Families still the ones to turn to for help

Families still the ones to turn to for help

Media Release — 17 May 2016

Australians still turn to family for help and support in times of crisis, according to an Australian Institute of Family Studies facts sheet released today as part of National Families Week.

Institute Director, Anne Hollonds said that 80 per cent of Australians aged 15 years and over would turn to a family member for practical, emotional or financial help in a crisis.

“Most people will go to family first, followed by a friend, work colleague, a service or a neighbour for help,” she said.

“Older Australians are more likely to say they would turn to the help of a neighbour, than a friend or work colleague.

“Unfortunately, a minority across all age groups say they have no-one to call upon in a time of crisis.

“It is clear that family still plays an important role in people’s lives and is the bedrock of support for the vast majority of Australians.”

Ms Hollonds said many newly arrived migrants did not have family support structures to call on in times of need.

“Newly arrived migrants often had fewer people they can turn to for help and for many, family is far away just when it is needed most,” she said.

“A recent intake of humanitarian migrants revealed around one in four arrived in Australia without other family members; did not have family join them soon after; and did not have any family here before they came. 

“Of migrants arriving here since 2006, only 58 per cent said they would be able to turn to a family member for help.

“This reflects the fact that a significant minority of recently arrived migrants were not living in a family household, particularly the most recently arrived humanitarian migrants.

“The statistics paint a picture of a group of newly arrived migrants with complex lives who are often unable to draw upon the invaluable resource of family in challenging times.”

Read the AIFS Facts Sheet: The modern Australian family

Media contacts

Luisa Saccotelli
0400 149 901
Aileen Muldoon
0419 112 503