFS projects with a substantive survey component include:
- Families in Australia Survey
- Gambling Trends Study
- National Elder Abuse Prevalence Study
- Compliance with and Enforcement of Family Law Parenting Orders.
Program evaluation is the systematic process of investigating if a program or service achieves its aims. AIFS has conducted innumerable program evaluations in the child and family sector. AIFS staff also work with sector professionals to build their capability to conduct their own program evaluations. Some of the many evaluations AIFS has conducted include:
- Families and Children Expert Panel Project
- Cradle to Kinder program evaluation
- Child Care Flexibility Trials.
AIFS’ library catalogue gives access to the Institute's collection of international and Australian research on family wellbeing in Australia.
The collection features 'grey literature' reports, books, journal articles, conference papers and book chapters. It covers a broad range of areas including: child abuse prevention; child development and psychology; family law; economics; demographics; family violence; sexual assault; and parenting.
Australian Family & Society Abstracts
Produced by staff at the Institute's Library since 1984, the Australian Family & Society Abstracts database:
- records the research, policy and practice literature about Australian families and the social issues that affect them
- draws upon a wide range of social science disciplines, including sociology, psychology, demography, health, education, economics, law, history and social work
- contains abstracts for journal articles, conference papers, books, book chapters, government reports, research reports, discussion and working papers, unpublished papers, statistical documents, theses and grey literature.
The Family Thesaurus provides a list of the subject terms developed for indexing and retrieving information in the Australian Family & Society Abstracts database. Terms included in the thesaurus reflect the database's multidisciplinary approach to factors affecting life in Australian society and are drawn directly from the literature being indexed.
Interlibrary loans and document delivery
Other libraries are welcome to contact us about inter-library loans and copies. We follow the Australian Interlibrary Resource Sharing (ILRS) Code.
Phone (03) 9214 7888 and ask to be put through to the library or email [email protected] and direct your enquiry to the library.