Families care: special edition of Family Matters

Families care: special edition of Family Matters

Media Release — 29 June 2007

A special edition of Family Matters, no.76, 2007 highlights the range of different ways that families care for each other.

'Caring embodies what it means to be part of a family. So, family means caring. Or does it? But what does it mean if people are unable or unwilling to care for family members, or have been deemed by the state to be unfit to provide care?' says Dr Daryl Higgins, General Manager Research, Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Family Matters looks at the care families provide for people with disabilities, people who have been victims of violence or neglect and families caring for children. It looks at the issues that affect the nature of care, the ability of family and parent substitutes to provide care, and the impact that providing care has on them', Dr Higgins said.

The special edition contains the following articles and viewpoint pieces reporting on the latest research in these areas, and presenting a range of points of view about families providing care.

Caring for people with disabilities

Five special edition articles describe different aspects of caring for a person with a disability and examine its impact on carers and families -

  • The Families Caring for a Person with a Disability Study and the social lives of carers
  • Crisis or commotion? An objective look at evidence on caregiving in families
  • Families' care work during the transition from school to post-school for children with severe disabilities
  • Disability and family carers (Viewpoint)
  • Caring for carers: The financial strain of caring (Viewpoint)

Caring for people who have been victims of violence or neglect

A further five articles cover a range of types of care provided for children and adults who have been subjected to sexual assault, violence or neglect -

  • Caring about sexual assault: The effects of sexual assault on families, and the effects on victim/survivors of family responses to sexual assault
  • 'Basically it's a recognition issue': Validating foster parent identities
  • Grandparents raising grandchildren because of alcohol and other drug issues
  • Grandparent-headed families in Australia
  • That elusive but essential element beyond sound legislation, policy and theoretical perspectives (Viewpoint)

Caring for children

Three articles in this section consider the work of parents in caring for young children. These articles look at children's time-use and its effect on their development; gender and equity issues in balancing care responsibilities with workforce participation; and community perspectives of caring for children -

  • How four year olds spend their days: insights into the caring contexts of young children
  • The importance of caring for children in Australian society
  • It's about time: Key findings from the women, men, work and family project

'Shedding light on the extent of care families provide and understanding its impact provides an important insight into the present and future care needs of families. These studies can also inform the ways that Government and society can improve the wellbeing of families and individuals who provide care for vulnerable members of Australian society', said Dr Higgins.

Media contacts

Luisa Saccotelli
0400 149 901
Aileen Muldoon
0419 112 503