Annual report 2013-14

Annual report 2013-14

Annual Report – September 2014

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The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has had a very successful year conducting research on issues related to family wellbeing and disseminating our research to a wide audience of policy-makers, practitioners and the Australian community. Our work has focused on our seven longitudinal studies and issues that directly relate to the complex lives of Australian families in the 21st century. Some of these areas have included the settlement of newly arrived humanitarian migrants, young people entering and leaving out-of-home care (OOHC), the role of Independent Children's Lawyers in the family law system, the health and wellbeing of defence force veterans and their families, and potential outcomes associated with gambling.

The change of government in September 2013 led to a renaming of our portfolio department from Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs to the Department of Social Services under the Minister, the Hon. Kevin Andrews MP.

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Director's review

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has had a very successful year conducting research on issues related to family wellbeing and disseminating our research to a wide audience of policy-makers, practitioners and the Australian community. Our work has focused on our seven longitudinal studies and issues that directly relate to the complex lives of Australian families in the 21st century. Some of these areas have included the settlement of newly arrived humanitarian migrants, young people entering and leaving out-of-home care (OOHC), the role of Independent Children's Lawyers in the family law system, the health and wellbeing of defence force veterans and their families, and potential outcomes associated with gambling.

The change of government in September 2013 led to a renaming of our portfolio department from Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs to the Department of Social Services under the Minister, the Hon. Kevin Andrews MP.

Research highlights 2013-14

During the past year the Institute worked on 45 research projects and extended its set of longitudinal research studies, which offer unique information about the pathways people take in their lives and the complex influences and factors affecting the decisions they make and the circumstances of their lives. This rich information is a prime source of evidence for enhancing understanding and informing long-term policy-making.

AIFS expertise and experience in longitudinal research in 2013-14 included:

  • Australian Temperament Project (ATP);
  • Beyond 18: The Longitudinal Study on Leaving Care;
  • Building a New Life in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Humanitarian Migrants (BNLA);
  • Family Pathways: The Longitudinal Study of Separated Families (LSSF);
  • Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC);
  • Pathways of Care: The Longitudinal Study of Children and Young People in Out-of-Home Care in NSW; and
  • Stronger Families in Australia (SFIA) extension.

Growing Up in Australia

Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children is a major study following the development of 10,000 children and their families from urban and rural areas in all states and territories of Australia. The study addresses a range of questions about children's development and wellbeing and is conducted as a partnership between the Department of Social Security (DSS), AIFS and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), with advice provided by a consortium of leading researchers. Six waves of data have been collected that provide valuable insights into children's physical health and social, cognitive and emotional development, as well as their experiences in significant environments, including their family, child care, preschool, primary and high school, and their broader communities. A major aim of the study is to identify policy opportunities for improving supports for children and families and for early intervention and prevention strategies. In November 2013, for the second time, two datasets - from LSAC and the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC) - were highlighted in a combined conference. During the reporting period, preparations were made for the release the fourth Annual LSAC Statistical Report on 1 July 2014. The report includes chapters on the care of children in school holidays, the body image of primary school children, safe environments, parental concerns and children's unsupervised time, time outdoors, and physical activity. LSAC has also collaborated again with Screen Australia and Heiress Films to produce the fifth installment of the Life documentary series, Life at 9.

Building a New Life in Australia

Building a New Life in Australia is a newly initiated study that aims to better understand the factors that aid or hinder the successful settlement of humanitarian migrants in Australia, and provide an evidence base to inform policy and program development. This ground-breaking longitudinal study will employ annual data collections over five years to trace the settlement journey of humanitarian migrants from their arrival in Australia through to their eligibility for citizenship. Study participants have come from a diverse range of backgrounds and a multitude of migration pathways. The first wave of BNLA has yielded an important dataset that will help to shed light on the settlement journey of recent humanitarian migrants to Australia, and analyses will highlight the complex lives of this population group and the diversity of their pre-migration experiences. The first wave data revealed that around 70 per cent of humanitarian migrants felt a sense of belonging in Australia, despite some struggling with health and housing issues. Three-quarters of new arrivals were either working or studying, mainly to gain English language skills and 80 to 90 per cent said that, so far, their experience of settling into Australia had been good or very good. Five per cent had experienced discrimination, 13 per cent said their physical health was poor or very poor, and 35 per cent of men and 46 per cent of women reported having mental health problems.

Australian Temperament Project

The Australian Temperament Project is a longitudinal study following young people's psychosocial development from infancy into adulthood. It investigates the contribution of personal, family, peer and broader environmental factors to adjustment and wellbeing. The ATP began in 1983 with the recruitment of 2,443 Victorian infants and their families from Maternal and Child Health Centres. Fifteen waves of data collection have been completed to date (the most recent at 27-28 years), predominantly via mail surveys. Planning has commenced for a 16th wave of data collection (at age 31-32 years), which is anticipated to commence in the second half of 2014. The team has been publishing key insights from the first 30 years of the ATP, including the role of cognitive ability and personality traits in fostering wellbeing and social progress; risky driving behaviours in adolescence and early adulthood; bullying; individual differences in the concordance of self-reported criminal involvement and official records; the effect of child maltreatment and parent socio-economic status on child adjustment; and young adult economic mobility.

Beyond 18

Beyond 18: The Longitudinal Study on Leaving Care is a long-term research project about the lives of young people in out-of-home care and their experiences transitioning from care in Victoria. The study will be conducted over five years and is the first of its kind to be conducted in Victoria. The purpose of the study is to inform government policy in supporting more effective transitions for young people from OOHC. In particular, it will provide insights into the critical success factors associated with the transition from OOHC and propose ways of improving the young people's time in care, their transition from care and what happens post-transition. The study will follow a group of young people over three years through their journey to interdependence and eventual independence, to understand how their experiences and outcomes change over time. Recruitment of young people to the Wave 1 survey has begun, and data collection is due to commence in July 2014.

Family law

Family separation and family law have been a core focus of the Institute's research since its inception in 1980. This long-running research program has examined an extensive range of issues, including: the economic aspects of relationship breakdown; family wellbeing and parenting post-separation; support needs of separated parents and children; and family violence. Over the past year the Family Law team was commissioned to undertake further research to examine the effects on families of legislative amendments to the Family Law Act 1975, introduced by the Family Law Legislation Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Act 2011. This builds on the findings of the Survey of Recently Separated Parents 2012, the Longitudinal Study of Separated Families, and the 2009 AIFS Evaluation of the 2006 Family Law Reforms. The team also completed a report on Independent Children's Lawyers (ICLs) for the Attorney-General's Department that examined the use, role and effectiveness of ICLs in the family law system.

The Rehabilitation of Australian Defence Force Members

This project is a new study funded by the Department of Defence. The study aims to explore the role of families in the rehabilitation of seriously wounded, injured or ill Defence Force (SWII) members. A recent review of mental health care in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) acknowledged the importance of recognising the families of ADF members. The Institute is examining what the facilitators and impediments are to maintaining a strong family unit and a positive family contribution to the rehabilitation of SWII members and how the ADF can maximise positive outcomes for families and optimal rehabilitation outcomes for SWII within the family context.

Vietnam Veterans Family Study

In late January 2014, AIFS staff analysed the results of the Vietnam Veterans' Family Study (VVFS) survey on behalf of the Department of Veterans' Affairs. The analysis helped to evaluate the intergenerational effects of service in the Vietnam War, estimate the effects of active military service on the health and wellbeing of the children of Vietnam Veterans, and identify possible mechanisms through which those effects were realised. The study examined various outcomes, including those related to mental health (e.g., depression, suicidal ideation and self-harm); physical health (e.g., birth complications, hearing problems, miscarriage, still birth and spina bifida); and social functioning, education and economic wellbeing (e.g., employment status).

Forced Adoption Support Services Scoping Study

The Department of Social Services commissioned the Institute to undertake the Forced Adoption Support Services Scoping Study on behalf of the Forced Adoptions Implementation Working Group. The study was conducted between August 2013 and February 2014 and built on the work AIFS undertook in the National Research Study on the Service Response to Past Adoption Experiences. The purpose of the scoping study was to develop options for service models that would enhance and complement the existing service system to improve support for people affected by forced adoption policies and practices. The study mapped the current support available for people affected by forced adoptions; examined how the system currently meets the needs of those affected; identified gaps in the service system; and provided service model options for how to complement the existing services to improve the support available to those affected.

Australian Gambling Research Centre

The Australian Gambling Research Centre (AGRC) was established at the Institute on 1 July 2013 under the National Gambling Reform Act 2012. The centre was established to complement the work of other research organisations, draw together evidence and identify gaps in current knowledge. Its Expert Advisory Group has guided its work as it has conducted wide-ranging consultations with key researchers, government, community and industry in the development of its research directions. AGRC staff have also been building collaborative relationships around Australia and beyond to facilitate large research projects. In the upcoming year, the AGRC will focus its research on the personal, socio-cultural and environmental factors that affect risk, resilience and recovery for gamblers; the broader understanding of the harms to the gambler and others; new technologies and marketing and advertising; and measures to reduce gambling harm and to encourage safe gambling.

Families, Policy and the Law: Selected Essays on Contemporary Issues for Australia

To coincide with Families Week 2014, a book edited by AIFS Director Professor Alan Hayes AM and Deputy Director (Research) Dr Daryl Higgins, Families, Policy and the Law: Selected Essays on Contemporary Issues for Australia, was published on 21 May 2014. The essays are written by the Institute's staff and external authors, with 38 authors in all participating. The book is divided into four sections that examine: diverse family formation; legal and statutory responses to families in difficulty; relationship breakdown and family policies and practices; and social science and developments in Australian family law.

Dissemination of research

One of the Institute's main roles is to disseminate our research to a broad audience of policy-makers, practitioners, other researchers in Australia and internationally, and the broader community. We do this in a variety of ways through: our clearinghouses/information exchanges; our publications, such as our journal Family Matters and our research reports; our researchers presenting at conferences; and hosting our own conferences, seminars and, increasingly, webinars (online seminars). Our website is widely used, and much of our research finds its way into the media, particularly in the online media world and through social media.

Child Family Community Australia

The Child Family Community Australia (CFCA) information exchange is hosted by the Institute and funded by the Department of Social Services. It operates as a primary source of quality, evidence-based information, resources and interactive support for professionals in the child, family and community welfare sectors. Along with its research papers, resource sheets and practice guides, CFCA hosts CFCA Connect, a dynamic, interactive source of the latest information in the child, family and community welfare sectors. CFCA Connect encourages its subscribers to engage, making it a two-way connection by discussing issues with their peers, commenting on content and contributing short articles. The CFCA webinar series has been an increasingly valuable resource with a substantial increase in participants across the year. A new website to be launched later in 2014 will further enhance the possibilities for engagement between CFCA and their stakeholders.

Events

The Institute has continued to increase its public engagement by hosting conferences, seminars and webinars.

The LSAC-LSIC two-day conference was held in November 2013, attracting 195 delegates, with more than 60 oral presentations and three keynote addresses. This conference provides a unique opportunity for researchers from around Australia and internationally to share and communicate their research from the use of the data from these important longitudinal studies. Preparations for the 13th Australian Institute of Family Studies conference, to be held in July 2014 in the International Year of the Family, were well underway throughout the year.

The Institute also continued to run its seminar series in 2013-14, attracting a range of diverse and eminent speakers who generously shared their knowledge across a variety of areas affecting families. Topics included the management of older people's assets, social dimensions of drug and alcohol problems, the experiences and effects of racism in schools and recent and impending demographic change in Australia. For more details about these seminars, see AIFS Seminar Series.

Publications

One of the most important ways the Institute reaches out to policy-makers, practitioners and the wider community is through our publications. The interest in the Institute's publications has continued to expand every year, with 111 research outputs and publications produced, and 3.3 million publication downloads from the website, which is a 23% increase from the previous reporting period. Among many others, we published reports on the employment characteristics and transitions of mothers in LSAC; factors related to children's development in regional and disadvantaged areas of Australia; and child care participation and material employment trends in Australia.

Dissemination developments

The end of the financial year has seen the closing of one of the AIFS information exchanges, the Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault (ACSSA). Much of the work ACSSA was undertaking will be transferred to Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety (ANROWS), which is an independent, not-for-profit company established as an initiative under Australia's National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022. The Institute will continue to work in the sexual victimisation field, undertaking research into child sexual abuse and sexual assault and how these devastating forms of violence interface with other complex social problems, such as family violence, trauma and how family law systems accommodate these issues.

The Closing the Gap Clearinghouse will also be finishing up in September 2014. This service was a Council of Australian Governments (COAG) initiative jointly funded by all Australian governments and delivered by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) in collaboration with AIFS. It has supported the information needs of policy-makers and service providers by delivering a central online source of evidence-based resources on programs and strategies that work to overcome disadvantage for Indigenous Australians.

Managing our organisation

Importantly, the Institute continued to manage its resources with the transparency and high standard of governance appropriate to an independent research organisation that uses public funds and has responsibilities under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act). The oversight from the Institute's Risk Assessment and Audit Committee continues to be an essential part of our operation, along with the procurement procedures, Chief Executive's Instructions and Australian Public Service (APS) Values and Employment Principles.

During the reporting period, significant work was undertaken to ensure the Institute complies with the new Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013, effective from 1 July 2014.

Finances

In the 2013-14 financial year, AIFS operated with $4,693,000 of government appropriation and $9,128,300 of other revenue (primarily from contracted research), as detailed in the financial statements. The Institute incurred a budget deficit for the financial year 2013-14 of $182,289. This deficit is made up of the depreciation expense for 2013-14 of $271,889. After adjusting for this item, AIFS would have reported a surplus of $89,600. This surplus was used to fund a number of capital acquisitions in addition to the departmental capital budget.

Advisory Council

The Institute's Advisory Council continued to provide a highly valuable contribution to the success of the Institute and its activities throughout 2013-14. Chaired by Rev. the Hon. Professor Brian Howe AO, the council has provided advice on a range of strategic matters and supported the Institute's activities in a variety of ways, including personal attendance at AIFS events. For more information on the Advisory Council, see Advisory and Monitoring Committees.

Human Research Ethics Committee

We were very saddened by the death of Sr Dr Carole Hogan in mid-2014. Over 18 years she made a tremendous contribution to the work of the Institute through her membership of the AIFS Ethics Committee. Her wise counsel and dedication to the work of the committee will be much missed.

Relationships

Throughout 2013-14, the Institute continued to develop relationships with other organisations focused on family wellbeing in Australia and elsewhere.

Relationships with commissioning bodies - particularly Australian Government and state government agencies - are essential to the ongoing effectiveness of the Institute's work and longevity. A complete list of funding bodies is available in the section on Commissioning Bodies. The Institute has memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with the Centre for Longitudinal Studies, University of London and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) among others, and continues its international reach through having AIFS researchers presenting at international conferences, workshops and meetings.

The development of relationships with other organisations undertaking longitudinal research in family-related areas has provided opportunities for AIFS to benchmark and harmonise our research with other international bodies. These relationships also provide potential future opportunities for undertaking comparative work, particularly with other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

Outlook for 2014-15

The Institute looks forward to another successful year in 2014-15 as we continue our key research activities and expand to broaden our areas of expertise. The next financial year will see the development and release of our next triennial research and strategic directions, which will include some new areas of focus, such as ageing and the implications of demographic changes in Australian society; intergenerational effects on family functioning and wellbeing; and the complex needs of families of those currently serving or having previously served in the Defence Force. In a major development, the Institute has also been commissioned by the Department of Social Services to establish an "Expert Panel" of research, evaluation and practice experts to support more robust prevention and intervention approaches to assist agencies funded under the department's Families and Children Activity. The panel will advise, mentor, support and train service providers who would like to build their capacity to offer services and programs that work to improve outcomes for families and children. More information on the operation of the panel can be found on the CFCA website.

In 2014-15 we will also continue our research activities and disseminate our knowledge through our publications, extend our national and international collaborations, continue our media engagement, and develop a new, even more user-friendly website. Above all, we will continue to focus our attentions on the wellbeing of Australian children, their families and the wider community.

Professor Alan Hayes AM
Director, Australian Institute of Family Studies

Agency overview

The Australian Institute of Family Studies is a Melbourne-based statutory agency of the Australian Government, established in February 1980 under the Australian Family Law Act 1975. The Institute operates within the Department of Social Services (DSS), formerly the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA). The Institute also has close links with the Attorney-General's Department, the Department of Education, the Department of Human Services, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Department of Veterans' Affairs and other Australian Government portfolios, their departments and agencies. Staff of the Institute are employed under the Public Service Act 1999. At 30 June 2014, 100 people were employed at the Institute, excluding the Director.

Role and functions

The Institute aims to increase understanding of factors affecting how Australian families function by conducting research and communicating findings to policy-makers, service providers, researchers and the broader community.

The AIFS Strategic Directions and Research Directions documents set the framework for its research activities and guide the research undertaken, including commissioned projects. The Institute facilitates and communicates research findings through its research publications, conferences, websites, information exchanges, information services, presentations, seminars and webinars, representation and through mass media.

The Strategic Directions 2012-15 came into effect on 1 July 2012. The plan outlines the roles and functions of the Institute for this annual reporting period. The key strategic objectives are:

  • undertaking high-quality impartial research relating to the wellbeing of families in Australia;
  • sharing the information and transferring our knowledge;
  • valuing and developing our relationships; and
  • managing our organisation.

Organisational structure

The Director is responsible for providing overall leadership of the Institute. He is supported by two Deputy Directors - Deputy Director (Research) and Deputy Director (Corporate & Strategy) - and an Assistant Director (Research), who work together to lead a team of managers responsible for the day-to-day work of the Institute in meeting its strategic objectives (see Figure 2.1).

Figure 2.1: AIFS organisational structure as at 30 June 2014

Figure 2.1: AIFS organisational structure as at 30 June 2014

The Deputy Director (Research) is responsible for the Institute's research program, which includes a wide range of research, evaluation and dissemination projects focusing on policy- and practice-relevant issues affecting families in Australia. This role is complemented by the Assistant Director (Research).

The Deputy Director (Corporate and Strategy) is responsible for the management of services to support the Institute's research activities, including human, financial and physical resources, information and communications technology, communication services and corporate governance.

Research managers oversee teams of research staff who work on a range of commissioned and internally initiated projects. During the reporting period this included five information exchanges - the Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, the Australian Gambling Research Centre, the Child Family Community Australia information exchange, the Closing the Gap Clearinghouse and the Knowledge Circle: Indigenous Child and Family Resources Portal - and seven longitudinal studies.

The Corporate and Strategy area supports the Institute's research activities by providing administrative and specialist functions such as library, website, publishing, finance, information technology, external relations and human resources services.

Outcome and program structure

In this reporting period, the Institute operated within the Australian Government's outcome and output framework published in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2013-14 (PBS). The Institute has a single planned outcome:

  • Outcome 1 - Increased understanding of factors affecting how families function by conducting research and communicating findings to policy-makers, service providers and the broader community.

All Institute activities have been directed to achieving this outcome. Key performance indicators, detailed in Chapter 3, measure output deliverables.

The Institute's research and communications performance is described in Chapter 3, its management accountability performance in Chapter 4, and its financial statements in Chapter 5.

Report on performance

In order to achieve its single planned outcome - to increase understanding of factors affecting how families function by conducting research and communicating findings to policy-makers, service providers and the broader community - the Institute:

  • conducts high-quality research relevant to policy and practice on a broad range of issues regarding families in Australia;
  • through collaborative partnerships expands the national knowledge base of factors affecting families;
  • increases the effectiveness of communications to foster greater understanding about factors that affect families; and
  • builds organisational capacity to achieve research and communication objectives.

AIFS research directions

The Institute's research program during the reporting period was structured around the four research directions established under the AIFS Research Directions 2012-15:

  • family change, functioning and wellbeing;
  • social and economic participation for families;
  • child and family safety; and
  • services to support families.

The majority of the Institute's research projects relate to more than one research direction. A summary of the projects and how they relate to these directions is provided in Table 3.3.

The Institute conducts its research to deliver information that is:

  • rigorous, high-quality and credible;
  • relevant to current and emerging policy, professional, research and community interests relating to family functioning and wellbeing;
  • responsive, timely and targeted in its delivery; and
  • communicated to all stakeholders.

Research activities are usually either initiated by the Institute or commissioned by an external body. Institute-initiated research is generally funded from the budget appropriation.

Research projects conducted by the Institute range in scale and type, and include:

  • research projects that provide evidence relating to current and emerging social policy issues;
  • major evaluations and reviews of government policies and programs;
  • longitudinal studies that provide valuable data on children and their families;
  • specialist advisory services commissioned by government agencies; and
  • information exchanges that identify, collect, evaluate and synthesise research resources about a specialist field and communicate that information to policy and practice professionals.

A more detailed description of the Institute's research projects begins in the section on Performance against AIFS research directions.

Deliverables

The Institute achieves its planned outcome by delivering research and communication services.

Research outputs include projects involving a range of data collection and analytical methods, as well as longitudinal studies and analyses of other major datasets, literature reviews and submissions to government inquiries.

Communication activities include information exchange activities, publications, conferences, seminars and webinars, web-based content, and library help desk and bibliographic services. These communication activities deliver research findings to three broad groups:

  • policy-makers, to inform the development and review of policies and programs affecting families;
  • service providers, to improve professional practice that supports families; and
  • the research and general communities, to raise understanding and knowledge of family functioning.

Table 3.1 shows the deliverables for 2013-14 and the estimated trends for 2014-15 to 2016-17.

Table 3.1: Deliverable indicators: Actual (2012-13 to 2013-14) and trends (2014-15 to 2016-17)
Deliverable indicator Actual Target Actual Trends
2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Number of research outputs and publications 115 100 111 100 100 100
Number of conferences, seminars and forums hosted 17 15 22 18 18 18
Number of presentations given by AIFS 96 80 84 100 80 100
Number of bibliographic records generated 2,525 2,000 2,163 2,000 2,000 2,000

The first deliverable - research outputs and publications - is the core deliverable for the Institute. Among the 111 research outputs, the Institute published three works in its Research Report series, two issues of Family Matters and several major project reports. A highlight of the year was the publication of a book of selected essays, Families, Policy and the Law: Selected Essays on Contemporary Issues for Australia, which features contributions from senior academics, legal professionals and service providers.

The second deliverable identifies the number of conferences, seminars and other communication events hosted. In 2013-14, AIFS delivered 22 events, which is well above the target of 15 for the year. The high number of events was largely due to the CFCA information exchange delivering more online webinars.

The number of presentations given by AIFS personnel was above the target. The number is less than the previous financial year because the AIFS Conference was not held in this reporting period.

The deliverable regarding bibliographic records is an indication of the level of publishing in the Institute's sphere of operation. These records provide a description of material related to family studies that have been published by AIFS or others, and help to provide a valuable reference resource for researchers in this field. For further details, see the report on Library and Information Services.

Key performance indicators

The Institute's research and communication performance is measured against seven key performance indicators (KPIs). Combined, the performance indicators signal the contribution of the Institute's research activities and the effectiveness of its communication activities.

Table 3.2 shows the key performance indicators for 2011-12 to 2013-14 and the estimated trends for the next three years. The results show that the Institute exceeded its targets by a substantial amount across all KPIs.

Table 3.2: Key performance indicators: Actuals (2011-12 to 2013-14) and trends (2014-15 to 2016-17)
Key performance indicator Actuals Trends Actuals Trends
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Research              
Number of commissioning bodies 20 20 20 24 20 20 20
Number of research projects 43 43 42 45 45 45 45
Number of longitudinal studies - 7 6 7 6 5 5
Communications              
Number of publications distributed and downloaded (millions) 2.71 2.69 2.00 3.31 2.50 3.00 3.00
Total attendance at AIFS conferences, seminars, webinars and forums - 1,709 1,200 3,053 2,500 2,000 2,500
Number of media mentions 2,606 4,611 2,300 5,615 3,300 3,000 3,500
% of research personnel with postgraduate qualifications 59% 59% 55% 67% 60% 60% 60%

Research

The number of commissioning bodies is indicative of the spread of research undertaken in the broad area of family wellbeing. This also helps to indicate that the Institute is not reliant on a single source of income. In 2013-14, the Institute was commissioned by 22 organisations to undertake research projects, which is above both the KPI target and the number for the previous year. Read in conjunction with the financial tables, it can be noted that commissioned work accounted for 66% of the Institute's income.

The Institute undertook 45 research projects during the reporting period. This exceeds the target and points to the commissioning bodies' decisions to seek timely, arms-length, impartial research on policy-relevant topics. This KPI is reliant on the ongoing financial capacity of other bodies to commission research from the Institute.

An indication of the Institute's capability and readiness to undertake high-quality research is the proportion of researchers with postgraduate qualifications. In 2013-14, 67% of researchers at the Institute held postgraduate qualifications, which is considerably higher than both the 59% in the previous year and the target of 55%.

The Institute was involved in seven longitudinal studies during the reporting period:

  • Australian Temperament Project;
  • Beyond 18: The Longitudinal Study of Leaving Care;
  • Building a New Life in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Humanitarian Migrants;
  • Family Pathways: The Longitudinal Study of Separated Families;
  • Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children;
  • Pathways of Care: The Longitudinal Study of Children and Young People in Out-of-Home Care; and
  • Stronger Families in Australia Study Extension.

The number of longitudinal studies has been included because they are significant contributors to a strong evidence base for policy-makers and practitioners. The nature of longitudinal studies requires a longer term commitment of resources by funding and partner bodies, over a number of years or even decades. However, because such studies collect data about the same cohort of participants over time, they are especially useful for studying developmental trends, and are therefore invaluable for answering a range of policy- and practice-relevant questions with confidence and reliability.

Communication

The number of AIFS publications printed and downloaded indicates the uptake of the Institute's published findings (see also the discussion under Publications). In 2013-14, the 3.3 million publications distributed exceeded the target of 2.0 million by 65% and is an increase of 23% from the previous financial year. This is reflective of the credibility of the Institute as a reliable source of high-quality data and analyses on family wellbeing.

Attendance at AIFS events, such as conferences and seminars, continued to increase in 2013-14. Careful attention to covering a range of policy- and practice-relevant topics through these events has assisted in broadening their appeal. Furthermore, the increased availability and uptake of webinar technology has helped to make seminars available to people outside the Melbourne area. The 3,053 participants across all events, was 154% above the target of 1,200 participants and highlights the popularity of the online webinars. Further detail on these activities can be found in Seminars and Webinars.

The high number of media mentions is an indication of the Institute's successful communication of research findings to the broader Australian community. Media mentions increased by 22% in 2013-14, which is a significant increase considering the AIFS Conference (which attracts considerable media attention) was not held in the reporting period. The continued interest from online, print, television and radio journalists provides a valuable conduit for research about Australian families. In 2013-14, online news coverage was again the strongest medium for AIFS (see also Media Coverage).

Performance against AIFS research directions

This section reviews the major projects undertaken by AIFS during the reporting period, within the framework of the Institute's four research directions. Most projects can be related to more than one direction but they are arranged in the discussion according to the direction to which they are most relevant. Minor projects may not be specifically discussed, but all projects undertaken during the reporting period and their relevance to the research directions are listed in Table 3.3.

A full list of publications and presentations produced by the Institute during the reporting period is included in Appendix C.

More details about major work being conducted by the Institute are available on the AIFS website.

Table 3.3: AIFS research projects 2013-14 and relevance to research directions
Project title Duration Project funder Project partner Research directions
Family change Participation Safety Services
Access to Early Childhood Education Care and Services: Qualitative Study Jun 2011 - Dec 2013 DoE     X   X
Australian Temperament Project 1983- (ongoing) Appropriation University of Melbourne, Deakin University, Melbourne Royal Children's Hospital X X X X
Beyond 18: The Longitudinal Study on Leaving Care Jun 2012 - Jun 2017 Victorian DHS SPRC, Monash University       X
Building a New Life in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Humanitarian Migrants Jun 2012 - Dec 2017 DSS   X X   X
Case Coordination Trials: Evaluation Nov 2012 - Sep 2014 DHS ANU   X   X
Child Aware Approaches: Good Practice and Principles Guide Jun 2013 - Apr 2014 DSS     X   X
Child Care Flexibility Trials: Evaluation Apr 2013 - Nov 2014 DoE     X   X
Child Protection Developments: Research Support to the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Ongoing Royal Commission, AGD     X X  
* Child Protection Income Management in Western Australia: Review Feb 2012 - Dec 2013 DSS DSS, WA Department of Child Protection and Support, DHS X X X X
Commonwealth Place-Based Service Delivery Initiatives: Key Learnings Project Apr 2013 - Apr 2014 PM&C   X X   X
Cradle to Kinder and Aboriginal Cradle to Kinder Program: Evaluation Feb 2013 - Jan 2016 Victorian DHS Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Centre for Community Child Health X X X X
Defence Transition Family Study Jun 2014 - Mar 2016 DVA University of Adelaide X X    
* Family Focus Groups Feb-Jun 2014 DSS   X      
Family Law Developments Ongoing Appropriation   X   X X
Family Law: Evaluation of the 2012 Family Violence Amendments (Survey of Recently Separated Parents) Sep 2013 - May 2015 AGD   X   X X
Family Law: Independent Children's Lawyer Study May 2012 - Aug 2013 AGD   X X X X
* Family Mental Health Support Service: Service Framework Development Jun-Nov 2014 Uniting Communities   X X X X
Family Pathways: The Longitudinal Study of Separated Families Jun 2011 - Oct 2013 AGD, DHS   X   X X
Family Trends and Transitions 1980- (ongoing) Appropriation   X X    
Forced Adoption Support Services Scoping Study Aug 2013 - Apr 2014 DSS   X     X
Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children Mar 2002 - Jun 2019 DSS DSS, ABS, Consortium Advisory Group X X X X
* National Centre for Excellence to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children: Scoping Study May-Aug 2013 ANROWS       X  
* New Income Management in the Northern Territory: Phase 2 Evaluation Nov-Jun 2014 DSS via SPRC SPRC   X X  
Pathways of Care: The Longitudinal Study of Children and Young People in Out-of-Home Care Jul 2010 - Jun 2015 NSW FaCS SPRC; Assoc. Prof. Judy Cashmore; Adelaide Research and Innovation Pty Ltd     X  
Preventing Violence Against Women Models of Intervention: A Comparative Study Jun 2014 - Jun 2015 VicHealth       X  
Prevention and Early Intervention Approaches in Child Sexual Abuse Mar 2013 - Feb 2014 DSS PricewaterhouseCoopers     X  
Processes of Recovery From Gambling Harms Nov 2013 - Sep 2015 Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation; Appropriation     X   X
Research and Evaluation Collaboration: Australian Childhood Foundation Jan 2012 - Jun 2014 Australian Childhood Foundation   X     X
Research and Evaluation Collaboration: Interrelate Family Centres Jul 2010 - Jul 2014 Interrelate   X     X
Role of Families in the Rehabilitation of Australian Defence Force Members Jan 2014 - Feb 2015 DoD   X X X X
* Rubys Reunification Program: Service and Authoring Framework Development Feb-May 2014 Uniting Communities   X     X
Socio-Economic Disparities Among Older and Younger Women in NSW Apr 2013 - Feb 2014 NSW FaCS     X    
Stronger Families in Australia Study Extension Apr 2011 - Jul 2013 DSS SPRC   X    
* Therapeutic Needs of Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse Mar-Jul 2013 DSS       X  
Victim-Focused Court Practice Reforms in Sexual Assault Matters Jun 2012 - Oct 2013 DSS       X X
Vietnam Veterans Family Study: Data Analysis Sep 2013 - Jun 2014 DVA   X X    
Violence Prevention Review and Evaluation Jul 2013 - Jun 2014 NSW FaCS   X   X X
* We Al-Li Program, Barwon Learning Centre: Evaluation Jan-Jul 2014 Healing Foundation   X X X X
Work and Family Interactions Ongoing Appropriation   X X    
* 1800RESPECT Frontline Workers Project: Service Provision May-Aug 2013 Medibank Health Solutions       X X
Information exchanges
Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault 2003 - Sep 2014 DSS, ANROWS       X  
Australian Gambling Research Centre Jul 2013- (ongoing) Appropriation     X   X
Child Family Community Australia Jul 2011 - Dec 2014 DSS   X X X X
Closing the Gap Clearinghouse Jul 2009 - Sep 2014 All Australian governments via AIHW AIHW X X X X
Knowledge Circle: Indigenous Child and Family Resources Portal May 2013 - Aug 2016 DSS   X   X  

Note: * These smaller or short-term projects are not mentioned in the following discussion.
Acronyms: ABS = Australian Bureau of Statistics; AGD = Attorney-General's Department; AIHW = Australian Institute of Health and Welfare; ANROWS = Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety; DoE = Department of Education; DHS = Department of Human Services (Commonwealth); DoD = Department of Defence; DSS = Department of Social Services; DVA = Department of Veterans' Affairs; NSW FaCS = NSW Department of Family and Community Services; PM&C = Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet; SPRC = Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales; Victorian DHS = Victorian Department of Human Services.

Research highlight

Families, Policy and the Law: Selected Essays on Contemporary Issues for Australia

In May 2014, the Institute published Families, Policy and the Law: Selected Essays on Contemporary Issues for Australia, edited by Alan Hayes and Daryl Higgins, a book of selected essays by 38 authors reflecting current issues relating to families within the context of Australian policy and law. The short pieces cover a range of topics including trends in family formation; the child protection system; relationship breakdown; family violence and developments in social science and the law.

The essays outline some of the key problems facing families and some of the positive prospects for progress in addressing contemporary social problems that impact on children and their families, and highlight some of the challenges for future directions in policy and the law relating to the protection and wellbeing of children and their families.

The contributing authors were drawn from among the leading researchers and practitioners in their fields, including academics, judges, lawyers, service providers and other senior professionals.

Direction 1: Family change, functioning and wellbeing

This aspect of AIFS research focuses on stability and change in family functioning and wellbeing, including:

  • diversity of family formation, structure and functioning, particularly relating to adolescents/young adults and seniors;
  • family law relating to separating families, especially the development of policies regarding obligations arising from cohabiting relationships outside of legal marriage; and
  • housing policy, including housing affordability and experiences of homelessness, particularly in vulnerable groups such as working and jobless families, young people, and seniors.
Related research projects

The main projects undertaken by AIFS in 2013-14 relating to this research direction include:

  • Australian Temperament Project,* one of the longest running longitudinal studies of its kind, which has followed the development of a large group of Victorian children from infancy to adulthood, and is now following their children;
  • Building a New Life in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Humanitarian Migrants, which aims to trace the settlement journey of 1,500 humanitarian migrating families from their arrival in Australia to their eligibility for citizenship, including housing, labour market and other factors affecting positive and negative outcomes;
  • Defence Transition Family Study,* which aims to examine the health and wellbeing of and adjustments made by contemporary veterans and their families who are in the process of leaving or have left the Australian Defence Force;
  • Family Law Developments, an ongoing project that monitors and conducts research on the Australian family law system;
  • Family Pathways: The Longitudinal Study of Separated Families, which conducted the third wave of data collection to examine the circumstances and wellbeing of family members five years after parental separation;
  • Family Trends and Transitions, which monitors and examines broader socio-demographic family trends, using, for example, the most recent Census data to analyse patterns of leaving home, couple and family formation, family stability, and family dissolution and re-formation;
  • Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children,* which is following the development and wellbeing of 10,000 children and their families from urban and rural areas of all states and territories in Australia;
  • Role of Families in the Rehabilitation of Australian Defence Force Members, which is looking at the facilitators and impediments to maintaining family cohesion and maximising positive outcomes to the rehabilitation of ADF members with complex health conditions; and
  • Vietnam Veterans Family Study: Data Analysis, which is a multi-generational study of the physical, mental and social welfare of the families of men who served in the Australian military during the Vietnam War.

Research highlight

Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children

Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) is conducted as a partnership between DSS, the Institute and the ABS, with advice provided by a consortium of leading researchers. Information is collected on children's physical health and social, cognitive and emotional development, as well as their experiences in significant environments, including their family, child care, preschool, primary and high school and their broader communities. A major aim of the study is to identify policy opportunities for improving supports for children and families and for early intervention and prevention strategies.

In March 2014, data collection for Wave 6 began, with the study children aged 10-11 and 14-15 years. Also in March, the data from Wave 5 were released. The Institute authored and/or published several major publications using LSAC data, including:

  • Australian Institute of Family Studies. (2014). The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children annual statistical report 2013. Melbourne: AIFS.
  • Baxter, J. (2013). Employment characteristics and transitions of mothers in the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (Occasional Paper No. 50). Canberra: Department of Social Services.
  • Edwards, B., & Baxter, J. (2013). The tyrannies of distance and disadvantage: Factors related to children's development in regional and disadvantaged areas of Australia (Research Report No. 25). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Mullan, K. (2014). Longitudinal analysis of LSAC time diary data: Considerations for data users (LSAC Technical Paper No. 11). Canberra: Department of Social Services.

The LSAC Annual Statistical Report 2013 comprises nine chapters using data collected up to Wave 4, when children were aged 6-7 and 10-11 years. Topics include: fathers' involvement in the lives of their children; children's views of parents' jobs; care of children in school holidays; children's academic engagement and enjoyment in primary school; eating behaviour; socio-economic determinants and parental influence; body image of primary school children; safe environments, parental concerns and children's unsupervised time, time outdoors, and physical activity; and time use and children's social and emotional wellbeing, and temperament. The chapter on body image, in particular, received a great deal of media attention.

During the reporting period, LSAC researchers also collaborated with Screen Australia and Heiress Films on the fifth in the Life documentary series, Life at 9, which will air in July-August 2014.

Direction 2: Social and economic participation for families

This research direction focuses on the economic and social wellbeing of families, their access to resources, and how to best support and sustain families, particularly during times of economic uncertainty or change. Key issues include:

  • family income security and wellbeing, particularly relating to disadvantage, disability, life events, and the intergenerational transmission of economic wellbeing;
  • sustaining and sustainable communities, such as the family-related aspects of social infrastructure and urban design, the effects of climate change on families, and locational disadvantage, particularly for Indigenous, migrant, refugee and other culturally and linguistically diverse families; and
  • work-family policies that assist working parents to manage child care, household tasks, personal care/leisure and paid employment.
Related research projects

The main projects undertaken by AIFS in 2013-14 relating to this research direction include:

  • Access to Early Childhood Education Care and Services: Qualitative Study, which examined reasons why some children are not participating in early childhood care and education;
  • Australian Gambling Research Centre, which provides high-quality evidence-based publications and resources to increase the capacity and capability of policy-makers, researchers and professionals working in the area of gambling;
  • Child Care Flexibility Trials: Evaluation, which is analysing the effectiveness of a program to provide families with access to more flexible care options, including long day care, family day care, and outside-school-hours care;
  • Socio-Economic Disparities Among Older and Younger Women in NSW, which examined how disparities in the socio-economic status of women in NSW arise and how these evolve over the life course, with an emphasis on measurement issues;
  • Stronger Families in Australia Study Extension,* which involved re-interviewing participants in the original 2008-09 study of the Communities for Children program, an area-based intervention aimed at improving outcomes for families living in disadvantaged communities; and
  • Work and Family Interactions, an ongoing project conducting research relating to work-family related topics, such as maternal employment, work-family balance, child care and joblessness.

Research highlight

Work and Family Interactions

This ongoing, appropriation-funded project explores issues concerning families and the labour market. In the reporting period, the project completed the following:

  • a submission to the Productivity Commission Childcare and Early Childhood Learning Inquiry, incorporating both summaries of previous AIFS research and new research;
  • two articles for the CFCA information exchange, one highlighting AIFS research on topics related to fathers' and mothers' employment and the other focusing on the effects of fly-in fly-out workforce practices on Australian families;
  • two AIFS research publications, one on maternal employment and one on child care;
  • an article in the Australian Journal of Labour Economics on outside-school-hours care and maternal employment; and
  • presentations on work and family issues given at international and Australian conferences and in the AIFS seminar series.

The inclusion of appropriation-funded projects in the AIFS research program provides the Institute with the ability and flexibility to conduct research relating to more general areas of study, outside of specific project requirements. Such an approach allows findings from a number of projects to be linked and analysed at a broader level for a range of audience types.

Direction 3: Child and family safety

This focus area supports research to enhance evidence-based actions by governments, under the National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children 2009-2020 and the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2010-2022.

Key areas for research include:

  • abuse and violence, including the drivers of domestic and family violence, child maltreatment, bullying, elder abuse, and sexual assault and violence; and
  • systems and services and the intersections between systems, the needs of victims, and what makes for effective service delivery in order to prevent violence, implement effective justice responses for perpetrators and respond to the needs of victims.
Related research projects

The main projects undertaken by AIFS in 2013-14 relating to this research direction include:

  • Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, an information exchange that collects and disseminates current research findings on sexual assault to assist practitioners, policy-makers and others working in this sector to improve outcomes and reduce the incidence of sexual assault;
  • Beyond 18: The Longitudinal Study on Leaving Care,* which is surveying young people in Victoria who are moving from out-of-home care, with a particular focus on improving their training, education and employment outcomes;
  • Child Aware Approaches: Good Practice and Principles Guide, a publication that identified key principles and promising practices in child aware approaches that can be used to inform program logic, policy and procedures, and evaluation;
  • Child Protection Developments: Research Support to the Royal Commission, an ongoing project that provides policy and research advice related to protecting children, including to the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia;
  • Family Law: Evaluation of the 2012 Family Violence Amendments, which is evaluating the effects of the 2012 amendments to the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) for comparison against the data from the 2012 benchmarking Survey of Recently Separated Parents (SRSP);
  • Family Law: Independent Children's Lawyer Study, which examined the role, use and effectiveness of Independent Children's Lawyers in the family law system;
  • Pathways of Care: The Longitudinal Study of Children and Young People in Out-of-Home Care,* which will assess the contribution of a wide range of family, caregiving, school, community and personal factors and services to outcomes for children and young people aged 0-17 years entering out-of-home care in NSW;
  • Preventing Violence Against Women Models of Intervention: A Comparative Study, which will review and compare a number of primary prevention models, including the VicHealth Generating Equality and Respect Program, that aim to prevent violence against women;
  • Prevention and Early Intervention Approaches in Child Sexual Abuse,* which aimed to develop a conceptual framework of child sexual abuse and identify steps towards more effective primary prevention and intervention policies and programs;
  • Processes of Recovery From Gambling Harms, which is examining gambling problems and recovery processes among young people in Victoria;
  • Victim-Focused Court Practice Reforms in Sexual Assault Matters, focused on the organisational barriers and enablers for victim/survivors in the criminal justice system; and
  • Violence Prevention Review and Evaluation, a study of the role and effectiveness of domestic and family violence services in NSW in improving outcomes for those in at-risk groups (such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women or women with disabilities) and children affected by violence.

Research highlight

Family Law: Evaluation of the 2012 Family Violence Amendments

AIFS has been commissioned by AGD to build on the baseline data collected in the SRSP 2012, to gain insight into the experiences of recently separated parents in relation to the family law system following the implementation of the 2012 family violence amendments to the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth).

The research has two parts: Responding to Family Violence: A Survey of Family Law Practices and Experiences, and the Survey of Recently Separated Parents 2014.

The Survey of Family Law Practices and Experiences is a quantitative and qualitative online survey examining the practices and experiences of professionals across the system and of service users who accessed services funded by the Family Relationship Services (FRS) program. It is designed to gain insights into current practice approaches and the extent of change in practice in response to the enactment of the 2012 family violence amendments. Fieldwork has been completed and over 600 professionals, including judicial officers and registrars, lawyers and non-legal professionals, have responded.

The Survey of Recently Separated Parents 2014 uses the same study design as the SRSP 2012, with a new cohort of separated parents who separated after the introduction of the 2012 family violence amendments. The study aims to understand the experiences and service pathways of recently separated parents, particularly for those who have disclosed the incidence of family violence, and in comparison to those who separated before the introduction of the 2012 amendments. Fieldwork commenced with a pilot group in May, and will be completed by October 2014.

Reports from each of the surveys will be delivered in December 2014 and May 2015.

Direction 4: Services to support families

This research direction reflects AIFS' growing focus on program evaluation and research that is designed to identify ways of enhancing service provision to families, including:

  • building resilient communities to support families to manage the transitions in their lives, ensure that their children are safe and well, and enable family members to experience positive relationships, be protected from harm and, in turn, contribute to building stronger, more resilient communities;
  • delivery of effective integrated services and the need for collaboration across governments, departments and community agencies, including understanding the overlaps and gaps between responsibility and funding; coordination and integration of services; and pathways for families in need of services;
  • promoting positive families and addressing family problems through understanding how to foster resilience and more effectively support parents, including reviewing the effectiveness of services;
  • meeting the needs of Indigenous families; and
  • tailoring services and supports to reflect cultural diversity and support the needs of specific groups, such as refugee families, recently arrived migrants and groups isolated by race, culture, language and religion.
Related research projects

The main projects undertaken by AIFS in 2013-14 relating to this research direction include:

  • Case Coordination Trials: Evaluation,* an evaluation of services that aim to provide integrated and intensive support to help connect Centrelink customers to appropriate services in their communities and provide more help for people with complex needs;
  • Child Family Community Australia, an information exchange that is a primary source of quality, evidence-based information, research and resources for policy-makers, practitioners and other professionals in the child, family and community welfare sectors;
  • Closing the Gap Clearinghouse,* which aimed to deliver a central online source of evidence-based resources on programs, strategies and activities that work to overcome disadvantage for Indigenous Australians;
  • Commonwealth Place-Based Service Delivery Initiatives: Key Learnings Project, a "meta-evaluation" providing a synthesis of key learnings from Commonwealth place-based initiatives to provide insights into how the design, implementation and delivery of place-based initiatives may be improved;
  • Cradle to Kinder and Aboriginal Cradle to Kinder Program: Evaluation,* which is reviewing the effectiveness of intensive ante- and postnatal support services for vulnerable young mothers and their children in Victoria;
  • Forced Adoption Support Services Scoping Study, which developed service model options to enhance existing service systems and supports for people affected by forced adoption policies and practices;
  • Knowledge Circle: Indigenous Child and Family Resources Portal, an online, interactive resource that captures and showcases positive and innovative practices for working with Indigenous families and children in, or at risk of entering, the child protection system; and
  • Research and Evaluation Collaboratio: Australian Childhood Foundation and Interrelate Family Centres, which are a suite of projects that support these organisations to conduct research and evaluations of their family support programs and services.

Research highlight

Child Family Community Australia

A key objective of the CFCA information exchange is to collate, synthesise and disseminate information and resources to policy-makers, practitioners and service providers about: improving outcomes for children and families in disadvantaged communities, improving family relationships, and protecting children across Australian jurisdictions.

During the reporting year, CFCA continued providing information services and resources to professionals working in the child, family and community welfare sectors. As well as releasing a range of publications and updating earlier resources, CFCA has demonstrated a capacity to be flexible and responsive to stakeholder needs by providing multiple methods of research communication and actively engaging with the sectors.

The information exchange has increased participation through the use and integration of digital communication tools, including the following:

  • CFCA webinar series - CFCA webinars are popular live, interactive, online presentations that allow participants from all over Australia to see and hear the presenters, and to submit questions using the online chat facility. Sessions are free, and presentation materials, including audio recordings and transcripts, are made available for download from the CFCA website.
  • CFCA podcast series - Selected CFCA publications include podcasts by the authors that provide summaries and further information about the publications.
  • CFCA Focus On … series - These involve the coordinated release of a range of products related to specific intensive family support services.
  • CFCA Connect - This is an interactive online blog, forum and news service that provides short summaries of important research and resources and allows readers to comment on and respond to publications and other materials that they find on the website.

The value of this range of tools and services is reflected in a 15% increase in overall usage of the CFCA website and CFCA Connect, up from 2.35 million page downloads in 2012-13 to 2.70 million page downloads in 2013-14. In addition, downloads of CFCA publications increased significantly, from 565,590 in the previous financial year to 930,723 in this reporting period, a rise of 65%.

During 2013-14 extensive work was undertaken to prepare moving the CFCA website to a content management system. This will better integrate CFCA's suite of services and make it easier for visitors to find and interact with products and services related to specific topics.

Report on performance - Communications activities

Overview

A key role for the Institute is to communicate research about issues affecting families in Australia. To do this, the Institute disseminates a wide range of research information and undertakes knowledge exchange activities through research; production of publications; communications services; information collection and library services; conferences, seminars and presentations; and consultation activities.

Online communications

Websites

AIFS websites are a primary mechanism for disseminating its research findings and all new publications are available via this medium.

In 2013-14, AIFS maintained three public websites:

  • AIFS, including subsites for:
    • ACSSA;
    • the CFCA information exchange;
    • our longitudinal research projects (ATP, BNLA, SFIA);
  • Growing Up in Australia; and
  • CFCA Connect.

The total number of web pages downloaded across the main AIFS website (including subsites) in the 2013-14 financial year was 7,340,816 (Table 3.4). This is the second year in a row that has shown close to a 30% increase in downloaded pages from the previous financial year.

Table 3.4: Website page downloads, all AIFS websites and subsites, 2011-12 to 2013-14
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 Change from previous year
4,366,075 5,666,773 7,340,816 +29.5%

Of the 1.66 million visitors to the AIFS site, 73% were new visitors. Visitor numbers by geographic location remained similar to the previous year, with most visitors coming from Australia, and continuing significant numbers from the USA (10%) and the UK (5%). However, the biggest change has been in the number of users visiting AIFS sites using a mobile device. Site traffic via a mobile device comprised just under 25% of total traffic in 2013-14, up from 16% in 2012-13, and 8% in the previous financial year.

Electronic alerts

AIFS email alerts and electronic newsletters keep stakeholders up-to-date with the work and activities of the Institute. The number of opt-in email list subscribers increased by almost 10% in 2013-14 compared to the previous year (see Table 3.5).

Table 3.5: Subscribers to email lists, 2010-11 to 2013-14
List name June 2011 June 2012 June 2013 June 2014 Change from previous year
AIFS-alert 2,729 2,699 a 3,066 2,954 -3.7%
All email lists: AIFS-alert, ACSSA-alert, CFCA-alert, growingup-refgroup 10,844 7,063 b 8,408 9,218 +9.6%

Note: a The drop in subscribers to the AIFS-alert service in 2011-12 was mainly due to an audit of email addresses. b The decrease in subscriptions to the other email alerts can largely be attributed to the closure of the AFRC, NCPC and CAFCA alerts, and their replacement by the CFCA-alert. At the time of closure, the AFRC, NCPC and CAFCA had 5,267 subscribers in total.

Library and information services

Library

The library offers a highly responsive information service that supports the work of the Institute, and a specialist collection of online and print resources on family-related research that is disseminated as widely and cost-effectively as possible.

AIFS library services include:

  • an information help desk to support AIFS information exchanges;
  • a reference service available to the wider community, and support for visitors by appointment;
  • a library catalogue, available on the Institute's website; and
  • interlibrary loans to other libraries throughout Australia and overseas.
Knowledge base of bibliographic records

Since 1980, AIFS has created a knowledge base of over 112,000 bibliographic records drawn from sociology, psychology, demography, health sciences, education, economics, law, history and social work source documents relevant to the study of families.

In 2013-14, the library drew on these records to:

  • record and manage resources in the library collection;
  • build the Australian Family & Society Abstracts (AFSA) database;
  • upload new records to Libraries Australia, the bibliographic database managed by the National Library of Australia;
  • send relevant records to AIHW to support the Closing the Gap Clearinghouse;
  • add details of all new AIFS publications to the Institute's website; and
  • create more than 170 bibliographies on current topics for listing on our website.

It is worth noting that:

  • 12% of the collection is unique to AIFS;
  • a large proportion of unique items are out-of-print and no longer widely available; and
  • the library holds a large amount of non-commercially published material ("grey literature"), produced by the research, academic and government sectors, that is not reliably available online.
Australian Family & Society Abstracts

In 2013-14, the AIFS library supplied 1,712 new records and abstracts for the AFSA database, an Australian web-based service of research and education databases operated by RMIT Publishing. This database now holds a total of 80,967 records. AFSA resources are available at RMIT Publishing's Informit online service <www.informit.com.au> and can also be accessed through the AIFS library catalogue.

Publications

In addition to the wide range of publications produced in the course of its project-related activities, the Institute also publishes its research journal Family Matters, the Research Paper and Research Report series and other publications. Table 3.6 shows that the distribution of AIFS publications increased significantly in 2013-14 compared to previous years, a result particularly driven by publications prepared by the CFCA information exchange.

Table 3.6: Publication distribution, 2011-12 to 2013-14
  2011-12 2012-13 a 2013-14 Change from previous year
Total publications distributed in print 4,822 16,800 7,400 -56%
Total publication downloads across all AIFS websites 2,707,082 2,675,273 3,298,955 +23%
Total publications distributed 2,711,904 2,692,073 3,306,355 +23%

Note: a The increase in numbers of print publications in 2012-13 reflects the release of several significant publications. There was a small decrease in online publications downloaded early in the reporting period, primarily due to the establishment of the new CFCA information exchange.

There was a decrease in the number of publications distributed in print, primarily because an unusual number of major publications were printed in the previous financial year. In 2013-14, printing returned to more routine levels, though the numbers were still higher than in 2011-12 due to printing three major Research Reports and the book of selected essays.

Family Matters journal

Family Matters is one of the Institute's main research dissemination vehicles, with its primary purpose being to keep local and international readers informed about Institute research and activities. It covers a broad range of family-related research from other Australian and overseas authors.

Two editions of Family Matters were published in 2013-14, one focusing on family law issues and the other featuring presentations made at the 12th AIFS Conference. Work on Family Matters No. 94 was well progressed by the end of the reporting period.

In the reporting period, 2,757 printed copies of Family Matters were delivered in fulfillment of paid subscriptions or sent free of charge to members of parliament, key policy-makers, and others. All editions are also available online as free downloads, under a Creative Commons Attribution licence.

Since 2011-12, when all editions of Family Matters were made immediately available online free of charge (as opposed to the previous practice of one year after publication), paid subscriptions for the printed versions have understandably fallen. However, web page downloads have increased substantially (by 57%; from 346,502 in 2010-11 to 542,986 in 2013-14), indicating that the policy has contributed to a substantial widening of the readership of the journal.

Family Matters articles continue to generate considerable media attention, with significant radio and press coverage.

Research reports and papers

The Research Report series comprises substantial works that report on research findings of a major project. In 2013-14, three Research Reports were published:

  • Edwards, B., & Baxter, J. (2013). The tyrannies of distance and disadvantage: Factors related to children's development in regional and disadvantaged areas of Australia (Research Report No. 25);
  • Baxter, J. (2013). Child care participation and maternal employment trends in Australia (Research Report No. 26); and
  • Bluett-Boyd, N., & Fileborn, B. (2014). Victim/survivor-focused justice responses and reforms to criminal court practice: Implementation, current practice and future directions (Research Report No. 27).

The Research Paper series disseminates Institute research to policy-makers, practitioners and researchers, with the aim of encouraging dialogue with research and policy communities. In 2013-14, one Research Paper was published:

  • Baxter, J. (2013). Australian mothers' participation in employment (Research Paper No. 52).

Each of these publications received substantial media coverage.

Other publications

In addition to Family Matters, reports resulting from commissioned research, and articles and chapters published in external journals and books, the Institute also produces occasional publications aimed at a broader audience that distil major research findings on topical issues. During the reporting period, two more facts sheets in the popular series Australian Family Trends were published:

  • Qu, L., & Weston, R. (2013). Australian households and families (Australian Family Trends No. 4). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Weston, R., Qu, L., & Baxter, J. (2013). Australian families with children and adolescents (Australian Family Trends No. 5). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

A complete listing of Institute research outputs and publications is available in Appendix C.

Submissions and consultations

The Institute prepares submissions to inquiries and responds to requests for consultation from government bodies and community organisations. Such activity is an indication of the Institute's involvement in policy and research processes.

In the reporting period, submissions and consultations were undertaken covering a broad range of issues:

  • Submission to the Cyber Safety Inquiry on sexting, Senate Joint Select Committee (July 2013);
  • Submission by the Australian Psychological Society to the Royal Commission Issues Paper 3: Child Safe Institutions, supported by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (October 2013);
  • Submission to the Issues Paper on Access to Justice Arrangements, Productivity Commission (November 2013);
  • Submission to the Childcare and Early Childhood Learning Inquiry on Maternal Employment and Childcare in Australia, Productivity Commission (February 2014);
  • Submission to the Inquiry into Grandparents Who Take Primary Responsibility for Raising Their Grandchildren, Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs (March 2014);
  • Submission to consultations on second three-year action plan: National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children (March 2014);
  • Letter submission relating to the examination of how children and young people under 18 years can be better protected from intentional self-harm and suicidal behaviour, National Children's Commissioner (May 2014); and
  • Submission to the Social Policy and Legal Affairs Inquiry Into Child Support, House of Representatives Standing Committee (June 2014).

Collaboration and exchange

Individuals, government bodies, research organisations and community sector groups collaborate and exchange information with AIFS on a regular basis.

International collaboration

In 2013-14, the Institute continued to expand its international reach, sharing research expertise across the globe. By building relationships overseas, the Institute ensures that its research meets international standards.

AIFS researchers presented Australian findings at several international conferences, workshops and meetings. These included presentations on:

  • Bridging the Divide and Returning the Balance: The Power of Parenting in the Middle Years and Beyond, at the Family Life Education Conference, Singapore;
  • reducing harm and improving consumer protection in relation to gambling pre-commitment trials, at the 5th International Gambling Conference, Auckland, New Zealand;
  • Generation Y gambling habits, at the 5th International Gambling Conference, Auckland, New Zealand;
  • removal of ATMs from electronic gaming machine venues, at the 5th International Gambling Conference, Auckland, New Zealand;
  • Employment Without Childcare: Mothers' Double Burden or Father Involvement?, at the Work and Family Researchers Network Conference, New York, USA; and
  • Employment Without Childcare: How Do Parents Do It?, at the 27th International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) Conference, Busan, Korea.

Collaboration with family research specialists in Singapore, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and within the OECD also provided opportunities for inter-country comparison of data and methodology.

Visitors

A number of professionals from within government and community sector organisations across Australia and overseas met with Institute researchers to exchange ideas on issues of relevance to the Institute's research. These visits provide the opportunity for the Institute to learn from other researchers and share knowledge from its own research findings.

Key visitors include:

  • Their Excellencies, the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO, and Mr Michael Bryce AM AE (July 2013);
  • Sir Anand Satyanand, Chair, Advisory Expert Group on Information Security (AEGIS), New Zealand (August 2013);
  • Mr Doug Gorman, Executive Officer, Advisory Expert Group on Information Security (AEGIS), New Zealand (August 2013);
  • Ms Radha Balakrishnan, Principal Social Policy and Research Analyst, NZ Families Commission (November 2013);
  • Ms Deborah Malcolm, Knowledge and Policy Manager, NZ Families Commission (November 2013);
  • Captain Steven Hirschfeld MD, Director, Children's Study USA (November 2013);
  • Ms Seah Yang Hee, Director, ComCare and Social Support Division, Singapore (January 2014);
  • Ms Yogeswari Munisamy, Principal Social Worker, Singapore (January 2014);
  • Ms Jessica Huang, Vulnerable Families Support Policy Officer, Vulnerable Families Support Policy Officer, Singapore (January 2014);
  • Ms Nuir Izzaty MD Salleh, Assistant Director, Service Development and Management Division, Singapore (January 2014);
  • Judge Kaoto Kida, Yokohama Family and District Court, Japan (February 2014);
  • Yoshihito Muramatsu, Senior Court Clerk, Yokohama Family and District Court, Japan (February 2014);
  • Professor Shane Jimerson, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA (March 2014); and
  • Ms Inseon Lee, Associate Research Fellow, Korean Women's Development Institute, South Korea (June 2014).

Conferences

LSAC-LSIC Conference

The second combined research conference for the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children and the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Australians was held in Melbourne, 13-14 November 2013.

The conference attracted 195 delegates. The program included more than 60 oral presentations and three keynote addresses. The three keynote addresses were presented by:

  • Captain Steven Hirschfeld, Director, The National Children's Study, USA;
  • Associate Professor Susan Morton, Director, Growing Up in New Zealand; and
  • Associate Professor Maggie Walter, University of Tasmania.

The overall program focused on a wide range of topics including:

  • language and learning;
  • parenting;
  • disability; and
  • health.

Bringing together researchers, policy-makers and service providers, the conference provided an excellent forum for discussing a range of findings based on the LSAC and LSIC data.

Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference

In 2013-14, significant preparations were made for the 13th AIFS Conference, to be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, 30 July - 1 August 2014. The theme of the conference is "Families in a Rapidly Changing World".

The conference is Australia's premier forum for researchers, policy-makers and service providers to gather together to share and discuss cutting-edge research findings, policy priorities and topical issues important to families in Australia. It was anticipated that more than 400 delegates would attend. As well as three keynote addresses and three panel discussions, the program will include more than 140 oral presentations and 40 poster presentations.

Seminars and webinars

AIFS Seminar Series

Over the course of each financial year, a number of researchers and policy-makers are invited to speak as part of the AIFS Seminar Series. The series provides opportunities for presentations and discussions on a range of contemporary family-related research and social issues. Seminars in this series are free and open to the public. Where practicable, material related to the presentations is made available for free download from the Institute's website.

In 2013-14, 10 seminars were presented. These were also delivered as webinars to accommodate participants outside Melbourne.

The presentations in the AIFS Seminar Series for 2013-14 were:

16 July 2013

Paris Aristotle AM, Director, Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture
r Ida Kaplan, Direct Services Manager, Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture Inc.

A truly wicked problem: Dealing with complexities, realities and impact of the refugee debate

6 August 2013

Dr Trude Lappegård, Senior Researcher, Statistics Norway

Demographic consequences of Nordic family policy: Evidence from administrative data

17 October 2013

Associate Professor Cheryl Tilse, School of Social Work and Human Services, University of Queensland
Professor Jill Wilson, School of Social Work and Human Services, University of Queensland

Minding the money: Families and the management of older people's assets

7 November 2013

Professor Dan Meyer, Professor of Social Work, University of Wisconsin, USA
Dr Christine Skinner

Child support policies across 14 countries: Similar issues, different approaches

27 November 2013

Dr Jennifer Baxter, Senior Research Fellow, Australian Institute of Family Studies

Parents working out work: An examination of families' interactions with paid employment in Australia today

18 February 2014

Dr Rae Kaspiew, Senior Research Fellow, Australian Institute of Family Studies

Independent Children's Lawyers: Multiple perspectives on expectations and experience of practice

25 March 2014

Professor Ian Webster AO, Physician and Emeritus Professor, University of New South Wales

Social dimensions of alcohol (and drug) problems

9 April 2014

Dr Nicholas Biddle, Research Fellow, Australian National University
Dr Naomi Priest, Senior Research Fellow, Deakin University

Experiences and effects of racism in schools: The quantitative evidence

15 May 2014

Professor Graeme Hugo AO, ARC Australian Professorial Fellow, University of Adelaide

Recent and impending demographic change in Australia: Implications for households, family and housing

12 June 2014

Dr Patricia Edgar AM, sociologist, freelance author

In praise of ageing

CFCA Webinar Series

The CFCA information exchange also continued to develop and expand its own webinars. The CFCA Webinar Series provides access to presentations and discussions that cover a range of issues relevant to practitioners, service providers and policy makers working to protect children, support families and strengthen communities in Australia. In 2013-14, 11 webinars were presented as part of the CFCA Webinar Series.

The presentations in the CFCA Webinar Series for 2013-14 were:

5 August 2013

Associate Professor Judith Cashmore AO, University of Sydney

The long-term effects of child sexual abuse

8 August 2013

Ms Zoe Rathus AM, Senior Lecturer, Griffith University
Professor Lawrie Moloney, Senior Research Fellow, Australian Institute of Family Studies

The role of social science research in contemporary family law

24 September 2013

Dr Sally Brinkman, Co-Director, Fraser Mustard Centre

The Australian Early Development Index (AEDI): Results over time, and the work of the Fraser Mustard Centre

29 October 2013

Dr Rae Kaspiew, Senior Research Fellow, Australian Institute of Family Studies
Mr Max Lewington, Practice Director, Legal Services, Department of Child Protection and Family Support WA
Ms Angela Lynch, Legal Reform Lawyer, Women's Legal Service Brisbane
Associate Professor Rachael Field, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology

Coordinated Family Dispute Resolution: Findings and future directions

21 November 2013

Dr Howard Bath, Northern Territory Children's Commissioner

After the Intervention: The ongoing challenge of ensuring the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable children in the Northern Territory

9 December 2013

Ms Elly Robinson, CFCA Manager, Australian Institute of Family Studies

The nuts and bolts of program evaluation

26 February 2014

Ms Veronica Meredith, Research Officer, Australian Institute of Family Studies
Ms Paula Washington, Manager, Family Relationship Services, Centacare North Queensland
Dr Anne Sibbel, Community Psychologist
Ms Nicole Ashby, Founder and Director, FIFO Families Australia
Mr Emmanuel Hondros, Manager, People Strategies, Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia

The effects of fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workforce practices on families in Australia

28 April 2014

Dr Antonia Quadara, Research Fellow, Australian Institute of Family Studies
Ms Robyn Miller, Chief Practitioner, Department of Human Services Victoria

Sexual abuse and exploitation prevention: Effective responses

22 May 2014

The Honourable Justice Mark Le Poer Trench, Family Court of Australia
Mr David Edney, Family and Independent Children's Lawyer, CE Family Lawyers

Guiding and controlling hearings for unrepresented litigants

19 June 2014

Ms Robyn Parker, Senior Manager, Research and Evaluation, Interrelate
Ms Rosalie Pattenden, Counselling Psychologist

Lasting couple relationships: Recent research findings and implications for practice

25 June 2014

Professor Muriel Bamblett AM, CEO, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA)
Ms Connie Salamone, Executive Director, Strategy and Services, VACCA
Ms Megan van den Berg, Executive Manager, Community Development, VACCA

Innovation in Aboriginal child and family services

Participation rates

Attendance at both the AIFS Seminar Series and the CFCA Webinar Series grew substantially, with a total of 2,858 participants in 2013-14 compared with 648 in 2012-13, an increase of 341%. The significant increase can largely be attributed to the growth in the popularity of the CFCA Webinar Series.

Media coverage

Mass media

The engagement of mass media is an important means of communicating the Institute's research findings about factors that affect family wellbeing. Fifteen media releases were issued in 2013-14.

Again, there was an increase in the media coverage of the Institute's research in 2013-14 compared to the previous financial year (Table 3.7). This can mainly be attributed to the significant growth in Internet media coverage. Internet news coverage in 2013-14 accounted for 65% of all AIFS mentions, compared to just 32% in the previous year. Radio, television and press coverage were all lower than the previous year, further highlighting the growth in the popularity of online media.

A total of 5,615 reports across all media types mentioned the Institute's research, which was a 22% increase on the 4,611 reports recorded in 2012-13.

Table 3.7: Number of mentions by media channel
Media channel 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 Change from previous year
Radio 1,946 1,468 1,569 1,088 -30.7%
Television 775 559 1,043 526 -49.6%
Press 333 318 528 335 -36.6%
Internet 502 261 1,471 3,666 +149.2%
Totals 3,556 2,606 4,611 5,615 +21.8%

Source: iSentia

Coverage was generated through the release of a range of publications. Publications that were particularly notable for the interest generated in the media were: The Tyrannies of Distance and Disadvantage: Factors Related to Children's Development in Regional and Disadvantaged Areas of Australia (Research Report No. 25), released in November 2013; Child care Participation and Maternal Employment Trends in Australia (Research Report No. 26), released in December 2013; and Fly-In Fly-Out Workforce Practices in Australia: The Effects on Children and Family Relationships (CFCA Paper No. 19), released in February 2014.

Social media

Facebook

The AIFS Facebook page has been operating since 2010. The page is predominantly used to promote new publications and events, as well as developing an online discussion on the latest research into family wellbeing. At the end of the reporting period, the page had 1,022 people listed who "liked" the page. This is a 53% increase from the 666 people who had connected at the same time the previous year.

The CFCA information exchange also has a Facebook page, which operates in the same way as the AIFS page. At the end of the reporting period, the CFCA page had 485 "likes", which is an 81% increase from the 268 "likes" listed at the same time the previous year.

Facebook serves to help increase awareness of Institute research activities, especially for traditionally hard-to-reach audiences. Risk management processes are in place to monitor the content of these pages.

Twitter

In 2013-14, the Institute continued to use Twitter as another channel to promote its activities online by sending micro text messages to subscribers. Twitter is used to promote Institute activities (such as seminars, conferences and publications), as well as developing an online discussion on the latest research in family wellbeing.

The Institute has four Twitter accounts, with a total of 4,469 followers. This is a 52% increase from the previous year. AIFS has one general account (2,643 followers), while LSAC (255 followers), ACSSA (687 followers) and the CFCA information exchange (884 followers) also have accounts.

Additional communication channels

In 2013-14, the Institute also continued to use the AIFS YouTube channel, podcasts from seminars/webinars and RSS feeds to disseminate AIFS research.

Report on performance - Financial activities

Operating results

In accordance with the Australian Government net cash appropriation arrangements, AIFS incurred a budget deficit for the financial year 2013-14 of $182,289. This deficit is made up of the depreciation expense for 2013-14 of $271,889. After adjusting for this item, AIFS would have reported a surplus of $89,600. This surplus was used to fund a number of capital acquisitions in addition to the departmental capital budget.

See Table 3.8 for a summary of budgeted and actual expenses for 2013-14.

Table 3.8: Budgeted and actual expenses for Outcome 1, 2013-14, and budgeted expenses, 2014-15
Outcome 1: Increased understanding of factors affecting how families function by conducting research and communicating findings to policy-makers, service providers, and the broader community Budget 2013-14
$'000
Actual 2013-14
$'000
Variation (column 2 - column 1) ($'000) Budget 2014-15 ($'000)
Program 1.1: Australian Institute of Family Studies
Departmental expenses        
Departmental appropriation 14,392 13,705 (687) 14,184
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year 306 299 (7) 363
Total for Program 1.1 14,698 14,004 (694) 14,547
Outcome 1 totals by appropriation type
Departmental expenses        
Departmental appropriation 14,392 13,705 (687) 14,184
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year 306 299 (7) 363
Total expenses for Outcome 1 14,698 14,004 (694) 14,547
Average staffing level 81 83 2 83

Operating revenue

The total operating revenue was $13,821,300 and consisted of the following:

  • government appropriations of $4,693,000;
  • sale of goods and rendering of services of $8,964,004; and
  • other revenue of $164,296.

Operating expenses

Total operating expenses were $14,003,589 and consisted of:

  • employee costs of $9,546,230;
  • supplier expenses of $4,183,850;
  • depreciation of $271,889; and
  • loss from asset sales and change in asset revaluation of $1,620.

Balance sheet

Net asset position

The net asset position at 30 June 2014 was $1,642,349 (2012-13: $1,446,638).

Total assets

Total assets at 30 June 2014 were $9,818,849 (2012-13: $6,362,581). Financial assets increased by $3,170,794. This increase in financial assets was mainly due to an increase in cash receipts relating to prepaid revenue, a significant amount of which was received at the end of the 2013-14 financial year and returned to the Consolidated Revenue Fund in 2014-15. Non-financial assets also increased by $285,474. The increase in non-financial assets is due mainly to refurbishment to infrastructure, plant and equipment required with the commencement of the Australian Gambling Research Centre, and an increase in prepayments relating to the AIFS Conference in August 2014.

Total liabilities

Total liabilities at 30 June 2014 were $8,176,500 (2012-13: $4,915,943). The difference is mainly due to an increase in the level of unearned revenue of $2,365,153, suppliers and accruals of $534,144 and GST payable of $186,340.

Footnotes

* Projects marked with an asterisk are conducted in partnership with other organisations.

Management and accountability

Management accountability is achieved with the support of the Corporate and Strategy area of the Institute. Corporate and Strategy provides a range of services to assist the Institute to meet its goals, through the ongoing improvement and application of financial, administrative, human resources, communications and information technology policies and practices.

Accountability is met through the Institute's internal management committee, advisory and monitoring committees, staff and management committees, robust reporting processes, internal and external audits, the Business Continuity Plan and the Protective Security Policy Framework.

Corporate governance

In 2013-14 the Institute operated under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 ( FMA Act). With effect from 1 July 2014, the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 ( PGPA Act) commenced, and replaced the FMA Act. The corporate focus throughout 2013-14 was the effective maintenance of high standards of governance, accountability and reporting in order to fulfil all FMA requirements and build organisational capacity to achieve the Institute's research and communication objectives. This corporate oversight is conducted through senior management committees.

The Family Law Act 1975 sets out the Institute's role, functions and governance arrangements. During 2013-14, the responsible ministers for AIFS were the Hon. Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (up to 17 September 2013), and the Hon. Kevin Andrews MP, Minister for Social Services (from 18 September 2013 onwards).

Fraud control

During the financial year 2013-14, no fraud was identified. The last fraud risk assessment was conducted in February 2013. The next assessment will be undertaken in November 2014.

Annual Report 2013-14 Fraud Control Certification

In accordance with Guideline 5.8 of the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines 2011, issued by the Minister for Home Affairs under Regulation 16A of the Financial Management and Accountability Regulations 1997, I, Alan Hayes, Director, Australian Institute of Family Studies, hereby certify that I am satisfied that the Institute has:

  • a fraud control plan;
  • put in place appropriate fraud prevention, detection, investigation, reporting and data collection procedures and processes that meet the specific needs of the Institute; and
  • taken all reasonable measures to minimise the incidence of fraud in the Institute and to investigate and recover the proceeds of fraud against the Institute.

Alan Hayes AM, Director

12 September 2014

Senior executive members

Professor Alan Hayes AM is the Director of the Institute. Two Deputy Directors and an Assistant Director (Research) assist the Director in leading and managing the Institute. Sue Tait is Deputy Director (Corporate and Strategy), Dr Daryl Higgins is Deputy Director (Research), and Ruth Weston is Assistant Director (Research). See Figure 2.1 for an organisation chart for the Institute.

Senior management committees

The Director has overall responsibility for the leadership and management of the Institute. A number of committees and groups are in place to support this function.

Internal management committees
Executive

The Executive group leads and coordinates all aspects of the research and corporate functions of the Institute. It comprises the Director, the two Deputy Directors and the Assistant Director (Research).

Leadership and Planning Group

The Leadership and Planning Group comprises the Executive and Managers from the corporate and research areas. The group is a strategic leadership forum providing advice to the Director and Deputy Directors.

Advisory and monitoring committees

The Institute supports sound management of its accountability, ethical and legislative responsibilities through the Advisory Council, the Risk Assessment and Audit Committee, and the Human Research Ethics Committee.

Advisory Council

The role of the Advisory Council is to provide specialist advice to the Director in relation to strategic directions for Institute research, any significant proposed changes to the research program, key performance indicators for the Institute's research activities, and the development of future strategic and research plans. The Advisory Council met twice during 2013-14.

Members of the Advisory Council are appointed by the responsible minister.

Advisory Council members, 2013-14

  • Reverend The Hon. Professor Brian Howe AO (Chair), Professorial Associate, Centre for Public Policy, Melbourne University
  • Professor Muriel Bamblett AM, Chief Executive Officer, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency
  • Professor Richard Chisholm AM, Adjunct Professor, ANU College of Law
  • Professor Ross Homel AO FASSA, Foundation Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Director, Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance, Griffith University
  • Professor Barbara Pocock AM, Director, Centre for Work + Life, University of South Australia
  • Paul Ronalds, First Assistant Secretary, Office of Work and Family, PM&C, Nominee of the Secretary; formerly Chief Executive Officer, Save the Children Australia
  • Emeritus Professor Dorothy Scott OAM
  • Professor Paul Smyth, General Manager for Social Action and Research, Brotherhood of St Laurence
  • Deputy Secretary, Department of Social Services
Australian Gambling Research Centre Expert Advisory Group

The Expert Advisory Group of the AGRC provides advice to the Director of AIFS (in his capacity as Director of AGRC), in relation to:

  • strategic directions and research plans and programs for undertaking or commissioning research into, or producing data and statistics about, gambling; and
  • strategies for increasing the capability and capacity of researchers to conduct research into, or produce data and statistics about, gambling.

The Expert Advisory Group consists of the Director and at least seven, but no more than eleven, other members. The group meets two to three times a year.

Australian Gambling Research Centre Expert Advisory Group, 2013-14

  • Professor Richard Chisholm AM (Chair), Adjunct Professor, ANU College of Law
  • Professor Max Abbott, Director, Gambling and Addictions Research Centre; and Pro Vice-Chancellor, Auckland University of Technology
  • Ashley Gordon, Manager, NSW Aboriginal Safe Gambling Services; and research consultant, Centre for Gambling Education and Research, Southern Cross University
  • Rev. the Hon. Professor Brian Howe AO, Professorial Associate, Centre for Public Policy, Melbourne University
  • Dr Ralph Lattimore, Assistant Commissioner, Productivity Commission
  • Professor Alison McClelland, Productivity Commission
  • Cheryl Vardon, Chief Executive, Australasian Gaming Council
  • Dr Mark Zirnsak, Director, Justice and International Mission Unit, Uniting Church in Australia Synod Office (Victoria & Tasmania)
Risk Assessment and Audit Committee

The Risk Assessment and Audit Committee reports to the Director, and plays a key role in the Institute's corporate governance. It helps ensure effective and efficient use of resources by reviewing the performance and operations of internal controls and performance management systems. It approves the Institute's internal audit program and advises the Executive on risk, fraud, compliance and performance. It also provides assurance to the Director on preparing and reviewing financial statements.

An external member chairs the committee. Membership includes the two Deputy Directors and two independent members external to the Institute. The committee met four times during 2013-14, addressing a range of issues, including approval of budgets, Portfolio Budget Statements, mid-year budget reviews, internal and external audit processes, fraud control, FMA Act compliance reviews, and updates of the Chief Executive's Instructions, Financial Rules, the AIFS Risk Management Framework and Business Continuity Plan. The Committee also reviewed and endorsed the Accountable Authority Instructions and Financial Guidelines, in preparation for the commencement of the PGPA Act on 1 July 2014.

Risk Assessment and Audit Committee members, 2013-14

  • Denise Swift PSM (Chair)
  • Dennis Mihelyi (Member), Chief Financial Officer, Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate
  • Audit Committee member at Productivity Commission
  • Sue Tait (Member), Deputy Director (Corporate and Strategy), AIFS
  • Dr Daryl Higgins (Member), Deputy Director (Research), AIFS
  • Professor Alan Hayes AM (Observer), Director, AIFS
  • Susan Leong (Observer), Chief Finance Officer, AIFS
  • Dr Michael Alexander (Observer), Executive Manager, Business Development and Accountability, AIFS
Human Research Ethics Committee

The role of the Institute's Human Research Ethics Committee is to ensure that the ethical standards outlined in the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Humans, and elaborated in the Institute's ethics statement, Ethical Issues in the Research Process (1996), are met in all research projects undertaken by the Institute.

In particular, the committee must ensure that projects meet the three key principles of: respect for persons, beneficence and justice, as set down in the National Statement. The committee is registered with the Australian Health Ethics Committee, a sub-committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council.

The Ethics Committee meets to consider new project proposals, receive brief oral and written reports on ongoing projects, consider any complaints or problems that may have arisen regarding ethical issues in Institute research, and review the complaints procedures, as required. The committee met three times in 2013-14 and assessed 17 ethics applications for new, revised or extended research projects. The committee also has an expedited review process in place for projects that need approval between meetings of the committee.

Members of the Ethics Committee are appointed for three-year terms.

Human Research Ethics Committee members, 2013-14

  • Dr Duncan Ironmonger AM (Chair), BCom, MCom (Melb.); PhD (Cambridge); Department of Economics, University of Melbourne
  • Marlene Burchill, BSW, DipFamTherapy, MA (Social Work); social worker and family therapist
  • Professor Richard Ingleby, MA, DPhil (Oxford); LLM (Cambridge); Latham Chambers, Faculty of Business and Law, Deakin University
  • Rev. John Lamont, BA (La Trobe); BTheol (United Faculty of Theology, Ormond College)
  • Dr Kerreen Reiger, BA (Hons) (Melb.); PhD (La Trobe); Department of Sociology, La Trobe University
  • Dr Sarah Wise, BA (Hons) (Melb.), MA, PhD (Melb.); Anglicare Victoria
  • Ian Claridge, BA, Grad. Dip. Special Ed., Grad. Dip. Ed. Leadership
  • Victoria Triggs, BA (Melb.), Grad. Dip. Ed. Admin. (Melb.), Williamson Fellow (Leadership Victoria), Grad. Dip. Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Caz Coleman, BTheol, Grad. Dip. Theo (Melbourne College Divinity), Cert. IV Frontline Management (Chisholm) (to February 2014)
  • Sr Dr Carol Hogan, BA (Melb.); BTheol, PhD (Melbourne College of Divinity) (to November 2013)

Corporate and statutory reporting

During 2013-14, the Institute continued to refine and strengthen its planning processes in order to make its reporting outputs more robust. This included improving its budget development, review and monitoring processes. These initiatives bring together a range of corporate and communications priorities, and has contributed to robust compliance standards and reporting performance against outcomes.

An outcomes focus has been emphasised through the continued use of trend forecasting for the Parliamentary Budget Statements, aligned to the goals in the Institute's Strategic Directions 2012-15. The Institute continued to refine these processes throughout the year, including streamlined reporting processes for reporting against deliverables and key performance indicators, and to link preparations for Senate Estimates and annual reporting.

All statutory reports were completed and tabled in a timely manner as required.

Risk management

Building on the development and implementation of AIFS' Risk Management Policy and Framework in 2011-12, the Institute has continued to monitor and improve its approach to risk management, including participating in the 2014 Risk Management Benchmarking Survey conducted by Comcover.

Internal audit

In 2013-14, a strategic and key operational risk review of the Institute was undertaken to identify the strategic business and fraud risks it faces and to develop an appropriate internal audit programme for the next three years. During the reporting period a comprehensive review of the contract management activities and revenue recognition processes was undertaken. Also, in line with the issuance of the Certificate of Compliance, a review of the processes and procedures was conducted in May 2014.

Business continuity

The Institute's Business Continuity Plan was reviewed and updated during 2013-14. The plan provides the necessary guidelines to enable the Institute to:

  • take action to prevent potential disruption to the business;
  • take appropriate action to safeguard staff and property in the event of a crisis;
  • plan and effectively manage the recovery of operations of the business to a satisfactory level;
  • plan and manage the resumption of normal business operations in permanent premises with its usual systems and staff; and
  • plan and manage significant staff reductions in the event of a possible pandemic illness or other threat to business continuity that may be of a protracted nature.
Protective Security Policy Framework

The Institute has continued to implement and adhere to the Australian Government Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF), in accordance with guidelines published by AGD. As at 30 June 2014, the Institute was anticipating being fully compliant with all 33 mandatory requirements of the PSPF by the reporting date of 31 August 2014.

There were no major security incidents during the reporting period.

Ethical standards

Amendments to the Public Service Act 1999 and subordinate legislation included a revised set of APS Values, the introduction of APS Employment Principles and some amendments to the APS Code of Conduct. These changes provided an additional opportunity to explain and promote the importance of upholding the APS Values throughout the Institute.

The Institute continues to take actions designed to integrate the APS Values into the organisational culture and the day-to-day work of all employees. The obligations of employees to uphold the APS Values and abide by the APS Code of Conduct are promoted in staff induction and training; applied to human resource management processes, including individual performance plans; and reflected in human resources policies and procedures, which are made available to all employees on the Institute intranet.

The Institute was not subject to any decisions by the Australian Information Commissioner in 2013-14.

External scrutiny

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) performs an annual statutory audit of the Institute's financial statements. In addition, an independent contractor conducts a program of internal audit reviews. The outcomes of all audits are presented to the Risk Assessment and Audit Committee and plans developed for the implementation of recommendations and the ongoing monitoring of resultant actions for improved processes.

In 2013-14, the Institute was not subject to reports by the Auditor-General, parliamentary committees or the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

The Institute does not have statutory administrative decision-making powers and was not subject to any judicial decisions or decisions of administrative tribunals in 2013-14.

Management of human resources

Employee skills and qualifications

The Institute is fortunate to have employees with a great diversity of skills, knowledge and experience. This ranges across research knowledge in multiple disciplines - including social science, psychology, family law, child and adolescent development, criminology, demography, economics, statistics, and survey design - to management skills such as commercial contract negotiation, project management, financial and human resource management, information technology development and maintenance, communications expertise and secretariat support. Some employees have more than 20 years of experience in the workplace, while others have only recently commenced their careers. This diversity of knowledge and expertise exemplifies one of the major benefits of working in a small organisation. These skills are known and are able to be effectively used in a number of facets of the Institute's operations.

Figures 4.1 and 4.2 show, respectively, the highest qualifications gained by Institute employees overall and by those employed in the research area.

Figure 4.1: Employee qualifications as at 30 June 2014

Figure 4.1: Employee qualifications as at 30 June 2014

Figure 4.2: Research employee qualifications as at 30 June 2014

Figure 4.2: Research employee qualifications as at 30 June 2014

The Institute is proud of its ability to attract, develop and retain highly skilled employees to continually strengthen its human and intellectual capital.

Staff and management committees

Workplace Relations Committee

The Workplace Relations Committee provides a forum for the management and employees to discuss matters affecting the workplace in general, as well as matters relating to the Enterprise Agreement. The committee comprises three representatives each from management and employee groups, and a Community and Public Sector Union representative. Employees are encouraged to contribute their ideas or raise any concerns regarding their workplace with their representatives. The committee was chaired by the Manager (Human Resources) and meets quarterly.

Input from the Workplace Relations Committee continues to play a key role in the review and formulation of AIFS human resources policies and guidelines.

Health and Safety Committee

The Health and Safety Committee continues to meet regularly. It was established to represent staff and facilitate consultation and discussion between management and employees regarding health and safety matters in the workplace. Employees are encouraged to participate by consulting with their elected staff representatives, who use the committee forum to raise issues and promote effective health and safety practices and principles in the workplace.

The committee is involved in the development and review of Institute policies and procedures consistent with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Individual performance management

The principles underpinning the Institute's performance management program focus on ongoing communication and feedback between all parties in relation to individual performance. The program also aims to build relationships based on mutual trust and respect that encourage open and frank discussions and to maximise employee performance through the provision of individual development, opportunities for growth, and work satisfaction. Assistance is available to employees and managers to support the development of individual Performance Development and Review plans.

Workforce planning

In 2013-14, the Institute continued to develop its capacity to plan and respond to changing workforce needs. Current data indicate a staff turnover rate of 13%, which is the same as in the previous financial year. Building capacity and other workforce issues, including increasing the diversity of the workforce, will continue to be an area of focus in 2014-15.

Recruitment

The majority of vacancies at the Institute were advertised via the online APSjobs service, supplemented by online advertising when appropriate. Recruitment action undertaken by the Institute from late 2013 was consistent with the APS-wide interim recruitment arrangements introduced in November 2013.

Learning and development

The primary focus of learning and development activities is to ensure that the Institute has the organisational capability to meet operational objectives, both now and in the future.

During the year, the Institute continued to develop its workforce capability by providing professional learning and development. Individuals took part in a range of management, coaching and leadership and specialist programs in 2013-14. The effectiveness of the training provided was evaluated in the performance reviews conducted between managers and individuals.

During 2013-14, the Institute invested $128,834 in direct learning and development activities, $28,704 in conference attendance, and the equivalent of $107,685 in wages, based on average salary.

The Institute continues to provide professional development opportunities for employees via professional memberships, and support for formal study through its Study Assistance Program.

Workplace health and safety performance

On an annual basis, the Institute runs a free flu vaccination program for all staff. Each employee is also able to receive reimbursement of up to $300 for participating in appropriate health promotion activities under the Promoting Good Health scheme. The scheme aims to encourage staff to improve their fitness and general health. Employees also have access to subsidised eyesight testing (including the provision of glasses for screen-based work), professional counselling services via the Employee Assistance Program and regular ergonomic assessments. Any corrective measures identified as a result of these assessments, such as specifically tailored ergonomic equipment, are provided as quickly as possible. The Institute will continue to review its health and wellbeing strategies during 2014-15.

Productivity gains

The Institute has continued to evaluate its functions, structure and procedures with a view to streamlining administrative processes and systems to realise additional productivity savings.

Work continues on information management and technology improvements and efficiencies to create further productivity gains in communication and administrative processes, including online collaboration, time management, record-keeping and approval processes. The development of annual work plans linked to employees' Performance Development and Review plans and relevant Institute plans provides clarity to individuals on expected outcomes. The Institute and its employees will continue to increase productivity savings by reducing travel costs through participation in whole-of-Australian-Government travel arrangements, and improved management and reporting of unscheduled absences in 2014-15.

Statistics on staffing

As at 30 June 2014, there were 100 staff - 25 males and 75 females - employed at the Institute under the Public Service Act 1999, excluding the Director.

Tables 4.1 and 4.2 present profiles of Institute staff by gender and type of employment at 30 June 2014 and 30 June 2013 respectively. As Table 4.1 indicates, at 30 June 2014 the Institute had 45% of staff in ongoing positions and 55% of staff in non-ongoing positions. Table 4.3 describes staff by classification level, gender and type of employment as at 30 June 2014.

Table 4.1: Staffing overview: Actual ongoing and non-ongoing full-time and part-time staff, by gender, at 30 June 2014
  Ongoing Non-ongoing Totals
Full-time Part-time Full-time Part-time
Male 8 2 11 4 25
Female 23 12 24 16 75
Total number 31 14 35 20 100
% of all staff 31 14 35 20 100

Note: Excludes employees engaged to provide services to the Institute on an irregular/intermittent (casual) basis.

Table 4.2: Staffing overview: Actual ongoing and non-ongoing full-time and part-time staff, by gender, at 30 June 2013
  Ongoing Non-ongoing Totals
Full-time Part-time Full-time Part-time
Male 7 2 12 4 25
Female 25 10 16 14 65
Total number 32 12 28 18 90
% of all staff 36 13 31 20 100

Note: Excludes employees engaged to provide services to the Institute on an irregular/intermittent (casual) basis.

Table 4.3: Staffing overview: Actual ongoing and non-ongoing staff, by classification level and gender, at 30 June 2014
Classification AIFS Classification Ongoing Non-ongoing Total number % of all staff
Male Female Male Female
Senior Executive Service (SES) Band 1 SES Band 1 1 0 0 1 2 2
Executive Level (EL) 2 AIFS EL 2 3 10 2 1 16 16
Executive Level 1 AIFS EL 1 2 9 4 9 24 24
APS 6 AIFS Band 5-6 3 10 2 7 22 22
APS 5 AIFS Band 5-6 1 2 4 10 17 17
APS 4 AIFS Band 3-4 0 3 2 6 11 11
APS 3 AIFS Band 3-4 0 0 1 6 7 7
APS 2 AIFS Band 1-2 0 1 0 0 1 1
APS 1 AIFS Band 1-2 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total number   10 35 15 40 100  
% of all staff   10 35 15 40   100

Note: Ten employees on higher duties were counted at the higher duties level. Excludes employees engaged to provide services to the Institute on an irregular/intermittent (casual) basis.

Individual and collective agreements

The Institute's Enterprise Agreement 2012 was negotiated between management and employee representatives in the first half of 2011-12 and was approved under the Fair Work Act 2009 for commencement on 1 March 2012. The agreement has a nominal expiry date of 30 June 2014. The process for negotiating a new Enterprise Agreement commenced in June 2014.

A small number of senior (EL 2) employees who previously held Australian Workplace Agreements are covered by determinations made under Section 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999 to supplement the conditions provided by the Institute's Enterprise Agreement. The remuneration of the Institute's SES employees is determined by the Director and contained in a Section 24(1) determination.

Details of the number of staff covered by an Enterprise Agreement or a Section 24(1) determination at 30 June 2014 are shown in Table 4.4. Non-salary benefits received by staff are shown in Table 4.5.

Table 4.4: Number of staff covered by different employment agreements, at 30 June 2014
Type of agreement No. of staff
Enterprise Agreement * 95
Section 24(1) determination 3

Note: * Three EL 2 employees covered by the Enterprise Agreement have been provided with Section 24(1) determinations to supplement the provisions of the Enterprise Agreement. Number of staff excludes two SES employees not covered by the Enterprise Agreement and two employees engaged to provide services to the Institute on an irregular/intermittent (casual) basis.

Table 4.5: Non-salary benefits by employment category and classification level
Type of agreement Non-salary benefits
Enterprise Agreement Access to Employee Assistance Program; study assistance; flexible remuneration packaging; purchased leave; paid maternity and parental leave; miscellaneous leave; home-based work; flextime; airline lounge membership, if travelling frequently; good health allowance; volunteer allowances
Non-SES staff: Section 24(1) determination Airline lounge membership; mobile phone; computer and remote access to network; incidental child care; financial and other support for professional and personal development; flexible remuneration packaging
SES staff: Section 24(1) determination Motor vehicle, fuel and parking; airline lounge membership; mobile phone; home office equipment and remote access to network; financial and other support for professional and personal development; flexible remuneration packaging

Salary ranges

Table 4.6: Staffing overview: Salary ranges by classification, at 30 June 2014
AIFS classification Salary range
SES Band 1 $161,723-187,949
AIFS EL 2 $109,519-128,393
AIFS EL 1 $93,424-103,171
AIFS Band 5-6 $67,920-83,712
AIFS Band 3-4 $54,279-65,684
AIFS Band 1-2 $42,111-52,848

Performance pay

Eligible EL 2 employees on Section 24(1) determinations may qualify for a performance bonus of up to 15% if they achieve a performance rating of fully effective or above. Table 4.7 outlines performance payment information for the 2013 performance cycle.

Table 4.7: Performance pay for 2013 performance cycle
Level Number Aggregated amount Average Minimum Maximum
EL 2 3 $25,677 $8,559 $5,135 $11,555

Assets management

The Institute maintains a detailed and effective assets register. Assets management is not a significant aspect of the strategic business of the Institute.

Purchasing

All purchasing is carried out in line with the requirements of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules, as detailed in the Chief Executive's Instructions and Financial Rules, and in keeping with the core principles of ethical, efficient, effective and economical conduct. Templates covering all aspects of purchasing and approval have been developed and are used consistently.

All procurements in excess of $10,000 are reported in AusTender, and contracts in excess of $100,000 are included in Senate Order 192 reporting.

Consultants

The Institute's core business to conduct research and communicate the findings can require the use of consultant expertise. Consultants are generally engaged when particular specialist expertise is necessary, sufficiently skilled expertise is not immediately available inhouse, or independent advice is required.

The services provided by new and continuing consultants in the reporting period included provision of research reports, the review and audit of financial activities, human resources and business process analyses, as well as content management system analysis and content migration.

Processes for the engagement of consultants were consistent with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules, as detailed in the Chief Executive's Instructions and Financial Rules. As with all procurement, the priority in the engagement of consultants is to obtain value for money. Competitive processes are used for the selection of consultants, and the Chief Executive's Instructions contained guidelines for the approval of expenditure.

Consistent with the policy of including trend data in annual reports, expenditure on consultancy contracts over the three most recent financial years are listed in Table 4.8.

Table 4.8: Expenditure on consultancy contracts over 2011-12 to 2013-14 (inc. GST)
Financial year Consultancy contract expenditure
2011-12 $234,292
2012-13 $325,517
2013-14 $328,259

During 2013-14, six new consultancy contracts were entered into (including those to the value of less than $10,000), involving total actual expenditure of $83,928 (inc. GST). In addition, thirteen ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the year, involving total actual expenditure of $244,331 (inc. GST). Expenditure for the year totalled $328,259 (inc. GST).

The Annual Report contains information about actual expenditure on contracts for consultancies. Information on the value of contracts and consultancies over $10,000 is available on the AusTender website: <www.tenders.gov.au>. Contracts above the value of $100,000 are detailed on the AIFS website.

Commissioning bodies

During the 2013-14 year, the following organisations commissioned projects from the Institute:

  • Attorney-General's Department
  • Australian Childhood Foundation
  • Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
  • Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety Ltd
  • Department of Defence
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Employment
  • Department of Human Services
  • Department of Immigration and Border Protection
  • Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Department of Social Services
  • Department of Veterans' Affairs
  • Healing Foundation
  • Interrelate Family Centres
  • Medibank Health Solutions
  • NSW Department of Family and Community Services
  • Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
  • Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales
  • Uniting Communities, Adelaide
  • VicHealth
  • Victorian Department of Human Services
  • Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation

Australian National Audit Office Access Clauses

The Institute's contract templates contain standard clauses to provide for the Auditor-General to have access to the contractor's premises. All contracts let during the reporting period contained these standard clauses.

Exempt contracts

The Institute has not entered into any contracts or standing offers above the reporting threshold value of $10,000 that have been exempted from publication in AusTender.

Financial statements

Due to their size and format the Financial statements are only available in PDF or Word format.

If you require an accessible version of the statements please contact us and we will endeavour to provide the content you need in a format you can use.

Appendix A: Other mandatory information

Work health and safety

The Institute is committed to providing and maintaining a safe and healthy workplace, and meeting its responsibilities under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. See Chapter 4: Management Accountability for the Institute's workplace health and safety policies, processes and performance.

Advertising and market research

No payments of $12,400 or greater (inclusive of GST) were made for the purposes of advertising and market research expenditure, as described in section 321A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance

Institute management and staff are committed to the principles of ecologically sustainable development. In accordance with good practice, the Institute always endeavours to turn off non-essential lighting and appliances.

The following list details the Institute's environmental impacts, and the initiatives staff have taken to minimise them:

  • In 2013-14, electricity consumption within our tenancy (causing emissions to the air and use of resources) increased by 5% compared to the previous period, which is likely due to a comparable increase in average employee numbers during the reporting period. This compares to an 18% increase in 2012-13 (also likely due to a comparable increase in employee numbers) and a 2% increase in 2011-12. The Institute continued to reinforce the practice of shutting down computers at the end of the day, encouraging staff to switch off lights when not needed and continuing the removal of excess lighting.
  • The Institute uses 20% wind power, thus reducing emissions and resource use.
  • All office equipment conforms to environmental standards.
  • Adverse effects due to transport (causing emissions to the air and use of resources) are primarily due to domestic airline flights. Staff are encouraged to use webinar, video and teleconference facilities where possible. Many seminar presentations are made available electronically so that people do not have to travel to the Institute to hear them.
  • Paper consumption (use of natural resources) is minimised by using recycled paper and ensuring that the office printers default to using both sides of the paper. Paper use (number of printer/copier impressions) increased by 16% in 2013-14 compared to the previous period. This follows a 10% increase in the previous year. These increases are likely to be due to the increase in average employee numbers in 2012-13 and 2013-14 compared to previous years.
  • Waste generation (resource waste and emissions to the air) is reduced by recycling paper, cardboard, glass, plastics and metals.
  • Water consumption (use of natural resources) has been minimised by using water-saving facilities.

Disability reporting

Since 1994, Commonwealth departments and agencies have reported on their performance as policy adviser, purchaser, employer, regulator and provider under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. In 2007-08, reporting on the employer role was transferred to the Australian Public Service Commission's State of the Service Report and the APS Statistical Bulletin. These reports are available from the commission's website <www.apsc.gov.au>. Since 2010-11, departments and agencies have no longer been required to report on these functions.

The Commonwealth Disability Strategy has been overtaken by a new National Disability Strategy 2010-2020, which sets out a ten-year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with a disability, promote participation and create a more inclusive society. A high-level two-yearly report will track progress against each of the six outcome areas of the strategy and present a picture of how people with a disability are faring. The first of these reports will be available in late 2014 (see <www.dss.gov.au>).

Information Publication Scheme

Agencies subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 ( FOI Act) are required to publish information to the public as part of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS). This requirement is in Part II of the FOI Act and has replaced the former requirement to publish a Section 8 statement in an annual report. Each agency must display on its website a plan showing what information it publishes in accordance with the IPS requirements.

The Institute provides an Information Publication Plan on its IPS web page <www.aifs.gov.au/common/ips>, which links to key published information about the Institute. The AIFS website also contains a disclosure log that clearly identifies and provides access to any documents to which we give access in response to FOI requests.

No requests were made of the Institute this year for information under the FOI Act.

Contact details

Contact the FOI Contact Officer, Australian Institute of Family Studies, Level 20, 485 La Trobe Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, phone: 03 9214 7888, fax: 03 9214 7839.

Appendix B: Agency resource statements and resources for outcomes

Table B1: Agency resource statement 2013-14
    Actual available appropriation for 2013-14
$'000 (a)
Payments made 2013-14
$'000 (b)
Balance remaining 2013-14
$'000
(a) - (b)
Ordinary annual services 1        
Departmental appropriation 2   20,064,658 12,204,871 7,859,787
Total   20,064,658 12,204,871 7,859,787
Total ordinary annual services A 20,064,658 12,204,871 7,859,787
Other services 3        
Departmental non-operating        
Equity injections   196,000 196,000 -
Total   196,000 196,000 -
Total other services B 196,000 196,000 -
Total available annual appropriations and payments   20,260,658 12,400,871 7,859,787
Special appropriations        
Total special appropriations C - - -
Special accounts 4        
Total special account D - - -
Total resourcing and payments A+B+C+D   20,260,658 12,400,871 7,859,787
Less appropriations drawn from annual or special appropriations above and credited to special accounts and/or CAC Act bodies through annual appropriations   - - -
Total net resourcing and payments for AIFS   20,260,658 12,400,871 7,859,787

1 Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2013-14. This may also include prior year departmental appropriation and section 31 relevant agency receipts.
2 Includes an amount of $0.182 million in 2013-14 for the Departmental Capital Budget. For accounting purposes this amount has been designated as "contributions by owners".
3 Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 2013-14 and Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2013-14.
4 Does not include "Special Public Money" held in accounts like Other Trust Monies (OTM) accounts. Services for Other Government and Non-Agency Bodies (SOG) accounts, or Services for Other Entities and Trust Moneys Special (SOETM) accounts.

Table B2: Budgeted expenses and resources for Outcome 1, 2013-14
Outcome 1: Increased understanding of factors affecting how families function by conducting research and communicating findings to policy-makers, service providers, and the broader community Budget* 2013-14
$'000 (a)
Actual Expenses 2013-14
$'000 (b)
Variation 2013-14
$'000
(a) - (b)
Program 1.1: Australian Institute of Family Studies      
Departmental expenses      
Departmental appropriation 1 14,392 13,705 687
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year 306 299 7
Total for Program 1.1 14,698 14,004 694
  2012-13 2013-14  
Average staffing level (number) 81 83 (2)

* Full year budget, including any subsequent adjustment made to the 2013-14 Budget.
1 Departmental Appropriation combines "Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Bill No. 1)" and "Revenue from independent sources (section 31)".

Appendix C: AIFS Publications and presentations 2013-14

The following are research publications, presentations and other outputs prepared by AIFS staff during 2013-14.

Publications

  • Adema, W. (2013). Greater gender equality: What role for family policy? Family Matters, 93, 7-16.
  • Altobelli, T., & Bryant, D. (2014). Has confidentiality in family dispute resolution reached its use-by date? In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 195-206). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Armstrong, S. (2013). Good practices with culturally diverse families in family dispute resolution. Family Matters, 92, 48-60.
  • Australian Temperament Project. (2013). 2013 newsletter to study members.
  • Baxter, J. A. (2013). Australian mothers' participation in employment: Analyses of social, demographic and family characteristics using the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey (Research Paper No. 52). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Baxter, J. A. (2013). Child care participation and maternal employment trends in Australia (Research Report No. 26). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Baxter, J. A. (2013). Employment characteristics and transitions of mothers in the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (DSS Occasional Paper No. 50). Canberra: Department of Social Services.
  • Baxter, J. A. (2013). Families working together: Getting the balance right. Family Matters, 92, 77-83.
  • Baxter, J., Gray, M., Hand, K., & Hayes, A. (2013). Parental joblessness, financial disadvantage and the wellbeing of parents and children. (FaHCSIA Occasional Paper No. 48). Canberra: FaHCSIA.
  • Baxter, J. A., & Taylor, M. (2014). Socio-economic status of women across the life course in NSW. Sydney: NSW Department of Family and Community Services.
  • Bluett-Boyd, N., & Fileborn, B. (2014). Victim/survivor-focused justice responses and reforms to criminal court practice: Implementation, current practice and future directions (Research Report No. 27). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Brennan, D., & Cass, B. (2014). Grandparents as primary carers of their grandchildren: Policy and practice insights from research. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 109-118). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Bromfield, L., Arney, F., & Higgins, D. (2014). Contemporary issues in child protection intake, referral and family support. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 121-129). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Cartwright, C. (2014). Step-parenting. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 101-108). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Cartwright, C., & Gibson, K. (2013). The effects of co-parenting relationships with ex-spouses on couples in step-families. Family Matters, 92, 18-28.
  • Cashmore, J. (2014). Children in the out-of-home care system. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 143-150). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Castle, P. (2014). Current open adoptions: Mothers' perspectives. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 47-54). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Child Family Community Australia. (2014). Parenting teens and tweens: Resources for policy and practice (Facts Sheet). Melbourne: CFCA, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Chisholm, R. (2014). Confidentiality and "family counselling" under the Family Law Act 1975. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 185-194). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Croucher, R. F. (2014). Family law: Challenges for responding to family violence in a federal system. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 207-214). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Cusack, B., & Defina, R. (2013). The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children: Wave 5 weighting and non response (LSAC Technical Paper No. 10). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Cuthbert, D., & Fronek, P. (2014). Perfecting adoption? Reflections on the rise of commercial offshore surrogacy and family formation in Australia. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 55-66). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • De Maio, J., Kaspiew, R., Smart, D., Dunstan, J., & Moore, S. (2013). Survey of Recently Separated Parents: A study of parents who separated prior to the implementation of the Family Law Amendment (Family Violence and Other Matters) Act 2011. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Dempsey, D. (2013). Same-sex parented families in Australia (CFCA Paper No. 18). Melbourne: Child Family Community Australia, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • De Vaus, D., Gray, M., Qu, L., & Stanton, D. (2014). The economic consequences of divorce in Australia. International Journal, Law, Policy and the Family, 28(1), 26-47.
  • Duncan, G. J., Kalil, A., & Ziol-Guest, K. M. (2013). Early childhood poverty and adult achievement, employment and health. Family Matters, 93, 27-35.
  • Duncanson, K. (2013). Community beliefs and misconceptions about male sexual assault (ACSSA Resource Sheet). Melbourne: Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Edwards, B., & Baxter, J. A. (2013). The tyrannies of distance and disadvantage: Factors related to children's development in regional and disadvantaged areas of Australia (Research Report No. 25). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Edwards, B., Gray, M., & Hunter, B. (2014). The impact of drought on mental health in rural and regional Australia. Social Indicators Research, May. doi:10.1007/s11205-014-0638-2.
  • Edwards, B., Mullan, K., Katz, I., & Higgins, D. (2014). The Stronger Families in Australia (SFIA) Study: Phase 2. Final report. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Everington, S. (2014). Use of surrogacy by Australians: Implications for policy and law reform. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 67-80). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Faulks, J. (2014). Justice and the protection of children. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 151-166). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Fehlberg, B., & Millward, C. (2013). Post-separation parenting and financial arrangements over time: Recent qualitative findings. Family Matters, 92, 29-40.
  • Fehlberg, B., & Millward, C. (2014). Family violence and financial outcomes after parental separation. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 235-244). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Fernando, M. (2013). Children's direct participation and the views of Australian judges. Family Matters, 92, 41-47.
  • Fileborn, B. (2013). Conceptual understandings and prevalence of sexual harassment and street harassment (ACSSA Resource Sheet). Melbourne: Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Forrest, W. (2014). Cohabitation, relationship quality, and desistance from crime. Journal of Marriage and Family, 76(3), 539-556
  • Gavan, S., & Schorer, J. (2013). From training to practice transformation: Implementing a public health parenting program. Family Matters, 93, 50-57.
  • Hand, K., & Baxter, J. A. (2013). Maternal employment and the care of school-aged children. Australian Journal of Labour Economics, 16(3), 329-349.
  • Hand, K., Baxter, J., Sweid, R., Bluett-Boyd, N., & Price-Robertson, R. (2014). Access to early childhood education in Australia: Insights from a qualitative study (Research Report No. 28). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Hayes, A. (2014). Social science and family law: From fallacies and fads to the facts of the matter. In A. Hayes, & Higgins, D. J. (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 283-295). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Hayes, A., & Baxter, J. A. (2014). Work and family approaches in Australia. In S. Nicklin, & B. Cornwell (Eds.), Family futures (pp. 187-190). Leicester, UK: Tudor Rose.
  • Hayes, A., & Higgins, D. (2014). Weaving a common narrative: An introduction to essays on families, policy and the law in Australia. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 1-4). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Hayes, A., & Higgins, D. (2014). Complex family issues: Collective awareness, common narratives and coordinated approaches to promoting resilience. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 299-303). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Higgins, D., Kenny, P., Sweid, R., & Ockenden, L. (2014). Forced Adoption Support Services Scoping Study: Report for the Department of Social Services by the Australian Institute of Family Studies. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Hunter, C., & Price-Robertson, R. (2014). The good practice guide to child aware approaches: Keeping children safe and well (CFCA Paper No. 21). Melbourne: Child Family Community Australia, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Kaspiew, R., Carson, R., Moore, S., De Maio, J., Deblaquiere, J., & Horsfall, B. (2013). Independent Children's Lawyers Study: Final report. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Kaspiew, R., Carson, R., Moore, S., De Maio, J., Deblaquiere, J., & Horsfall, B. (2014). Getting the word out: The role of Independent Children's Lawyers in the family law system. Australian Journal of Family Law, 28(1), 29.
  • Kaspiew, R., De Maio, J., Deblaquiere, J., & Horsfall, B. (2014). Families with complex needs: Meeting the challenges of separation. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 215-224). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Kaspiew, R., De Maio, J., Qu, L., & Deblaquiere, J. (2014). Post-separation parenting arrangements involving minimal time with one parent. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 225-234). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Kearney, M. (2014). The scientists are coming: What are the courts to do with social science research? In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 275-282). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Kenny, P., & Higgins, D. (2014). Past adoption practices: Key messages for service delivery responses and current policies. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 29-38). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Kenny, P., Higgins, D., Sweid, R., & Soloff, C. (2013). Past adoption experiences: Impacts, insights and implications for policy and practice. Communities, Children and Families Australia, 7(1), 35-46.
  • Knight, K., & Hunter, C. (2013). Using technology in service delivery to families, children and young people (CFCA Paper No. 17). Melbourne: Child Family Community Australia, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Lein, L. (2013). Poverty and welfare: Marginalisation and destitution in the aftermath of the United States recession. Family Matters, 93, 17-26.
  • Levine Coley, R., McPherran Lombardi, C., Sims, J., & Votruba-Drzal, E. (2013). Early education and care experiences and cognitive skills development: A comparative perspective between Australian and American children. Family Matters, 93, 36-49.
  • Little, K., Hawkins, M., Sanson, A., O'Connor, M., Toumbourou, J., Smart, D., & Vassallo, S. (2013). Longitudinal predictors of alcohol-related harms during the transition to adulthood. Australian Psychologist, 48(4), 270-280.
  • Mathews, B., & Walsh, K. (2014). Mandatory reporting laws. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 131-142). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Mathews, T., Scott, D., Hand, K., Higgins, D., McHugh-Dillon, H., & Heery, L. (2014). The evaluation of the Cradle to Kinder and Aboriginal Cradle to Kinder Programs: Interim evaluation report. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies & Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.
  • Meredith, V., Rush, P., & Robinson, E. (2014). Fly-in fly-out workforce practices in Australia: The effects on children and family relationships (CFCA Paper No. 19). Melbourne: Child Family Community Australia, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Moloney, L. (2013). Intervening in post separation parenting disputes: Reflections on past, present and future principles and processes. Journal of Family Studies, 19(3), 218-223.
  • Moloney, L. (2014). Of dreams and data: Lionel Murphy and the dignified divorce. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 247-259). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Moloney, L., Richardson, N., Smyth, B., & Capper, S. (2014). Understanding parenting disputes after separation: Report presented to the Attorney-General's Department. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Moloney, L., Weston, R., & Hayes, A. (2013). Key social issues in the development of Australian family law: Research and its impact on policy and practice. Journal of Family Studies, 19(2), 110-138.
  • Moore, S., & Carson, R. (2013). Family law update. Family Matters, 93, 99-105. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Morley, S. (2014). Success factors for Indigenous entrepreneurs and community-based enterprises (Closing the Gap Clearinghouse Resource Sheet No. 30). Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, & Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Mushin, N. (2014). The forced adoption apology: Righting wrongs of a dark past. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 39-46). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Mullan, K. (2014). Longitudinal analysis of LSAC time diary data: Considerations for data users (LSAC Technical Paper No. 11). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Parker, R., & Commerford, J. (2014). Lasting couple relationships: Recent research findings (CFCA Paper No. 22). Melbourne: Child Family Community Australia, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Parkinson, P. (2013). Violence, abuse and the limits of shared parental responsibility. Family Matters, 92, 7-17.
  • Parkinson, P. (2014). The ties that bind: Separation, divorce and the indissolubility of parenthood. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 177-184). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Powell, A. (2014). Bystander approaches: Responding to and preventing men's sexual violence against women (ACSSA Issues No. 17). Melbourne: Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Price-Robertson, R. (2014). Ancestry, identity and meaning: The importance of biological ties in contemporary society. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 19-28). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Price-Robertson, R., Higgins, D., & Vasallo, S. (2013). Multi-type maltreatment and polyvictimisation: A comparison of two research frameworks. Family Matters, 93, 84-98.
  • Price-Robertson, R., Rush, P., Wall, L., & Higgins, D. (2013). Rarely an isolated incident: Acknowledging the interrelatedness of child maltreatment, victimisation and trauma (CFCA Paper No. 15). Melbourne: Child Family Community Australia, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Qu, L., & Weston, R. (2013). Australian households and families (Australian Family Trends No. 4). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Qu, L., Weston, R., Moloney, L., Kaspiew, R., & Dunstan, J. (2014). Post-separation parenting, property and relationship dynamics after five years. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Quadara, A. (2014). Prosecuting child sexual abuse: The role of social science evidence. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 261-274). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Quadara, A., Fileborn, B., & Parkinson, D. (2013). The role of forensic medical evidence in the prosecution of sexual assault (ACSSA Issues No. 15). Melbourne: Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Quadara, A., Nagy, V., Higgins, D., & Siegel, N. (2014). Conceptualising the prevention of child sexual abuse: Final report. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Redmond, G., Katz, I., Smart, D., & Gubhaju, B. (2013). How has the relationship between parental education and child outcomes changed in Australia since the 1980s? Australian Journal of Social Issues, 48, 395-413.
  • Rhoades, H. (2014). Children, families and the law: A view of the past with an eye to the future. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 169-176). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Rigby, K. (2013). Bullying in schools and its relation to parenting and family life. Family Matters, 92, 61-67.
  • Robinson, E. (2013). Parental involvement in preventing and responding to cyberbullying. Family Matters, 92, 68-76.
  • Robinson, E., & Meredith, V. (2013). Family factors in early school leaving (CFCA Paper No. 16). Melbourne: Child Family Community Australia, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Robinson, E., & Nagy, V. (2014). Enhancing online safety for children: Response to the public consultation on key election commitments. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Scott, D. (2014). Understanding child neglect (CFCA Paper No. 20). Melbourne: Child Family Community Australia, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Sifris, A. (2014). Gay and lesbian parenting: The legislative response. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 89-100). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Smith, J. P., McIntyre, E., Craig, L., Javanparast, S., Strazdins, L., & Mortensen, K. (2013). Workplace support, breastfeeding and health. Family Matters, 93, 58-73.
  • Stathopoulos, M. (2013, 4 December). Addressing the needs of women in prison with histories of sexual abuse (Penal Reform International blog). London: Penal Reform International.
  • Stathopoulos, M. (2013). Engaging men in sexual assault prevention (ACSSA Wrap No. 14). Melbourne: Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Stathopoulos, M. (2014). Sexual revictimisation: Individual, interpersonal and contextual factors (ACSSA Research Summary). Melbourne: Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Stathopoulos, M. (2014). The exception that proves the rule: Female sex offending and the gendered nature of sexual violence (ACSSA Research Summary). Melbourne: Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Stathopoulos, M. (2014). Working with Indigenous men in behaviour change programs (Helem Yumba Queensland Healing Centre) (ACSSA Working With series). Melbourne: Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Thomas, A., Christensen, D., Deblaquiere, J., Armstrong, A., Moore, S., Carson, R., & Rintoul, A. (2013). Review of electronic gaming machine (EGM) pre-commitment features: Limit-setting. First draft report. Melbourne: Australian Gambling Research Centre, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Thomas, A., Carson, R., Deblaquiere, J., Armstrong, A., Moore, S., Christensen, D., & Rintoul, A. (2013). Review of electronic gaming machine (EGM) pre-commitment features: Self-exclusion. First draft report. Melbourne: Australian Gambling Research Centre, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Thomas, A., Rintoul, A., Deblaquiere, J., Armstrong, A., Moore, S., Carson, R., & Christensen, D. (2013). Review of electronic gaming machine (EGM) pre-commitment features: Transaction history statements. First draft report. Melbourne: Australian Gambling Research Centre, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Tsantefski, M., Parkes, A., Tidyman, A., & Campion, M. (2013). An extended family for life for children affected by parental substance dependence. Family Matters, 93, 74-83.
  • Vassallo, S., Edwards, B., Renda, J., & Olsson, C.A. (2014). Bullying in early adolescence and antisocial behavior and depression six years later: What are the protective factors? Journal of School Violence, 13, 100-124.
  • Wall, L. (2013). Working with crisis care responses to sexual assault (Western Region Centre Against Sexual Assault) (ACSSA Working With series). Melbourne: Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Wall, L. (2014). Gender equality and violence against women: What's the connection (ACSSA Research Summary). Melbourne: Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Wall, L., & Quadara, A. (2014). Acknowledging complexity in the impacts of sexual victimisation trauma (ACSSA Issues No. 16). Melbourne: Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Wall, L., & Tarczon, C. (2013). True or false? The contested terrain of false allegations (ACSSA Research Summary). Melbourne: Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Ware, V. (2013). Improving the accessibility of health services in urban and regional settings for Indigenous people (Closing the Gap Clearinghouse Resource Sheet No. 27). Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, & Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Ware, V. (2013). Housing strategies that improve Indigenous health outcomes (Closing the Gap Clearinghouse Resource Sheet No. 25). Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, & Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Ware, V. (2014). Supporting healthy communities through arts programs (Closing the Gap Clearinghouse Resource Sheet No. 28). Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, & Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Ware, V., & Meredith, V. (2013). Supporting healthy communities through sports and recreation programs (Closing the Gap Clearinghouse Resource Sheet No. 26). Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, & Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Weston, R., & Qu, L. (2014). Trends in family transitions, forms and functioning: Essential issues for policy development and legislation. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 7-18). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Weston, R., Qu, L., & Baxter, J. (2013). Australian families with children and adolescents (Australian Family Trends No. 5). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Whitehouse, G., Baird, M., & Alexander, M. (2013). Australia: Country note. In P. Moss (Ed.), International review of leave policies and related research 2013 (pp. 41-50).London: International Network on Leave Policies and Research.
  • Wise, S., & Kovacs, G., (2014). Secrecy, family relationships and the welfare of children born with the assistance of donor sperm: Developments in research, law and practice. In A. Hayes, & D. Higgins (Eds.), Families, policy and the law: Selected essays on contemporary issues for Australia (pp. 81-88). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Miscellaneous publications

eNewsletters

  • Growing Up in Australia eNewsletter No. 37, July 2013.
  • Growing Up in Australia eNewsletter No. 38, November 2013.
  • Growing Up in Australia eNewsletter No. 39, March 2014.

CFCA Connect short articles

  • Australian child protection legislation (October 2013)
  • Australian legal definitions: When is a child in need of protection? (July 2013)
  • Boosting new parents' confidence with a novel psychoeducation program (March 2014)
  • Building confidence in family and relationship support services across Australia (November 2013)
  • Can a relationship survive an affair? (July 2013)
  • The changing face of Australian families (October 2013)
  • Child protection and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children (July 2013)
  • Child sexual abuse: Summary of adult survivors' therapeutic needs (August 2013)
  • Child wellbeing in advanced economies (August 2013)
  • Child-led research as social welfare (September 2013)
  • Corporal punishment: Key issues (April 2014)
  • Development, risk burden and early childhood education (February 2014)
  • Dissemination of evaluation findings (November 2013)
  • Effects of child abuse and neglect for adult survivors (January 2014)
  • Effects of child abuse and neglect for children and adolescents (January 2014)
  • Enduring love? (June 2014)
  • Enhancing support for the mental health of parents and carers of children with disability (October 2013)
  • Ethical considerations for evaluation research (November 2013)
  • Evaluating programs for fathers (November 2013)
  • Evaluation and innovation in family support services (November 2013)
  • Evidence-based practice and service-based evaluation (November 2013)
  • Exploring the impact of technologies on young men's mental health and wellbeing (September 2013)
  • Family factors in early school leaving (July 2013)
  • The family law DOORS: A new whole-of-family approach to risk screening (September 2013)
  • Family links (family support in criminal court) (March 2014)
  • Father incarceration and child support in the United States (April 2014)
  • Financial support for children after parental separation (July 2013)
  • Fly-in fly-out workforce practices in Australia: The effects on children and family relationships (February 2014)
  • Focus on mental illness in National Missing Persons Week (July 2013)
  • The good practice guide to child aware approaches: Keeping children safe and well (May 2014)
  • Growing our children up strong and deadly: Healing for children and young people (August 2013)
  • Including the voices of children in research (April 2014)
  • Income support for Australian carers since 1983: Social justice, social investment and the cloak of gender neutrality (October 2013)
  • Is it OK to be away? School attendance in the primary school years (July 2013)
  • Kinship care: Benefits and challenges (October 2013)
  • Lasting couple relationships: Recent research findings (June 2014)
  • Leaving a child home alone: Considerations for parents and professionals (February 2014)
  • Mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect (July 2013)
  • Mothers and fathers in work-family research (January 2014)
  • Mothers on the margins (October 2013)
  • National Child Protection Week 2013 (September 2013)
  • A necessary engagement: An international review of parent and family engagement in child protection (January 2014)
  • Online safety (March 2014)
  • Parenting teens and tweens: Resources for policy and practice (June 2014)
  • Parents in the child protection system (January 2014)
  • Planning for evaluation I: Basic principles (November 2013)
  • Planning for evaluation II: Getting into detail (November 2013)
  • Practical guidelines to improve service accessibility for families (March 2014)
  • Practitioner's Corner: Grief encounters of a different kind (October 2013)
  • Practitioner's Corner: Moving into a response space: A framework for health services working with vulnerable families (May 2014)
  • Practitioner's Corner: Parental mental illness: Building understanding and resilience in children (March 2014)
  • Practitioner's Corner: Responding to the public health issue of complex trauma (May 2014)
  • Pre-employment screening: Working with children checks and police checks (October 2013)
  • Protecting children and young people with disability and preventing sexual abuse: A collaborative approach to resource production (May 2014)
  • Queensland Child Guardian key outcome indicators update, Queensland Child Protection System 2009-2012 (July 2013)
  • "Realist evaluation" in action: A worked example of the Aboriginal Parental Engagement Program (December 2013)
  • Resource: Developing capacity through partnerships (December 2013)
  • The role of Independent Children's Lawyers in the family law system (February 2014)
  • Safer Internet Day 2014 (February 2014)
  • Same-sex parented families in Australia (December 2013)
  • Snapshot 2013: Children and young people in Queensland (October 2013)
  • Support needs when caring for a person with a mental illness (May 2014)
  • Uncertain pathways from school to work: Which young people are stuck in transition and why? (November 2013)
  • Understanding and engaging parents of children in care (March 2014)
  • Understanding child neglect (April 2014)
  • Uniting Communities Specialised Family Violence Services (June 2014)
  • Using technology in service delivery to families, children and young people (October 2013)
  • Victorian Family Law Pathways Network launches mobile app: iRefer Vic. (March 2014)
  • Whose voice counts? Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in child protection decision-making (November 2013)
  • Why wait till things go awry? (June 2014)
  • Working with fathers who perpetrate family violence (December 2013)
  • World Happiness Report 2013 (December 2013)

Updated CFCA resource sheets

  • Age of consent laws (November 2013)
  • Australian child protection legislation (October 2013)
  • Australian legal definitions: When is a child in need of support? (July 2013)
  • Child deaths from abuse and neglect (January 2014)
  • Corporal punishment: Key issues (May 2014)
  • Dissemination of evaluation findings (November 2013)
  • Effects of child abuse and neglect for adult survivors (January 2014)
  • Effects of child abuse and neglect for children and adolescents (January 2014)
  • Evaluation and innovation in family support services (November 2013)
  • Evidence-based practice and service-based evaluation (November 2013)
  • Helplines and telephone counselling services for children, young people and parents (November 2013)
  • Mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect (July 2013)
  • Online safety (March 2014)
  • Planning for evaluation I: Basic principles (November 2013)
  • Planning for evaluation II: Getting into detail (November 2013)
  • Pre-employment screening: Working with children checks and police checks (October 2013)
  • Reporting abuse and neglect: State and territory departments responsible for protecting children (October 2013)

Presentations

  • Armstrong, A. R., Thomas, A., & Delfabbro, P. (2013, 21 November). Staff observation of problem gambling behaviours. 23rd Annual Conference for the National Association of Gambling Studies, Sydney.
  • Baxter, J. A. (2013, 17 July). Fathers as co-parents: How co-parenting perceptions are linked to Australian couples' sharing of childcare, other household work and paid work. 5th International Community, Work and Family Conference, Sydney.
  • Baxter, J. A. (2013, 18 July). Childcare participation and maternal employment trends in Australia. 5th International Community, Work and Family Conference, Sydney.
  • Baxter, J. A. (2013, 13-14 November). Fathers' leave, fathers' involvement and child development: Are they related? Evidence from OECD countries. Growing Up in Australia and Footprints in Time: The LSAC-LSIC Conference, Melbourne.
  • Baxter, J. A. (2013, 27 November). Parents working out work: An examination of families interactions with paid employment in Australia today. AIFS Seminar series, Melbourne.
  • Baxter, J. A. (2014, 11 June). AIFS' experience (to date) in using the ACLD. Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset (ACLD) Technical Workshop, Melbourne.
  • Baxter, J. A., & Gray, M. (2014, 20 June). Employment without childcare: Mothers' double burden or father involvement? 2nd Work and Family Researchers Network Conference, New York, USA.
  • Baxter, J. A., & Gray, M. (2013, 31 August). Employment without childcare: How do parents do it? 27th International Population Conference, Busan, Korea.
  • Baxter, J. A., Gray, M., Hand, K., & Hayes, A. (2013, 13-14 November). Parental joblessness, financial disadvantage and the wellbeing of parents and children. Growing Up in Australia and Footprints in Time: The LSAC-LSIC Conference, Melbourne.
  • Baxter, J. A., & Strazdins, L. (2013, 14 November). Children's views of their parents' jobs. Growing Up in Australia and Footprints in Time: The LSAC-LSIC Conference, Melbourne.
  • Baxter, J. A., & Strazdins, L. (2014, 21 June). Which children think their fathers work too much? Cross sectional and longitudinal analysis of employment and family characteristics linked with Australian boys' and girls' reports of their fathers' jobs. 2nd Work and Family Researchers Network Conference, New York, USA.
  • Britt, C., & Forrest, W. (2013, 14 November). Assessing the analytical properties of group-based trajectory models for longitudinal data count: A simulation study. Growing Up in Australia and Footprints in Time: The LSAC-LSIC Research Conference, Melbourne.
  • Carson, R. (2013, 30 August). The 2012 family law (family violence) reforms: An empirical analysis. "The More Things Change: Unpicking the Threads of Evidence in Domestic Law Matters" Forum, hosted by the Illawarra and Southern Highlands Family Law Pathways Network and the Illawarra Committee Against Domestic Violence, Wollongong, NSW.
  • Carson, R. (2014, 13 March). The whys and wherefores of children's matters with special emphasis on the ICL. Monash University Law School "Principles of Family Law" course, Melbourne.
  • Carson, R. (2014, 28 May). Independent Children's Lawyers Study: The research and the report. Northern Family Law Pathways Network, Launceston, Tasmania.
  • Christian, A., Renda, J., & Corey, J. (2013, 13-14 November). Protocols for the collection of sensitive data from adolescents in Wave 6 of The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Growing Up in Australia and Footprints in Time: The LSAC-LSIC Research Conference, Melbourne.
  • Daraganova, G., Mullan, K., & Edwards, B. (2013, 13-14 November). Attendance in primary school: Factors and consequences. Growing Up in Australia and Footprints in Time: The LSAC-LSIC Research Conference, Melbourne.
  • Daraganova, G., & Edwards, B. (2013, 13-14 November). The OECD Education and Social Progress Project (ESP): An international comparative study of the role of non-cognitive skills on the social progress. Evidence from LSAC. Growing Up in Australia and Footprints in Time: The LSAC-LSIC Research Conference, Melbourne.
  • Delfabbro, P., Thomas, A., & Armstrong, A. R. (2013, 21 November). Problem gambling behaviours. 23rd Annual Conference for the National Association of Gambling Studies, Sydney.
  • Fileborn, B., & Stathopoulos, M. (2013, 12 July). Can prisons be supportive of victim/survivors' needs? Considering the role of prison culture and alternative responses. Australian and New Zealand Critical Criminology Conference, University of Tasmania, Hobart.
  • Forrest, W. (2013, 13-14 November). The intergenerational transmission of Indigenous languages within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families. Growing Up in Australia and Footprints in Time: The LSAC-LSIC Research Conference, Melbourne.
  • Gray, M., De Vaus, D., Qu, L., & Stanton, D. (2014, 4 June). Single motherhood, paid employment and the social security system. Foundation for International Studies on Social Security Conference, Sigtuna, Sweden.
  • Hand, K., & Baxter, J. (2013, 18 July). Maternal employment and the care of school-aged children. 5th International Community, Work and Family Conference, Sydney.
  • Hayes, A. (2014, 29 May). Life chances: Stories of growing up in Australia. Book launch for J. Taylor. (2014). Life chances: Stories of growing up in Australia, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Fitzroy, Vic.
  • Hayes, A. (2014, 26 May). Changing gambling environments: From awareness to collective responsibility and coordinated action. Launch of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week, 26 May - 1 June 2014, Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, Melbourne.
  • Hayes, A. (2014, 23 May). Beyond individuals to families (and communities) in context. Families Australia Board Meeting, Brisbane.
  • Hayes, A. (2014, 23 May). Beyond single generation solutions: Prevention and early intervention in life course perspective. Families Australia Policy Forum, Brisbane.
  • Hayes, A. (2014, 2 May). The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS): An overview of its origins, organisation, current research and dissemination activities. Federal Circuit Court of Australia Annual Conference, Melbourne.
  • Hayes, A. (2014, 28 February). Longitudinal insights into the power of parenting: From early childhood to the middle years and beyond. 16th Annual Conference, Helping Families Change, Sydney.
  • Hayes, A. (2014, 21 February). Bouncing back: Family strengths and community supports when stuff happens! Sydney Anglican Diocese Mothers' Union Seminar, "When Stuff Happens: Helping Families Through the Difficult Times", Sydney.
  • Hayes, A. (2014, 7 February). Australia's longitudinal studies as rich resources for studying development, health and wellbeing across the lifespan. Macquarie University 2014 Institute of Early Childhood Staff Retreat, Sydney.
  • Hayes, A. (2013, 17 December). Australian Gambling Research Centre (AGRC): Purpose and directions. Australasian Gaming Council Board Meeting, Melbourne.
  • Hayes, A. (2013, 21 November). Australian Gambling Research Centre (AGRC): Purpose and directions. 23rd Annual Conference of the National Association for Gambling Studies Inc., Sydney.
  • Hayes, A. (2013, 1 November). Looking at childhood through the long lens: Australia's longitudinal studies as windows on human development across the lifespan. Infant and Early Childhood Social and Emotional Wellbeing Conference 2013, Canberra.
  • Hayes, A. (2013, 18 October). Boundary organisations bridging the divide between interdisciplinary research and public policy: The example of the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS). The Humboldt Colloquium, "Looking to the Future: International Research in a Changing World", Sydney.
  • Hayes, A. (2013, 10 October). Bridging the divide and returning the balance: The power of parenting in the middle years and beyond. Family Life Education Conference, Singapore.
  • Hayes, A. (2013, 23 September). Disadvantage in the here and now: The state of our knowledge versus the knowledge of the state. Early Years Research Group, Liverpool Hospital, Sydney.
  • Hayes, A. (2013, 2 July). The value of the long view: Australia's longitudinal studies as a window on human development. Conference of the Australasian Human Development Association, Surfers Paradise, Qld.
  • Higgins, D. (2013, 30 September). Child safe organisations and the role of religious institutions. "Religions and Sexual Politics in Postsecular Australia" workshop, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society and the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia,Melbourne.
  • Higgins, D. (2013, 1 October). Child-safe environments: Lessons from research about protecting children from abuse in organisational settings. 2013 Association of Children's Welfare Agencies Breakfast Briefing, Sydney.
  • Higgins, D. (2013, 1 October). Making your organisation child safe. 2013 Association of Children's Welfare Agencies Best Practice Forum, Sydney.
  • Higgins, D. (2013, 12 November). Child abuse prevention and the public health approach: Balancing universal and targeted services to enhance family environments for children. 13th Australasian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect. Melbourne.
  • Higgins, D., & Kenny, P. (2013, 10 October). Adoption - past; impacts - current: Meeting the psychological needs of those affected by forced adoption and the practices from the period of closed adoption in Australia. 48th Annual Conference of the Australian Psychological Society, Cairns.
  • Higgins, D. (2014, 20 March). Child-safe organisations. Aboriginal Child, Family & Community Care State Secretariat Biennial Conference, Coffs Harbour, Qld.
  • Higgins, D. (2014, 31 March). Services to enhance safe and supportive family environments for Australia's children. 2nd Child Aware Approaches Conference,Melbourne.
  • Higgins, D. (2014, 1 April). Where's the child? Lessons from past policy/practice failings to be "child aware". 2nd Child Aware Approaches Conference,Melbourne.
  • Higgins, D. (2014, 8 April). Making organisations child safe: Messages from research and practical implementation strategies. NSW Family and Community Services Workshop on Child Safe Organisations, Sydney.
  • Kaspiew, R. (2013, 6 November). Family violence and family dispute resolution: An empirical exploration of issues and challenges. 6th Family Relationship Services Australia National Conference, Canberra.
  • Kaspiew, R. (2014, 18 February). Independent Children's Lawyers: Multiple perspectives on expectations and experience of practice. AIFS Seminar Series, Melbourne.
  • Kaspiew, R. (2014, 14 March). What do children need from their Independent Children's Lawyer? NSW Legal Aid Professional Development Conference, Newcastle, NSW.
  • Kaspiew, R. (2014, 27 May). Independent Children's Lawyers: All things to all people? The Children and Youth Issues Committee, Law Institute of Victoria, Melbourne.
  • Kaspiew, R., Lewington, M., Lynch, A., & Field, R. (2013, 29 October). Coordinated family dispute resolution: Findings and future directions. CFCA Seminar Series, Australian Institute of Family Studies, Melbourne.
  • Kenny, P., Higgins, D., Soloff, S., Sweid, R., & Ockenden, L. (2014, 30 April) Adoption in Australia: Past practice, impacts and current issues for consideration in a therapeutic setting. Australian Psychological Society (ACT Branch) Professional Development Seminar, Canberra.
  • Meredith, V. (2014, 25 June). Family factors in early school leaving. Barwon South Family Law Pathways Network Forum, Colac, Vic.
  • Meredith, V., Sibbel, A., Washington, P., & Ashby, N. (2014, 26 February). The effects of fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workforce practices on families in Australia. CFCA Seminar Series, Melbourne.
  • Moore, S. (2014, 12 March). Research on Independent Children's Lawyers. Albury Wodonga Family Law Pathways Network Conference, Albury, NSW.
  • Mullan, K., & Higgins, D. (2013, 13-14 November). A safe and supportive family environment for children. Growing Up in Australia and Footprints in Time: The LSAC-LSIC Research Conference, Melbourne.
  • Price-Robertson, R. (2014, 31 March). Child aware approaches: Recognising and implementing child aware principles and practice. 2nd Child Aware Approaches Conference, Melbourne.
  • Qu, L., Gray, M., De Vaus, D., & Stanton, D. (2013, 29 October). The financial consequences of relationship breakdown: A cross-country comparative analysis. International Symposium on Child Support, Australian National University, Canberra.
  • Qu, L. & Weston, R. (2013, 29 October). Findings on child support from the Longitudinal Study of Separated Families. International Symposium on Child Support, Australian National University, Canberra.
  • Qu, L., & Weston, R. (2013, 13-14 November). Separated parents' preferences regarding fathers' involvement in the lives of their children. Growing Up in Australia and Footprints in Time: The LSAC-LSIC Research Conference, Melbourne.
  • Qu, L., & Weston, R. (2014, 11 April). The ageing of the population: Causes and consequences. "Principles of Social Policy" course, Australian National University, Canberra.
  • Quadara, A. (2014, 27 March). A new legal frontier: young people, new technologies and sexual violence. Victoria Police Sex Offenders Registry Asia Pacific Conference, Melbourne.
  • Quadara, A., & Miller, R. (2014, 28 April). Sexual abuse and exploitation prevention: Effective responses. CFCA Seminar Series, Melbourne.
  • Rathus, Z., & Moloney, L. (2013, 8 August). The role of social science research in contemporary family law. CFCA Seminar Series, Melbourne.
  • Rintoul, A. C., Livingstone, C., & Kipsaina, C. (2013, 21 November). Gambling and heart disease: A multilevel analysis. 23rd Annual Conference for the National Association of Gambling Studies, Sydney.
  • Rintoul, A. C., Thomas, A., & Christensen, D. (2014, 21 February). Reducing harm and improving consumer protection: A review of design features critical to the success of EGM pre-commitment technology. 5th International Gambling Conference, Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Robinson, E. (2013, 5 November). Evaluation strategies for family support services. 6th Family and Relationship Services Australia National Conference, Canberra.
  • Robinson, E. (2013, 9 December). The nuts and bolts of program evaluation. CFCA Seminar Series, Melbourne.
  • Robinson, E., & Meredith, V. (2013, 6 November). Family factors in early school leaving. 6th Family and Relationship Services Australia National Conference, Canberra.
  • Scott, D. (2013, 3 September). Keeping kids safe starts with you. NSW Health Child Protection Week Interagency Forum, "Child Protection is Everybody's Business", Sydney.
  • Scott, D. (2014, 6 May). Meeting children's needs when the family environment isn't always "good enough": A systems approach. Integrated Practice Seminar Series IV, Greater Shepparton Best Start Project, Berry Street and FamilyCare, Shepparton.
  • Scott, D., Tonmyr, L., Tanaka, M., Higgins, D., Gonzalez, A., & MacMillan, H. (2013, 11 November). Do risk indicators associated with neglect differ from other types of maltreatment? 13th Australasian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, Melbourne.
  • Smart, D. (2013, 17 November). Time-activity patterns in children aged 0-9 in Australia. International Research Workshop on Children and Noise, Griffith University, Victor Harbour, SA.
  • Strazdins, L., & Baxter, J. A. (2013, 13-14 November). Children's perceptions of their parents' jobs. Growing Up in Australia and Footprints in Time: The LSAC-LSIC Research Conference, Melbourne.
  • Stathopoulos, M., & Quadara, A. (2013, 30 August). Women as offenders, women as victims: The role of corrections in supporting women with histories of sexual abuse. "Women as Offenders, Women as Victims" Forum, NSW Department of Corrective Services, Sydney.
  • Thomas, A., Armstrong, A. R., & Delfabbro, P. (2013, 21 November). Staff intervention on problem gamblers. 23rd Annual Conference for the National Association of Gambling Studies, Sydney.
  • Thomas, A., Delfabbro, P., & Armstrong, A. R. (2013, 27 November). Visible indicators of problem gambling in EGM venues. Community Education Peer Network Meeting, Melbourne.
  • Thomas, A., (2014, 20 February). Removal of ATMs from electronic gaming machine venues in Victoria, Australia. 5th International Gambling Conference, Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Thomas, A., Delfabbro, P., & Armstrong, A. R. (2014, 27 May) Can we see gambling problems? Visible indicators of gambling problems in EGM venues. Responsible Gambling Awareness Week, Melbourne.
  • Vasiliadis, S., McGaurr, L., & Beha, B. (2013, 8 November). Youth gambling in Australia [Audio podcast]. Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies, Hobart.
  • Vasiliadis, S., Dowling, N., & Jackson, A. C. (2014, 21 February). Gen Y: Gambling to cheer up and get high. 5th International Gambling Conference, Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Weston, R., Qu, L., & Dunstan, J. (2013, 3 July). Fathers who do not see their children after parental separation. The Child Support National Stakeholder Engagement Group Meeting, Department of Human Services, Canberra.
Appendix D: List of requirements

The Annual Report is prepared in accordance with the Requirements for Annual Reports approved by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit. This index refers to mandatory and suggested reporting items.

Description Requirement
Letter of transmittal Mandatory
Table of contents Mandatory
Index Mandatory
Glossary Mandatory
Contact officer(s) Mandatory
Internet home page address and Internet address for report Mandatory
Review by Director  
Review by Director Mandatory
Summary of significant issues and developments Suggested
Overview of agency's performance and financial results Suggested
Outlook for following year Suggested
Significant issues and developments - portfolio N/A
Agency overview  
Role and functions Mandatory
Organisational structure Mandatory
Outcome and program structure Mandatory
Where outcome and program structures differ from PB Statements/PAES or other portfolio statements accompanying any other additional appropriation bills (other portfolio statements), details of variation and reasons for change NA
Portfolio structure N/A
Report on performance  
Review of performance during the year in relation to programs and contribution to outcomes Mandatory
Actual performance in relation to deliverables and KPIs set out in PB Statements/PAES or other portfolio statements Mandatory
Where performance targets differ from the PBS/ PAES, details of both former and new targets, and reasons for the change Mandatory
Narrative discussion and analysis of performance Mandatory
Trend information Mandatory
Significant changes in nature of principal functions/services N/A
Performance of purchaser/provider arrangements N/A
Factors, events or trends influencing agency performance Suggested
Contribution of risk management in achieving objectives Suggested
Performance against service charter customer service standards, complaints data, and the department's response to complaints N/A
Discussion and analysis of the agency's financial performance Mandatory
Discussion of any significant changes in financial results from the prior year, from budget or anticipated to have a significant impact on future operations Mandatory
Agency resource statement and summary resource tables by outcomes Mandatory
Management and accountability  
Corporate governance  
Agency heads are required to certify that their agency complies with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines Mandatory
Statement of the main corporate governance practices in place Mandatory
Names of the senior executive and their responsibilities Suggested
Senior management committees and their roles Suggested
Corporate and operational plans and associated performance reporting and review Suggested
Internal audit arrangements, including approach adopted to identifying areas of significant financial or operational risk and arrangements to manage those risks Suggested
Policy and practices on the establishment and maintenance of appropriate ethical standards Suggested
How nature and amount of remuneration for SES officers is determined Suggested
External scrutiny  
Significant developments in external scrutiny Mandatory
Judicial decisions and decisions of administrative tribunals and by the Australian Information Commissioner Mandatory
Reports by the Auditor-General, a Parliamentary Committee, the Commonwealth Ombudsman or an agency capability review Mandatory
Management of human resources  
Assessment of effectiveness in managing and developing human resources to achieve departmental objectives Mandatory
Workforce planning, staff turnover and retention Suggested
Impact and features of enterprise or collective agreements, individual flexibility arrangements (IFAs), determinations, common law contracts and Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs) Suggested
Training and development undertaken and its impact Suggested
Work health and safety performance Suggested
Productivity gains Suggested
Statistics on staffing Mandatory
Enterprise or collective agreements, IFAs, determinations, common law contracts and AWAs Mandatory
Performance pay Mandatory
Assets management  
Assessment of effectiveness of assets management N/A
Purchasing  
Assessment of purchasing against core policies and principles Mandatory
Consultants  
The annual report must include a summary statement detailing the number of new consultancy services contracts let during the year; the total actual expenditure on all new consultancy contracts let during the year (inclusive of GST); the number of ongoing consultancy contracts that were active in the reporting year; and the total actual expenditure in the reporting year on the ongoing consultancy contracts (inclusive of GST). The annual report must include a statement noting that information on contracts and consultancies is available through the AusTender website. Mandatory
Australian National Audit Office Access Clauses  
Absence of provisions in contracts allowing access by the Auditor-General Mandatory
Exempt contracts  
Contracts exempted from publication in AusTender Mandatory
Financial statements  
Financial statements Mandatory
Other mandatory information  
Work health and safety (Schedule 2, Part 4 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011) Mandatory
Advertising and market research (Section 311A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918) and statement on advertising campaigns Mandatory
Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance (Section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999) Mandatory
Compliance with the agency's obligations under the Carer Recognition Act 2010 N/A
Grant programs N/A
Disability reporting - explicit and transparent reference to agency-level information available through other reporting mechanisms Mandatory
Information Publication Scheme statement Mandatory
Correction of material errors in previous annual report N/A
Agency resource statements and resources for outcomes Mandatory
List of requirements Mandatory

Note: N/A = not applicable

Appendix E: Acronyms and abbreviations

Acronym Description
AASB Australian Accounting Standards Board
ABS Australian Bureau of Statistics
ACSPRI Australian Consortium for Social and Political Research Incorporated
ACSSA Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault
ACT Australian Capital Territory
ADF Australian Defence Force
AFSA Australian Family & Society Abstracts
AFRC Australian Family Relationships Clearinghouse
AGD Attorney-General's Department
AGRC Australian Gambling Research Centre
AIFS Australian Institute of Family Studies
AIHW Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
AM Member of the Order of Australia
ANAO Australian National Audit Office
ANROWS Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety
ANU Australian National University
AO Officer of the Order of Australia
APS Australian Public Service
ATP Australian Temperament Project
AWA Australian Workplace Agreement
BNLA Building a New Life in Australia
CAFCA Communities and Families Clearinghouse Australia
CDDA Compensation for Detriment Caused by Defective Administration
CFCA Child Family Community Australia information exchange
COAG Council of Australian Governments
CSS Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme
Cth Commonwealth
DCB Departmental Capital Budget
DHS Australian Government Department of Human Services
DoE Department of Education
DSS Department of Social Services
DVA Department of Veterans' Affairs
EL Executive Level
FaHCSIA Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
FBT Fringe Benefits Tax
FMA Act Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997
FMO Finance Minister's Order
FOI Act Freedom of Information Act 1982
FRS Family Relationship Services
GST Goods and Services Tax
HILDA Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey
ICL Independent Children's Lawyers
IFA Individual flexibility arrangements
IPS Information Publication Scheme
KPI Key performance indicator
LSAC Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children
LSIC Footprints in Time: The Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children
LSSF Family Pathways: The Longitudinal Study of Separated Families
MOU Memorandum of understanading
MP Member of Parliament
NCPC National Child Protection Clearinghouse
NIPH Norwegian Institute of Public Health
NSW New South Wales
NSW FaCS NSW Department of Family and Community Services
NT Northern Territory
OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
OOHC Out-of-home care
OPA Official Public Account
OTM Other Trust Monies
PAES Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements
PBS Portfolio Budget Statements
PGPA Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013
PM&C Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
PSM Public Service Medal
PSPF Protective Security Policy Framework
PSS Public Sector Superannuation Scheme
PSSap Public Sector Superannuation Scheme Accumulation Plan
Qld Queensland
RACV Royal Automobile Club of Victoria
SA South Australia
SES Senior Executive Service
SFIA Stronger Families in Australia
SOETM Services for Other Entities and Trust Moneys Special accounts
SOG Services for Other Government and Non-Agency Bodies accounts
SPRC Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales
SRSP Survey of Recently Separated Parents
Tas. Tasmania
UK United Kingdom
UNSW University of New South Wales
USA United States of America
Vic. Victoria
VVFS Vietnam Veterans Family Study
WA Western Australia

Publication details

Annual Report
Published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, September 2014
144 pp.

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