Annual report 2014–15

Annual report 2014–15

Annual Report – October 2015

You are in an archived section of the AIFS website. Archived publications may be of interest for historical reasons. Because of their age, they may not reflect current research data or AIFS' current research methodologies.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has had another successful year conducting research and communicating our research findings on factors affecting Australian families. Our research program continued to explore new issues relevant to Australian family wellbeing and policy development, including child care and early childhood development, responses to family violence, the mental health of children of humanitarian migrants, the effects of demographic change in Australia, and the complex needs of families of serving and ex-serving Defence Force personnel. The Institute also focused on our longitudinal studies, which continue to add great depth to understanding Australian families across the life course. Over the year we launched a new version of the AIFS website that substantially improves our ability to showcase the work of the Institute and communicate with our online visitors in a dynamic and user-friendly manner.

Read the publication

Director's review

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has had another successful year conducting research and communicating our research findings on factors affecting Australian families. Our research program continued to explore new issues relevant to Australian family wellbeing and policy development, including child care and early childhood development, responses to family violence, the mental health of children of humanitarian migrants, the effects of demographic change in Australia, and the complex needs of families of serving and ex-serving Defence Force personnel. The Institute also focused on our longitudinal studies, which continue to add great depth to understanding Australian families across the life course. Over the year we launched a new version of the AIFS website that substantially improves our ability to showcase the work of the Institute and communicate with our online visitors in a dynamic and user-friendly manner.

Following machinery of government changes in December 2014, the Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Minister for Social Services, assumed responsibility for the Institute.

After more than 10 years at the Institute, Professor Alan Hayes AM resigned as Director on 30 June 2015. Professor Hayes presided over a long period of strong growth in the Institute's research and organisational capacity. His dedication and leadership will be missed, but we wish him all the best in his future endeavours. From 1 July 2015 he became the inaugural Distinguished Professor of Family Studies and Director of the Family Action Centre at the University of Newcastle.

Ms Anne Hollonds has been appointed as the new Director of the Institute and will take up the role on 7 September 2015.

Research highlights 2014-15

During the past year, the Institute worked on 43 research projects, and continued to extend its expertise and experience and make a significant contribution to policy development in a wide range of areas.

Growing Up in Australia

Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children follows the development of 10,000 children and their families in urban and rural areas of Australia and continues to provide insights into the paths Australian children and their families take through life. The study addresses a range of questions about children's development and wellbeing and is conducted as a partnership between the Department of Social Services (DSS), AIFS and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Children in the study are now aged 10-11 years and 14-15 years. The next wave of the study will include new measures covering areas such as educational pathways (school, tertiary education, apprenticeships etc.), gambling, driving and work.

During the reporting period, the fourth edition of The LSAC Annual Statistical Report was released. It presented findings in a range of research areas including: the care of children in school holidays, the body image of primary school children, parental concerns over children's unsupervised time and physical activity, and father's involvement in the lives of their children. The fifth edition of the annual statistical report, prepared during the reporting period, will present findings on: the transition to secondary school, gender role attitudes within couples, the educational expectations of children and their mothers, and the early onset of crime and delinquency among Australian children.

Building a New Life in Australia

Building a New Life in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Humanitarian Migrants is a long-term research project that examines how humanitarian migrants settle into a new life in Australia. The study is being conducted over five years, with annual data collections tracing the participants' early months in Australia through to their eligibility for citizenship.

The second wave of data for the study has recently been collected, and planning for the third wave is well underway. While the study examines the wellbeing of adults and older adolescents, in Wave 3 it will also include a special focus on the mental health and wellbeing of children who are 5-17 years of age.

The early findings indicate that humanitarian migrants in the early months of their settlement in Australia appear to be adjusting quite well to their new lives and that most of them feel they have been welcomed to Australia. Although a few of the humanitarian migrants were in employment, most of them were taking classes to improve their English language skills. A substantial minority, however, were experiencing mental health problems, most likely as a result of traumatic events experienced before their arrival in Australia.

Australian Temperament Project

The Australian Temperament Project (ATP) has been running for over 30 years, following a group of children in Victoria from infancy through to adulthood. Now in its 16th wave, the ATP is currently collecting data from three generations of the same families (the original participants, their parents and their own children), including a focus on the gambling behaviours of the young adults, and their exposure during childhood/adolescence to the gambling behaviours of their parents. Analysis of the latest data from the 15th wave has focused on cognitive ability and personality traits in fostering wellbeing and social progress, protective factors against subsequent violence among at-risk children, factors associated with stability and change in risky driving behaviour from the late teens to the late twenties, and risk factors for child maltreatment.

Data Integrating Authority

In November 2014 the Institute was accredited as a Commonwealth Data Integrating Authority. The accreditation is a major achievement for AIFS, and will enhance the Institute's data holdings and capacity to make more effective use of Commonwealth data and other statistical information holdings. It will also enable the Institute to assist other agencies to link datasets. Statistical integration aims to maximise the potential analytic value of existing and new datasets, and to improve community health and social and economic wellbeing by integrating data across multiple sources. The accreditation reflects the outstanding work of teams across the Institute in recent years to progressively upgrade the Institute's data management, security and information technology capacity.

Defence Family Wellbeing Study

The Defence Family Wellbeing Study is one of three studies funded by the Departments of Defence and Veterans' Affairs as part of the Wellbeing Research Programme. The Family Wellbeing Study is being conducted by AIFS and will provide an opportunity to address current research gaps in Australia around Defence Force families and contribute to the collection of data that will inform current government policy and the development of intervention programs. The results could also contribute to future longitudinal research into the wellbeing of the Defence community.

The study will compare the experiences of the wellbeing of families after transition from military to civilian life to those who are still in the military. The study hopes to raise the understanding of the challenges facing these families, what military families do to get help during challenging times, and what services they find helpful.

Evaluating the 2012 Family Violence Amendments

Evaluating the 2012 Family Violence Amendments is a project commissioned and funded by the Australian Government's Attorney-General's Department (AGD) to research the effects of the family violence reforms introduced by the Family Law Legislation Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Act 2011. These amendments were intended to improve the identification of, and response to, matters involving family violence and safety concerns. The project consisted of three parts: a survey of the practices and experiences of professionals working in the family law sector, two surveys of recently separated parents (in 2012 and 2014) and the Court Outcomes Project. Reports arising from the evaluation will be released in the second half of 2015.

Australian Gambling Research Centre

Gambling is a major public policy issue in Australia, affecting the health and wellbeing of many families. The Australian Gambling Research Centre (AGRC) conducts policy-relevant research, informed by a public health population-level approach. It seeks to raise awareness and understanding of the potential effects of gambling, including benefits and harms, and contribute to informed debate in the community to prevent and reduce harm from gambling.

A key focus of the AGRC in 2014-15 has been to include gambling-related questions in large Australian longitudinal studies. As well as including gambling questions in the most recent wave of data for the ATP, the centre has submitted proposals to include gambling questions in the next waves of the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC), LSAC and the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australian survey (HILDA).

Communicating our research

Communicating our research findings to a broad audience is a key role for the Institute. We do this through our publications, such as the Family Matters journal and research reports, through our information exchange, by researchers presenting at conferences, and by hosting our own conferences, seminars and webinars. The Institute's research is widely reported in the media and promoted through our websites and social media.

New website

The new AIFS website was launched in May 2015 and features a fresh and attractive responsive design, showcasing AIFS' research expertise, current projects, researchers, resources, publications and podcasts. The new site helps users to better understand the breadth and depth of AIFS work - both past and present - and the expertise of staff in our key research areas. The site is also more responsive on different mobile devices, allowing users to easily read and engage with our content via their device of choice, whether it's their desktop, tablet or smartphone.

Child Family Community Australia

The Child Family Community Australia (CFCA) information exchange continued to expand its work in synthesising research and disseminating findings to professionals in the child, family and community welfare sectors. The use of electronic communication channels, such as online publications of papers, facts sheets and short articles, social networking tools and online webinars, has proved to be an effective method for disseminating research to CFCA's primary audience of service providers and practitioners. In September 2014 a new CFCA website was launched, featuring a simpler navigation, streamlined access to content and better use of images and multimedia content, which has further improved CFCA's engagement with its primary stakeholders.

Families and Children Activity Expert Panel

In 2014, the Institute was commissioned by the Department of Social Services to manage the establishment of a panel of experts to support, strengthen and evaluate the department's Families and Children Activity. The panel will help to increase the use of evidence-based programs and practices and continue to build this evidence base through evaluation, with a focus on prevention and early intervention approaches. Evidence-based program profiles for Communities for Children Facilitating Partners are now available.

Events

The Institute increases its public engagement by hosting conferences, seminars and webinars. The 13th AIFS Conference was held in July 2014, attracting 480 delegates, with more than 140 oral presentations and three keynote addresses. The conference again provided a great opportunity for government policy-makers, practitioners and researchers to exchange ideas and share their knowledge.

The 14th biennial AIFS conference will be held at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre from Wednesday 6 July to Friday 8 July 2016. The organisation of the conference is progressing well and we aim to maintain its reputation as Australia's premier family studies conference.

The Institute continued to run its seminar series in 2014-15, attracting a range of diverse and eminent speakers who generously shared their knowledge across a variety of areas affecting families. Topics included harm reduction and gambling, child custody evaluations and domestic violence, and childhood influences on the wellbeing of baby boomers. For more details about these seminars, see AIFS Seminar Series.

Publications

The Institute continued to produce its high-quality research during the year, with 90 project reports and publications released, and 2.76 million publication downloads from the website. Among many others, AIFS published reports on the demographics of living alone, the economic consequences of divorce, keeping up with information and communication technology, fatherhood and mental illness, and child care and early childhood education in Australia.

Governance, performance and risk management

Finances

In the 2014-15 financial year, AIFS operated with $4,630,000 of government appropriation and $8,760,702 of other revenue (primarily from contracted research), as detailed in the financial statements. The Institute incurred a budget deficit for the financial year 2014-15 of $357,481. This deficit is made up of the depreciation expense for 2014-15 of $361,397. After adjusting for this item, AIFS would have reported a surplus of $3,916.

Agency Plan

The development of a Corporate Plan, which AIFS refers to as its Agency Plan, is now a requirement under the new Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA). It is the principal planning and operational document for AIFS and includes an outline of the purposes, environment, activities, performance, capability, risk management and oversight systems of the Institute. The Agency Plan outlines AIFS' vision, mission and values, reflecting the environment in which we work and conveying the ways in which we conduct our work. The plan profiles the Institute's current research focus, identifies research opportunities for the future and lists some of our recent achievements. The Agency Plan has been available on the AIFS website since August 2015.

Advisory Council

The Institute's Advisory Council provided valuable advice on AIFS research activities throughout the past year. In particular, the Council contributed to the development of the AIFS Agency Plan, which will support our capacity to deliver rigorous, relevant and timely research.

The end of the financial year also coincided with the departure of our Council chair, Rev. the Hon. Professor Brian Howe AO, who has chaired the Council for six years. I would like to thank Professor Howe for his commitment to the Institute and for generously making his expertise and ever-wise counsel available over the years.

For more information on the Advisory Council, see Advisory Council.

Outlook for 2015-16

The Institute is well positioned in 2015-16 to continue our innovative, impartial and high-quality research. The suite of longitudinal studies, the growth of our evaluation capacity, the extension of our communications activities, and our well-developed governance, management and accountability infrastructure, are all reflective of a strong, vibrant and sustainable organisation.

As the influence of the Institute's work on the Australian community grows, we also continue to advance understanding by policy-makers of the key issues affecting Australian families across the life course. Our current research priorities reflect the wide-ranging expertise of our researchers as we examine ageing, families and the law, children and care, Defence Force families, Indigenous families, humanitarian families, forced adoption and past family removal practices, gambling, and preventing and responding to family violence and sexual abuse.

Inevitably, a new Director will bring fresh ideas, knowledge and enthusiasm to the Institute and the staff at AIFS are looking forward to this new era.

Ms Sue Tait
Acting Director, Australian Institute of Family Studies

4 September 2015

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). 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 2015, 89 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 and is supported by two Deputy Directors - Deputy Director (Research) and Deputy Director (Corporate & Strategy) - and an Assistant Director (Research). This group works 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).

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 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, human resources and business capability services.

Figure 2.1: AIFS organisational structure as at 30 June 2015

AIFS organisational structure as at 30 June 2015

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 2014-15 (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 - increased 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.

In 2014-15, the Institute operated within a wider environment of fiscal restraint. This primarily affected the ability of other organisations to initiate and fund new projects, which in turn resulted in a slight decrease in some of the Institute's deliverables and key performance indicators (KPIs) (see Tables 3.1 and 3.2). Despite these external constraints, those indicators that were less directly affected by the availability of funding exceeded their targets, demonstrating that the Institute continues to perform at a high level and achieve its stated outcome.

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 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.

In addition, the Institute is regularly involved in broader Australian Government policy and research processes through its preparation of submissions to inquiries and provision of consultancy services to other organisations. AIFS also promotes research collaboration by sharing data nationally and internationally, making presentations at a wide range of local and overseas conferences and other meetings, and hosting a range of visiting international researchers (see Appendix D on for details).

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 2014-15 and forward estimates for 2015-16 to 2017-18.

Table 3.1: Deliverable indicators: Actual (2013-14 to 2014-15) and forward estimates (2015-16 to 2017-18)
Deliverable indicator Actual Target Actual Forward estimates
2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
Number of research outputs and publications 111 100 90 100 100 100
Number of conferences, seminars and forums hosted 22 18 21 18 18 18
Number of presentations given by AIFS 84 100 86 80 100 80
Number of bibliographic records generated 2,163 2,000 2,368 2,000 2,000 2,000

The first deliverable - research outputs and publications - is a core deliverable for the Institute. Among the 90 research outputs, the Institute published six works in its Research Report series, and three issues of Family Matters. The number of research outputs is slightly lower than forecast due to the constraints in the budgetary environment mentioned above.

The second deliverable identifies the number of conferences, seminars and other communication events hosted. In 2014-15, AIFS delivered 21 events, which is above the target of 18 for the year.

The number of presentations given by AIFS personnel was below the target. This was likely to due to variations in the cycle of project work and the tight fiscal environment.

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.

Key performance indicators

The Institute's research and communication performance is measured against seven 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 2012-13 to 2017-18. The actuals for 2012-13 to 2014-15 are shown, along with the targets for 2014-15 and forward estimates for the following three years. The results show that the Institute met or exceeded almost all of its targets.

Table 3.2: Key performance indicators: Actuals (2012-13 to 2014-15) and forward estimates (2015-16 to 2017-18)
Key performance indicator Actuals Target Actuals Forward estimates
2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
Research              
Number of commissioning bodies 20 24 20 21 20 20 20
Number of research projects 43 45 45 43 45 45 45
Number of longitudinal studies 7 7 6 5 5 5 5
Communications              
Number of publications distributed and downloaded (millions) 2.69 3.31 2.50 2.76 a 3.00 3.00 3.00
Total attendance at AIFS conferences, seminars, webinars and forums 1,709 3,053 2,500 4,307 2,000 2,500 2,000
Number of media mentions b 4,611 5,615 3,300 6,499 3,000 3,500 3,000
% of research personnel with postgraduate qualifications 59% 67% 60% 67% 60% 60% 60%

Note: a In 2014-15, the method of collecting website data was changed; therefore, while this method produces broadly similar data, the statistics are not necessarily directly comparable with data for previous years. b Data provided by iSentia.

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 2014-15, the Institute was commissioned by 21 organisations to undertake research projects, exceeding the KPI target. Read in conjunction with the financial tables, it can be noted that commissioned work accounted for 62% of the Institute's income.

The Institute undertook 43 research projects during the reporting period. This is slightly lower than the target and points to the reliance of this KPI 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 2014-15, 67% of researchers at the Institute held postgraduate qualifications, which is substantially higher than the target of 60%.

The Institute was involved in five 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;
  • Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children; and
  • Pathways of Care: The Longitudinal Study of Children and Young People in Out-of-Home Care.

The number of longitudinal studies has been included as a KPI because these studies collect data about the same cohort of participants over time, and are especially useful for studying developmental trends. They are invaluable for answering a range of policy- and practice-relevant questions with confidence and reliability. The nature of such studies requires a longer term commitment of resources by funding and partner bodies, often over a number of years or even decades. Therefore, this KPI is particularly reliant on the capacity of other bodies to make an ongoing financial commitment to a project, and in 2014-15, within a fiscally constrained environment, the number of longitudinal studies is slightly below target.

Communication

The number of AIFS publications printed and downloaded indicates the uptake of the Institute's published findings. In 2014-15, the 2.8 million publications distributed exceeded the target of 2.0 million. This is reflective of the credibility of the Institute as a reliable source of high-quality data and analyses on family wellbeing. A complete list of Institute research outputs and publications for 2014-15 is available in Appendix C.

Attendance at AIFS events, such as conferences and seminars, continued to increase in 2014-15. 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 4,307 participants across all events, was 72% above the target of 2,500 participants and highlights the popularity of the online webinars. Appendix C provides a complete list of these events.

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 16% in 2014-15 and almost doubled the target. The continued interest from online, print, television and radio journalists provides a valuable conduit for research about Australian families. In 2014-15, online news coverage was again the strongest medium for AIFS, resulting in 3,796 mentions.

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. All projects undertaken during the reporting period and their relevance to the research directions are listed in Table 3.3. This demonstrates that the work undertaken by AIFS encompasses a wide range of subject areas within the family studies field, with a balance of coverage across the four research directions.

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: <aifs.gov.au/about-us>.

Table 3.3: AIFS research projects 2014-15 and relevance to research directions
Project title Duration Project funder Project partner Research directions
Family change Participation Safety Services
Australian Temperament Project 1983- (ongoing) Appropriation Melbourne Uni., Deakin Uni., RCH X X X X
Beyond 18: The Longitudinal Study on Leaving Care Jun 2012 - Jun 2017 Victorian DHHS SPRC, Monash Uni. X X   X
Building a New Life in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Humanitarian Migrants Jun 2012 - Jun 2018 DSS; Melbourne Uni.; Phoenix Australia   X X   X
Child Care Flexibility Trials: Evaluation Apr 2013 - Mar 2015 DoE     X   X
Children and Families Secretaries (CAFS) Data Sharing Projects: Scoping Study Jun-Dec 2015 DSS   X X   X
Co-Located Child Protection Practitioner Roles: Evaluation Nov 2014 - Aug 2015 Victorian DHHS       X X
Commonwealth Placed-Based Service Delivery Initiatives: Key Learnings Project Apr 2013 - Sep 2014 PM&C   X X   X
Cradle to Kinder and Aboriginal Cradle to Kinder Program: Evaluation Feb 2013 - Jan 2016 Victorian DHHS CCCH X X X X
Data Linkage Integration Authority Ongoing Appropriation   X X X X
Defence Family Wellbeing Study Jun 2014 - Jan 2017 DVA Adelaide Uni. X X   X
Establishing the Connection: Linking Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Services with Drug Abuse Services Nov 2014 - Feb 2016 ANROWS       X X
Evidence Compass: Rapid Evidence Assessments Feb 2015 - Aug 2015 DVA   X X   X
Families and Children Activity Expert Panel Jul 2014 - Jun 2019 DSS   X X X X
Family Dynamics Around Disclosure of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Sep-Dec 2014 Royal Commission       X X
Family Law Developments Ongoing Appropriation   X   X X
Family Law: Evaluation of the 2012 Family Violence Amendments (Survey of Recently Separated Families) Sep 2013 - Aug 2015 AGD   X   X X
Family Mental Health Support Service: Service Framework Development Jun-Nov 2014 Uniting Communities SA   X X X X
Family Support Focus Group Study Feb 2014 - Aug 2015 DSS   X     X
Family Trends and Transitions 1980- (ongoing) Appropriation   X X    
Family Violence Prevention: Impact of Domestic and Family Violence on Parenting Nov 2014 - Dec 2016 ANROWS       X X
Forced Adoptions Community of Practice May 2015 - Jun 2016 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
New Income Management in the Northern Territory: Phase 2 Evaluation Nov-Dec 2014 UNSW     X X  
Non-Parent Carers Survey Jun 2015 - Dec 2016 DSS   X 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. Judith Cashmore; Assoc. Prof. Paul Delfabbro X   X X
Preventing Violence Against Women Models of Intervention: A Comparative Study Jun 2014 - Dec 2015 VicHealth       X X
Prevention and Early Intervention Across the Life Course: Scoping Study Jun-Nov 2015 DSS   X     X
Processes of Recovery from Gambling Harms Nov 2013 - Sep 2015 VRGF; Appropriation     X   X
Research and Evaluation Collaboration: Australian Childhood Foundation Jan 2012 - Sep 2014 ACF   X     X
Research and Evaluation Collaboration: Interrelate Family Centres Jul 2010 - Aug 2014 Interrelate   X     X
Research and Evaluation Collaboration: Uniting Communities SA Jan 2014 - Jun 2015 Uniting Communities SA   X     X
Role of Families in the Rehabilitation of Australian Defence Force Members Jan 2014 - Aug 2015 DoD   X X   X
Services Supporting Australian Families Ongoing Appropriation   X X   X
Sexual Violence Research Ongoing Appropriation; ANROWS; MHS; Royal Commission; Melbourne Uni.       X X
Sexualisation of Children Project: Response to Requirements Oct 2014 - Jul 2015 Our Watch       X X
Stronger Families in Australia Study Phase 2 April 2011 - Jun 2015 DSS   X X   X
Understanding Prevention and Early Intervention Approaches in Child Sexual Abuse Jun 2013 - Aug 2015 DSS       X X
Understanding Violence Prevention: Evidence Base for Government and Community Responses May-Aug 2015 VMIA       X X
Work and Family Interactions Ongoing Appropriation   X X    
Information exchanges
Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault 2003 - Sep 2014 DSS       X X
Australian Gambling Research Centre Jul 2013- (ongoing) Appropriation     X   X
Child Family Community Australia Jul 2011 - Jun 2019 DSS   X X X X
Knowledge Circle: Indigenous Child and Family Resources Portal May 2013 - Aug 2016 DSS   X X X X

Note: Acronyms: ABS = Australian Bureau of Statistics; ACF = Australian Childhood Foundation; AGD = Attorney-General's Department; ANROWS = Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety; CCCH = Centre for Community Child Health, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute; DHHS = Victorian Department of Health and Human Services; DoD = Department of Defence; DoE = Department of Education; DSS = Department of Social Services; DVA = Department of Veterans' Affairs; MHS = Medibank Health Solutions; NSW FaCS = NSW Department of Family and Community Services; Phoenix Australia = Phoenix Australia - Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health; PM&C = Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet; RCH = Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne; Royal Commission = Royal Commission Into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse; SA = South Australia; SPRC = Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales; Uni. = university; UNSW = University of New South Wales; VMIA = Victorian Managed Insurance Authority; VRGF = Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.

Research highlights

Building a New Life in Australia

Building a New Life in Australia (BNLA) is a longitudinal study of humanitarian migrants, with five annual data collections, which will follow participants from their early months in Australia to their eligibility for citizenship in order to better understand the factors that influence settlement outcomes, both positively and negatively. The findings will be used to inform the development, targeting and improvement of evidence-based policies and programs for humanitarian arrivals in Australia.

The study was commissioned in 2012 by the then Department of Immigration and Citizenship. From April 2014, responsibility for the study moved to the Department of Social Services. The study is being managed by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, with Colmar Brunton conducting the fieldwork (data collection), in conjunction with Multicultural Marketing and Management (MMM).

The study recruited an initial sample of 2,399 participants. The great majority (77%) had been granted a 200 class humanitarian visa prior to their arrival in Australia, while the remainder had arrived in Australia either by boat (15%) or on another visa type (e.g., tourist, student) (6%) and had subsequently sought a humanitarian visa of the 866 class.

The study provides information on: settlement outcomes (e.g., labour market, housing, mental health), and the degree to which these differ across groups and change over time; the factors that are related to, or may influence, positive and negative outcomes; and the role and influence of funded services on settlement outcomes.

Two waves of data have now been collected, with 2,009 (84%) of the 2,399 individuals who participated in Wave 1 being interviewed in Wave 2. Early findings indicate that humanitarian migrants in the early months of their settlement in Australia appear to be adjusting quite well to their new lives, and most feel they have been made welcome. Although few were in employment at the time of first interview, most were taking classes to improve their English language skills. However, a substantial minority were suffering mental health difficulties that are most likely a result of experiencing traumatic events prior to their arrival in Australia. Secure housing was also identified as an area of difficulty for recent humanitarian migrants. There were few differences in Wave 1 between those who received a humanitarian visa prior to their arrival in Australia and those who sought and were granted their visa after arrival.

Planning is well under way for Wave 3 which, as well as examining the wellbeing of the adult and older adolescent participants, will include a special focus on the mental health and wellbeing of children aged 5-17 years (with additional funding from Melbourne University's Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health).

Family Trends and Transitions

The Family Trends and Transitions project analyses and disseminates information on broad trends in patterns of leaving home, couple and family formation, family stability, and family dissolution and re-formation, along with associated values, attitudes and beliefs. As well as providing a better understanding of society's core values, the monitoring and analysis of these trends are important for policy development or adjustment, and the timely development and design of research projects.

A wide variety of datasets are used in these analyses, including Census data, data derived from large-scale ABS and AIFS surveys (e.g., the Longitudinal Study of Separated Families), and other surveys (e.g., the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia [HILDA] survey).

Family-related trends are disseminated through publications and presentations, the online database Family Facts and Figures, media interviews, and the handling of queries from internal and external sources. The Family Facts and Figures web pages continue to be widely used (with around 110,000 page views in 2014-15).

Recent research has resulted in the publication of two more in the popular Australian Family Trends series of facts sheets, on the topics of living alone demographics, and people's views about keeping up with information and communication technology. In addition, an AIFS Research Report on the economic consequences of separation in six OECD countries was published.

13th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference

The biennial AIFS Conference is an important research dissemination event for the Institute. It is one of the main forums at which policy-makers, researchers and practitioners can meet to exchange information and ideas in fields related to families and their wellbeing, and its continued popularity and the quality of the presentations is a testament to its value to the wider policy and research spheres.

The 13th AIFS Conference, Families in a Rapidly Changing World, was held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 30 July to 1 August 2014. The event attracted 480 delegates from across Australia and overseas and the program featured 140 oral presentations and 34 poster presentations.

The keynote speakers were: Mr Trevor Huddleston CBE, Department for Work and Pensions, UK; Emeritus Professor Dorothy Scott, Bracton Consulting Services Pty Ltd; and Professor Paul Amato, Pennsylvania State University, USA. Further program highlights included three panel sessions on: Strengthening Families and Breaking Cycles of Disadvantage Through Policy and Program Innovation; Complex Needs and Packaged Problems; and Strengthening Relationships and Enhancing Quality.

A large proportion of attendees were representatives from related government departments (such as DSS, AGD and DVA), and researchers from the academic sector, as well as a range of practitioners working in relevant fields. Overall, 98% of respondents to an evaluation survey were satisfied with the conference (rating it good, very good or excellent) and their comments indicated that most found the sessions to be varied, informative and of value to their work. As always, the conference received substantial coverage across radio, newspaper, Internet and television media, as well as social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.

Report on performance - Financial activities

Operating results

In accordance with the Australian Government net cash appropriation arrangements, AIFS incurred a deficit for the financial year 2014-15 of $357,481. This deficit is made up of the depreciation expense for 2014-15 of $361,397. After adjusting for this item, AIFS would have reported a surplus of $3,916.

See Table 3.4 for a summary of budgeted and actual expenses for 2014-15.

Operating revenue

The total operating revenue was $13,390,702 and consisted of the following:

  • government appropriations of $4,630,000;
  • sale of goods and rendering of services of $8,625,974; and
  • other revenue of $134,728.

Operating expenses

Total operating expenses were $13,748,183 and consisted of:

  • employee costs of $9,685,366;
  • supplier expenses of $3,699,642;
  • depreciation and amortisation of $361,397; and
  • loss from asset sales or disposal of $1,778.
Table 3.4: Budgeted and actual expenses for Outcome 1, 2014-15, and budgeted expenses, 2015-16
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 2014-15
$'000
Actual 2014-15
$'000
Variation (column 2 - column 1)
($'000)
Budget 2015-16($'000)
Program 1.1: Australian Institute of Family Studies
Departmental expenses        
Departmental appropriation 14,184 13,359 (825) 13,826
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year 363 389 26 394
Total for Program 1.1 14,547 13,748 (799) 14,220
Outcome 1 totals by appropriation type        
Departmental expenses        
Departmental appropriation 14,184 13,359 (825) 13,826
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year 363 389 26 394
Total expenses for Outcome 1 14,547 13,748 (799) 14,220
Average staffing level 83 83 - 82

Balance sheet

Net asset position

The net asset position at 30 June 2015 was $1,470,868 (2013-14: $1,642,349).

Total assets

Total assets at 30 June 2015 were $7,158,268 (2013-14: $9,818,849). Financial assets decreased by $2,585,200. This decrease in financial assets was mainly due to a significant amount of cash receipts relating to prepaid revenue in 2013-14. Non-financial assets also decreased by $75,381. The decrease in non-financial assets is mainly due to depreciation and a deferment of capital purchases in 2014-15, which was offset by a prepayment of the first pay for 2015-16 to AIFS' outsourced payroll provider.

Total liabilities

Total liabilities at 30 June 2015 were $5,687,400 (2013-14: $8,176,500). The difference is mainly due to a decrease in the level of unearned revenue of $1,928,034, suppliers and accruals of $609,081 and GST payable of $120,534, which were offset by an increase in employee provision of $168,549.

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 governance committees, staff and management committees, robust reporting processes, internal and external audits, the Business Continuity Plan and the Protective Security Policy Framework.

Corporate governance

The Institute operates under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act). The corporate focus throughout 2014-15 was the effective maintenance of high standards of governance, accountability and reporting in order to fulfil all PGPA 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 2014-15, the responsible ministers for AIFS were the Hon. Kevin Andrews MP (up to 23 December 2014) and the Hon. Scott Morrison (from 23 December 2014 onwards).

Fraud control

During the financial year 2014-15, no fraud was identified. The last fraud risk assessment was conducted in November 2014. The next assessment will be undertaken in 2016-17.

Senior executive members

Professor Alan Hayes AM was the Director of the Institute until 30 June 2015. 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 governance 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 2014-15.

Advisory Council members, 2014-15

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, Griffith University

Professor Barbara Pocock AM, Adjunct Professor, University of South Australia

Paul Ronalds, Chief Executive Officer, Save the Children Australia

Emeritus Professor Dorothy Scott OAM

Professor Paul Smyth, School of Social and Political Sciences, The University of Melbourne

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, 2014-15

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 three independent members external to the Institute. The committee met four times during 2014-15, addressing a range of issues, including approval of budgets, Portfolio Budget Statements, mid-year budget reviews, internal and external audit processes, fraud control, PGPA Act compliance reviews, and updates of the Accountable Authority's Instructions, Financial Rules, the AIFS Risk Management Framework and Business Continuity Plan.

Risk Assessment and Audit Committee members, 2014-15

Denise Swift PSM (Chair)

Dennis Mihelyi (Member), Chief Financial Officer, Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate

Brian Scammell (Member), Assistant Commissioner, Corporate Group, 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 Capability Services, 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 four times in 2014-15 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, 2014-15

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

Dr 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

Corporate and statutory reporting

During 2014-15, 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 have contributed to robust compliance standards and reporting performance against outcomes.

An outcomes focus has been emphasised through the continued use of forecasting estimates 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. During 2014-15, in accordance with the requirements of the PGPA Act, the Institute also began work on its new Corporate (Agency) Plan for 2015-16 to 2018-19. The plan was published in August 2015 and will be updated by 31 August of each year, as required under the Act.

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 2015 Risk Management Benchmarking Survey conducted by Comcover.

Internal audit

In 2014-15, a Fraud Risk Assessment workshop was held with participants from different areas of the Institute. Together with the strategic and key operational risk review of the Institute undertaken in 2013-14, where strategic business and fraud risks were identified, an appropriate internal audit program was developed for the next three years. In June 2015 a comprehensive review of AIFS' compliance to the requirements of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 was undertaken, which provided assurance that AIFS has maintained, in all material respects, effective control procedures over the areas reviewed.

Business continuity

The Institute's Business Continuity Plan was reviewed and updated during 2013-14, with the next major review scheduled for 2015-16. 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 2015, the Institute was fully compliant with all 36 mandatory requirements of the PSPF.

There were no major security incidents during the reporting period.

Ethical standards

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 2014-15.

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 2014-15, 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 2014-15.

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 from 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 and communications. This diversity of knowledge and expertise exemplifies one of the benefits of working in a small organisation. These skills are known and as such can be used across 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 2015

AIFS Employee qualifications as at 30 June 2015

Figure 4.2: Research employee qualifications as at 30 June 2015

AIFS Research employee qualifications as at 30 June 2015 

Workforce planning

In 2014-15, the Institute continued to develop its capacity to plan and respond to changing workforce needs. Building capacity and other workforce issues, including increasing the diversity of the workforce, will continue to be an area of focus in 2015-16.

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 2014-15. The effectiveness of the training provided was evaluated in the performance reviews conducted between managers and individuals.

During 2014-15, the Institute invested $80,310 in direct learning and development activities, $41,295 in conference attendance, and the equivalent of $78,651 in wages, based on average salary.

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

Recruitment

Recruitment action undertaken by the Institute was consistent with the APS-wide interim recruitment arrangements introduced in November 2013.

Staff and management committees

Workplace Relations Committee

The Workplace Relations Committee provides a forum for management and employees to discuss matters relating to the Enterprise Agreement as well as the workplace in general. 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.

Health and Safety Committee

The Health and Safety Committee was established to represent staff and facilitate consultation and discussion between management and employees regarding health and safety matters in the workplace. Committee meetings are held at least quarterly and provide an effective forum for staff to raise particular health and safety issues as well as planning and promotion of health and safety practices and principles in the workplace.

Statistics on staffing

As at 30 June 2015, there were 89 staff - 20 males and 69 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 2015 and 30 June 2014 respectively. As Table 4.1 indicates, at 30 June 2015 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 2015.

Table 4.1: Staffing overview: Actual ongoing and non-ongoing full-time and part-time staff, by gender, at 30 June 2015
  Ongoing Non-ongoing Totals
Full-time Part-time Full-time Part-time
Male 7 0 10 3 20
Female 21 12 17 19 69
Total number 28 12 27 22 89
% of all staff 32 13 30 25 100

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 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 4.3: Staffing overview: Actual ongoing and non-ongoing staff, by classification level and gender, at 30 June 2015
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 1 2 16 18
Executive Level 1 AIFS EL 1 2 8 3 9 22 25
APS 6 AIFS Band 5-6 1 9 1 6 17 19
APS 5 AIFS Band 5-6 0 3 5 8 16 18
APS 4 AIFS Band 3-4 0 2 1 5 8 9
APS 3 AIFS Band 3-4 0 0 1 5 6 7
APS 2 AIFS Band 1-2 0 1 1 0 2 2
APS 1 AIFS Band 1-2 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total number   7 33 13 36 89  
% of all staff   8 37 15 40   100

Note: Fourteen 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.

Employees who identify as Indigenous

As at 30 June 2015 the Institute had no ongoing or non-ongoing employees who identified as Indigenous, the same as at 30 June 2014.

Individual and collective agreements

Details of the number of staff covered by the Institute's Enterprise Agreement or a Section 24(1) determination at 30 June 2015 are shown in Table 4.4.

Table 4.4: Number of staff covered by different employment agreements, at 30 June 2015
Type of agreement No. of staff
Enterprise Agreement * 86
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. The number of staff excludes two SES employees not covered by the Enterprise Agreement and three employees engaged to provide services to the Institute on an irregular/intermittent (casual) basis.

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 4.5 outlines performance payment information for the 2014 performance cycle.

Table 4.5: Performance pay for 2014 performance cycle
Level Number Aggregated amount Average Minimum Maximum
EL 2 3 $17,976 $5,992 $5,136 $7,704

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 Accountable Authority'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 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 Accountable Authority'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 4.6.

Table 4.6: Expenditure on consultancy contracts over 2012-13 to 2014-15 (inc. GST)
Financial year Consultancy contract expenditure
2012-13 $325,517
2013-14 $328,259
2014-15 $287,975

During 2014-15, 16 new consultancy contracts were entered into (including those to the value of less than $10,000), involving total actual expenditure of $188,765 (inc. GST). In addition, twelve ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the year, involving total actual expenditure of $99,210 (inc. GST). Expenditure for the year totalled $287,975 (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>.

Commissioning bodies

During the 2014-15 year, the following organisations commissioned projects from the Institute:

  • Attorney-General's Department
  • Phoenix Australia - Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health
  • Australian Childhood Foundation
  • Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety Ltd
  • Department of Defence
  • Department of Education
  • Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Department of Social Services
  • Department of Veterans' Affairs
  • Foundation to Prevent Violence Against Women and their Children (Our Watch)
  • Interrelate Limited
  • Medibank Health Solutions
  • NSW Department of Family and Community Services
  • Royal Commission Into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
  • Uniting Communities SA
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of New South Wales
  • VicHealth
  • Victorian Department of Health and Human Services
  • Victorian Managed Insurance Authority
  • 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.

Procurement initiatives to support small business

The Institute supports small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market. The Institute's procurement practices support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by using the following:

  • the Commonwealth Contracting Suite for low-risk procurements valued under $200,000;
  • Australian Industry Participation Plans in whole-of-government procurement where applicable;
  • the Small Business Engagement Principles (outlined in the Government's Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda), such as communicating in clear, simple language and presenting information in an accessible format; and
  • electronic systems or other processes used to facilitate on-time payment performance, including the use of payment cards.

SME and small enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance's website:
<www.finance.gov.au/procurement/statistics-on-commonwealth-purchasing-contracts/>.

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 and Accountability for the Institute's workplace health and safety policies, processes and performance.

Advertising and market research

No payments of $12,565 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 2014-15, electricity consumption within our tenancy (causing emissions to the air and use of resources) increased slightly, by 2%. This is less than the 5% increase in 2013-14, and a considerable reduction from the 18% increase recorded in 2012-13. Differences in electricity consumption are likely due to variations in employee numbers over these periods. 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) decreased by 10% in 2014-15 compared to the previous period. This follows a 16% increase in the previous reporting period. As with electricity consumption, these fluctuations are likely to be due to variations in employee numbers over the 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 2010-20, 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 was published 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.

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

Contact details

FOI Contact Officer, Australian Institute of Family Studies, Level 20, 485 La Trobe Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, email: <aifs-foi@aifs.gov.au>, phone: 03 9214 7888, fax: 03 9214 7839.

Appendix B: Agency resource statements and resources for outcomes
Table B1: Agency resource statement 2014-15
    Actual available appropriation for 2014-15
$ (a)
Payments made 2014-15
$ (b)
Balance remaining 2014-15
$ (a) - (b)
Ordinary annual services 1        
Departmental appropriation 2   21,214,410 16,631,211 4,583,199
Total   21,214,410 16,631,211 4,583,199
Total ordinary annual services A 21,214,410 16,631,211 4,583,199
Other services 3        
Departmental non-operating        
Equity injections   - - -
Total   - - -
Total other services B - - -
Total available annual appropriations and payments   21,214,410 16,631,211 4,583,199
Special appropriations        
Total special appropriations C - - -
Special accounts 4        
Total special accounts D - - -
Total resourcing and payments A+B+C+D   21,214,410 16,631,211 4,583,199
Less appropriations drawn from annual or special appropriations above and credited to special accounts through annual appropriations   - - -
Total net resourcing and payments for AIFS   21,214,410 16,631,211 4,583,199

1 Appropriation Act (No.1) 2014-15 and Appropriation Act (No.3) 2014-15 [and Appropriation Act (No. 5) 2014-15 if necessary]. This may also include prior year departmental appropriation and section 74 Retained Revenue Receipts.

2 Includes an amount of $0.186 million in 2014-15 for the Departmental Capital Budget. For accounting purposes this amount has been designated as "contributions by owners".

3 Appropriation Act (No.2) 2014-15 and Appropriation Act (No.4) 2014-15 [and Appropriation Act (No. 6) 2014-15 if necessary].

4 Does not include "Special Public Money" held in accounts like Services for Other Entities and Trust Moneys Special accounts (SOETM).

Table B2: Budgeted expenses and resources for Outcome 1, 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 * 2014-15 $'000
(a)
Actual Expenses 2014-15 $'000
(b)
Variation 2014-15 $'000
(a) - (b)
Program 1.1: Australian Institute of Family Studies      
Departmental expenses      
Departmental appropriation 1 14,184 13,359 825
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year 363 389 (26)
Total for Program 1.1 14,547 13,748 799
  2013-14 2014-15  
Average staffing level (number) 83 83 -

* Full year budget, including any subsequent adjustment made to the 2014-15 Budget at Additional Estimates.

1 Departmental Appropriation combines Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Acts Nos. 1, 3 and 5) and Retained Revenue Receipts under section 74 of the PGPA Act 2013.

Appendix C: AIFS publications, seminars and presentations 2014-15

The following are the research publications, presentations and other outputs prepared by AIFS staff during 2014-15.

Publications

  • Amato, P. R. (2015). Marriage, cohabitation and mental health. Family Matters, 96, 5-13. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-96/marriage-cohabitation-and-mental-health>.
  • Australian Gambling Research Centre. (2014). Research Directions 2014-17. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/agrc/publications/research-directions-2014-17>.
  • Australian Institute of Family Studies. (2014). Introduction. In Australian Institute of Family Studies (Ed.), The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children annual statistical report 2013 (pp. 1-11). Melbourne: AIFS. Retrieved from <www.growingupinaustralia.gov.au/pubs/asr/2013/asr2013a.html>.
  • Australian Institute of Family Studies. (2015). Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study: Do Wave 1 participants differ from study-eligible non-participants? Results of non-response analyses (Technical Report No. 1). Report prepared for NSW Department of Family and Community Services.
  • Australian Institute of Family Studies. (2015). Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study: The influence of differences in length of time in care, and non-participation in particular components of Wave 1 (Technical Report No. 2). Report prepared for NSW Department of Family and Community Services.
  • Australian Institute of Family Studies. (2015). Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study: Wave 3 data quality report. Caregiver and child & young person data. Report prepared for NSW Department of Family and Community Services.
  • Australian Institute of Family Studies. (2015). What are the family protective factors for members transitioning from Defence service? A rapid evidence assessment (Evidence Compass: Technical Report). Report prepared for the Department of Veterans' Affairs.
  • Australian Institute of Family Studies, Chapin Hall Center for Children University of Chicago, & NSW Department of Family and Community Services. (2015). Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study: Outcomes of children and young people in out-of-home care in NSW. Wave 1 baseline statistical report. Sydney: NSW FaCS.
  • Australian Temperament Project. (2014). ATP newsletter 2014. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies. Retrieved from <www3.aifs.gov.au/atp/pubs/newsletter/2014/news.html>.
  • Baxter, J. A. (2014). Care for children in school holidays. In Australian Institute of Family Studies (Ed.), The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children annual statistical report 2013 (pp. 31-50). Melbourne: AIFS. Retrieved from <www.growingupinaustralia.gov.au/pubs/asr/2013/asr2013c.html>.
  • Baxter, J. A. (2014). Children's views of parents' jobs. In Australian Institute of Family Studies (Ed.), The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children annual statistical report 2013 (pp. 13-30). Melbourne: AIFS. Retrieved from <www.growingupinaustralia.gov.au/pubs/asr/2013/asr2013b.html>.
  • Baxter, J. A., & Taylor, M. (2014). Measuring the socio-economic status of women across the life course. Family Matters, 95, 62-75. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-95/measuring-socio-economic-status-women-across-life-course>.
  • Baxter, J. A., Hand, K., & Sweid, R. (2015). Evaluation of the Child Care Flexibility Trials: Final report. Report prepared for the Department of Social Services.
  • Baxter. J. A. (2015). Child care and early childhood education in Australia (Facts Sheet). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/child-care-and-early-childhood-education-australia>.
  • Campo, M., Kaspiew, R., Moore, S., & Tayton, S. (2014). Children affected by domestic and family violence: A review of domestic and family violence prevention, early intervention and response services. Ashfield, NSW: NSW Department of Family and Community Services.
  • Carson, R. (2014). Property and financial matters upon the breakdown of de facto relationships (CFCA Paper No. 24). Melbourne: Child Family Community Australia. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/property-and-financial-matters-upon-breakdown-de-fact>.
  • Carson, R., Kaspiew, R., Moore, S., Deblaquiere, J., De Maio, J., & Horsfall, B. (2014). The role and efficacy of Independent Children's Lawyers: Findings from the AIFS Independent Children's Lawyer Study. Family Matters, 94, 58-69. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-94/role-and-efficacy-independent-childrens-lawyers>.
  • Castle, P. (2014). The experience of choice in voluntary relinquishment. Family Matters, 94, 53-57. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-94/experience-choice-voluntary-relinquishment>.
  • Child Family Community Australia. (2014). Images of children and young people online (CFCA Practitioner Resource). Melbourne: CFCA. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/images-children-and-young-people-online>.
  • Child Family Community Australia. (2014). Working with adolescents: Supervision (CFCA Practitioner Resource). Melbourne: CFCA. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/working-adolescents-supervision>.
  • Child Family Community Australia. (2015). Responding to children and young people's disclosures of abuse (CFCA Practitioner Resource). Melbourne: CFCA. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/responding-children-and-young-people-s-disclosures-abu>.
  • Child Family Community Australia. (2015). Working with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) adolescents (CFCA Practitioner Resource). Melbourne: CFCA. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/working-culturally-and-linguistically-diverse-cald-ad>.
  • Commerford, J., & Hunter, C. (2014). The complexities of children's contact services: An analysis of the experiences of Interrelate staff. Report prepared for Interrelate.
  • Daraganova, G. (2014). Body image of primary school children. In Australian Institute of Family Studies (Ed.), The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children annual statistical report 2013 (pp. 111-133). Melbourne: AIFS. Retrieved from <www.growingupinaustralia.gov.au/pubs/asr/2013/asr2013g.html>.
  • Daraganova, G. (2014). Eating behaviour: Socio-economic determinants and parental influence. In Australian Institute of Family Studies (Ed.), The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children annual statistical report 2013 (pp. 91-110). Melbourne: AIFS. Retrieved from <www.growingupinaustralia.gov.au/pubs/asr/2013/asr2013f.html>.
  • Daraganova, G., Mullan, K., & Edwards, B. (2014). Attendance in primary school: Factors and consequences (Occasional Paper No. 51). Canberra: Department of Social Services.
  • De Maio, J., Silbert, M., Jenkinson, R., & Smart, D. (2014). Building a New Life in Australia: Introducing the Longitudinal Study of Humanitarian Migrants. Family Matters, 94, 5-14. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-94/building-new-life-australia>.
  • de Vaus, D., & Qu, L. (2015). Demographics of living alone (Australian Family Trends No. 6). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/demographics-living-alone>.
  • de Vaus, D., Gray, M., Qu, L., & Stanton, D. (2015). The economic consequences of divorce in six OECD countries (Research Report No. 31). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/economic-consequences-divorce-six-oecd-countries>.
  • Dowling, N. (2014). The impact of gambling problems on families (AGRC Discussion Paper No. 1). Melbourne: Australian Gambling Research Centre. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/agrc/publications/impact-gambling-problems-families>.
  • Edgar, P. (2014). Opinion: Re-thinking ageing research. Questions we need to know more about. Family Matters, 94, 45-52. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-94/opinion-re-thinking-ageing-research>.
  • Edwards, B. (2014). Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children: Entering adolescence and becoming a young adult. Family Matters, 95, 5-14. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-95/growing-australia-longitudinal-study-australian-children>.
  • Edwards, B., Mullan, K., Katz, I., & Higgins, D. (2014). The Stronger Families in Australia (SFIA) Study: Phase 2 (Research Report No. 29). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/stronger-families-australia-sfia-study-phase-2>.
  • Forrest, W., Edwards, B., & Vassallo, S. (2014). Individual differences in the concordance of self-reports and official records. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, 24, 305-315.
  • Gainsbury, S. (2014). Interactive gambling (AGRC Discussion Paper No. 3). Melbourne: Australian Gambling Research Centre. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/agrc/publications/interactive-gambling>.
  • Graham, A., Powell, M. A., & Taylor, N. (2015). Ethical research involving children: Putting the evidence into practice. Family Matters, 96, 23-28. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-96/ethical-research-involving-children>.
  • Hand, K., Baxter, J. A., 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. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/access-early-childhood-education-australia-insights-f>.
  • Hayes, A. (2014). Social science and family law: From fallacies and fads to the facts of the matter. Family Matters, 94, 70-79. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-94/social-science-and-family-law>.
  • Herrenkohl, T. I., Higgins, D. J., Merrick, M. T., & Leeb, R. T. (2015). Positioning a public health framework at the intersection of child maltreatment and intimate partner violence. Child Abuse & Neglect. Advance online publication <doi:dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2015.04.013>.
  • Hewitt, B., & Walter, M. (2014). Preschool participation among Indigenous children in Australia. Family Matters, 95, 41-50. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-95/preschool-participation-among-indigenous-children-australia>.
  • Higgins, D. J. (2014). Past adoption practices: Implications for current interventions. InPsych: The bulletin of the Australian Psychological Society, 36(4), 8-11.
  • Higgins, D. J. (2015). A public health approach to enhancing safe and supportive family environments for children. Family Matters, 96, 39-52. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-96/public-health-approach-enhancing-safe-and-supportive-family-environments-children>.
  • Higgins, D. J., & Davis, K. (2014). Law and justice: Prevention and early intervention programs for Indigenous youth (Closing the Gap Clearinghouse Resource Sheet No. 34). Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare & Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Higgins, D. J., & Morley, S. (2014). Engaging Indigenous parents in their children's education (Closing the Gap Clearinghouse Resource Sheet No. 32). Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare & Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
  • Hing, N. (2014). Sports betting and advertising (AGRC Discussion Paper No. 4). Melbourne: Australian Gambling Research Centre. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/agrc/publications/sports-betting-and-advertising>.
  • Hing, N., & Breen, H. (2014). Indigenous Australians and gambling (AGRC Discussion Paper No. 2). Melbourne: Australian Gambling Research Centre. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/agrc/publications/indigenous-australians-and-gambling>.
  • Huerta, M. C., Adema, W., Baxter, J. A., Han, W.- J., Lausten, M., Lee, R., & Waldfogel, J. (2014). Fathers' leave and fathers' involvement: Evidence from four OECD countries. European Journal of Social Security, 16(4), 308-346.
  • Hunter, C., & Meredith, V. (2014). The utility of a reflective parenting program for parents with complex needs: An evaluation of Bringing Up Great Kids. Report prepared for the Australian Childhood Foundation.
  • Incerti, L., Henderson-Wilson, C., & Dunn, M. (2015). Challenges in the family: Problematic substance use and sibling relationships. Family Matters, 96, 29-38. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-96/challenges-family>.
  • Kaspiew, R., Moloney, L., Dunstan, J., & De Maio, J. (2015). Family law court filings 2004-05 to 2012-13 (Research Report No. 30). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/family-law-court-filings-2004-05-2012-13>.
  • Kaspiew, R., Tayton, S., & Campo, M. (2015, 29 May). Submission from the Australian Institute of Family Studies to the Family Violence Royal Commission.
  • Kaspiew, R., Tayton, S., Campo, M., & Mitra-Khan, T. (2015, 29 May). Submission from the Australian Institute of Family Studies and Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety Ltd. to the National Children's Commissioner, Examination of children affected by family and domestic violence.
  • Kiraly, M. (2015). A review of kinship carer surveys: The "Cinderella" of the care system? (CFCA Paper No. 31). Melbourne: Child Family Community Australia. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/review-kinship-carer-surveys>.
  • Lodge, J. (2014). Children who bully at school (CFCA Paper No. 27). Melbourne: Child Family Community Australia. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/children-who-bully-school>.
  • Lodge, J. (2014). Does your child bully others? Ten positive actions for parents (CFCA Practitioner Resource). Melbourne: Child Family Community Australia. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/does-your-child-bully-others-ten-positive-actions-paren>.
  • Lodge, J. (2014). Helping your child stop bullying: A guide for parents (CFCA Practitioner Resource). Melbourne: Child Family Community Australia. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/helping-your-child-stop-bullying-guide-parents>.
  • Lodge, J. (2014). Working with families whose child is bullying: An evidence-based guide for practitioners (CFCA Paper No. 26). Melbourne: Child Family Community Australia. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/working-families-whose-child-bullying>.
  • Lohoar, S., Butera, N., & Kennedy, E. (2014). Strengths of Australian Aboriginal cultural practices in family life and child rearing (CFCA Paper No. 25). Melbourne: Child Family Community Australia. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/strengths-australian-aboriginal-cultural-practices-fam>.
  • McLean, S., & McDougall, S. (2014). Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: Current issues in awareness, prevention and intervention (CFCA Paper No. 29). Melbourne: Child Family Community Australia. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/fetal-alcohol-spectrum-disorders-current-issues-awarenes>.
  • McLean, S., McDougall, S., & Russell, V. (2014). Supporting children living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: Practice principles (CFCA Practitioner Resource). Melbourne: CFCA. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/supporting-children-living-fetal-alcohol-spectrum-disor>.
  • Moloney, L., Weston, R., & Qu, L. (2015). Attitudes to post-separation care arrangements in the face of current parental violence. Family Matters, 96, 64-71. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-96/attitudes-post-separation-care-arrangements-face-current-parental-violence>.
  • Morley, S. (2015). What works in effective Indigenous community-managed programs and organisations (CFCA Paper No. 32). Melbourne: Child Family Community Australia. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/what-works-effective-indigenous-community-managed-program>.
  • Mullan, K. (2014). Time use and children's social and emotional wellbeing and temperament. In Australian Institute of Family Studies (Ed.), The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children annual statistical report 2013 (pp. 51-70). Melbourne: AIFS. Retrieved from <www.growingupinaustralia.gov.au/pubs/asr/2013/asr2013d.html>.
  • Mullan, K., Daraganova, G., & Baker, K. (2015). Imputing income in the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC Technical Paper No. 14). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies. Retrieved from <www.growingupinaustralia.gov.au/pubs/technical/tp14.pdf>.
  • Mullan, K., & Edwards, B. (2014). Safe environments, parental concerns and children's unsupervised time, time outdoors, and physical activity. In Australian Institute of Family Studies (Ed.), The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children annual statistical report 2013 (pp. 135-150). Melbourne: AIFS. Retrieved from <www.growingupinaustralia.gov.au/pubs/asr/2013/asr2013h.html>.
  • Mullan, K., & Higgins, D. (2014). A safe and supportive family environment for children: Key components and links to child outcomes (DSS Occasional Paper No. 52). Canberra: Department of Social Services.
  • Paxman, M., Tully, L., Burke, S., & Watson, J. (2014). Pathways of Care: Longitudinal study on children and young people in out-of-home care in New South Wales. Family Matters, 94, 15-28. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-94/pathways-care>.
  • Peterson, E. R., Schmidt, J., Reese, E., Lee, A. C., Atatoa Carr, P., Grant, C. C., & Morton, S. M. B. (2014). "I expect my baby to grow up to be a responsible and caring citizen": What are expectant parents' hopes, dreams and expectations for their unborn children? Family Matters, 94, 35-44. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-94/i-expect-my-baby-grow-be-responsible-and-caring-citizen>.
  • Pickering, J., & Sanders, M. (2015). The Triple P-Positive Parenting Program: An example of a public health approach to evidence-based parenting support. Family Matters, 96, 53-63. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-96/triple-p-positive-parenting-program>.
  • Price-Robertson, R., Bromfield, L., & Lamont, A. (2014). International approaches to child protection: What can Australia learn? (CFCA Paper No. 23). Melbourne: Child Family Community Australia. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/international-approaches-child-protection>.
  • Price-Robertson, R. (2015). Fatherhood and mental illness: A review of key issues (CFCA Paper No. 30). Melbourne: Child Family Community Australia. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/fatherhood-and-mental-illness>.
  • Qu, L., & Weston, R. (2015). Keeping up with information and communication technology (Australian Family Trends No. 7). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/keeping-information-and-communication-technology>.
  • Qu, L., & Weston, R. (2014). Fathers' involvement in the lives of their children: Separated parents' preferences. In Australian Institute of Family Studies (Ed.), The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children annual statistical report 2013 (pp. 151-166). Melbourne: AIFS. Retrieved from <www.growingupinaustralia.gov.au/pubs/asr/2013/asr2013i.html>.
  • Quadara, A., Nagy, V., Higgins, D. J., & Siegel, N. (2015). Conceptualising the prevention of child sexual abuse (AIFS Research Report No. 33). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/conceptualising-prevention-child-sexual-abuse>.
  • Robinson, E., Hillier, C., & Moss, D. (2015). Therapeutic Youth Services: Service model. Report prepared for Uniting Communities SA.
  • Scott, D., Hand, K., Mathews, T., Heery, L., & Higgins, D. (2015). Interim report for the Evaluation of the Cradle to Kinder and Aboriginal Cradle to Kinder Programs. Report prepared for the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Scott, D. (2015). Children in Australia: Harms and hopes. Family Matters, 96, 14-22. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-96/children-australia>.
  • Skelton, F., Barnes, S., Kikkawa, D., & Walter, M. (2014). Footprints in Time: The Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children: Up and running. Family Matters, 95, 30-40. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-95/footprints-time-longitudinal-study-indigenous-children>.
  • Spencer, M. (2014). Impacts of caring for a child with chronic health problems on parental work status and security: A longitudinal cohort study. Family Matters, 95, 24-29. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-95/impacts-caring-child-chronic-health-problems-parental-work>.
  • Stewart, J. (2014, November). Developing a culture of evaluation and research (CFCA Paper No. 28). Melbourne: Child Family Community Australia. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/developing-culture-evaluation-and-research>.
  • Taylor, M. (2014). Children's academic engagement and enjoyment in primary school. In Australian Institute of Family Studies (Ed.), The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children annual statistical report 2013 (pp. 71-90). Melbourne: AIFS. Retrieved from <www.growingupinaustralia.gov.au/pubs/asr/2013/asr2013e.html>.
  • Tayton, S., Kaspiew, R., Moore, S., & Campo, M. (2014). Groups and communities at risk of domestic and family violence: A review and evaluation of domestic and family violence prevention and early intervention services focusing on at-risk groups and communities. Ashfield, NSW: NSW Department of Family and Community Services.
  • Thomas, A., Vasiliadis, S., & Deblaquiere, J. (2015). Australian gambling research priorities: Summary findings from consultations conducted by the Australian Gambling Research Centre. Melbourne: Australian Gambling Research Centre. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/agrc/publications/australian-gambling-research-priorities>.
  • Thurber, K. A., Bagheri, N., & Banwell, C. (2014). Social determinants of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption in the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children. Family Matters, 95, 51-61. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-95/social-determinants-sugar-sweetened-beverage-consumption>.
  • Vasiliadis, S., Thomas, A., & Deblaquiere, J. (2015). Communication needs and the Australian gambling field: Summary findings from consultations conducted by the Australian Gambling Research Centre. Melbourne: Australian Gambling Research Centre. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/agrc/publications/communication-needs-and-australian-gambling-field>.
  • Vassallo, S., Sanson, A., & Olsson, C. A. (2014). 30 years on: Some key insights from the Australian Temperament Project. Family Matters, 94, 29-34. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-94/30-years>.
  • Vassallo, S., Smart, D., Spiteri, M., Cockfield, S., Harris, A., & Harrison, W. (2014). Stability of risky driving from late adolescence to early adulthood. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 72, 161-168.
  • Wake, M., Clifford, S., York, E., Mensah, F., Gold, L., Burgner, D., & Davies, S. (2014). Introducing Growing Up in Australia's Child Health CheckPoint: A physical and biomarkers module for the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Family Matters, 95, 15-23. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-95/introducing-growing-australias-child-health-checkpoint>.
  • Walden, I., & Wall, L. (2014). Reflecting on primary prevention of violence against women: The public health approach (ACSSA Issues No. 19). Melbourne: Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault.
  • Wall, L., & Quadara, A. (2014). Under the influence? Considering the role of alcohol and sexual assault in social contexts (ACSSA Issues No. 18). Melbourne: Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault.
  • Weston, R., & Qu, L. (2014). Trends in family transitions, forms and functioning: Essential issues for policy development and legislation. Family Matters, 95, 76-84. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-95/trends-family-transitions-forms-and-functioning>.
  • Wilks, S., Lahausse, J., & Edwards, B. (2015). Commonwealth Place-Based Service Delivery Initiatives: Key Learnings project (Research Report No. 32). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies. Retrieved from <aifs.gov.au/publications/commonwealth-place-based-service-delivery-initiatives>.

Updated CFCA resource sheets

  • Age of consent laws (December 2014)
  • Australian child protection legislation (August 2014)
  • Australian legal definitions: When is a child in need of protection? (August 2014)
  • Child abuse and neglect statistics (January 2015)
  • Child deaths from abuse and neglect (August 2014)
  • Child protection and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children (November 2014)
  • Children in care (June 2015)
  • Children's commissioners and guardians (May 2015)
  • Defining the public health model for the child welfare services context (December 2014)
  • The economic costs of child abuse and neglect (September 2014)
  • Helplines and telephone counselling services for children, young people and parents (January 2015)
  • History of child protection services (January 2015)
  • Images of children and young people online (April 2015)
  • Mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect (August 2014)
  • Online safety (January 2015)
  • An overview of alcohol misuse and parenting (January 2015)
  • Pre-employment screening: Working With Children Checks and Police Checks (October 2014)
  • Reporting abuse and neglect: State and territory departments responsible for protecting children (January 2015)
  • Responding to children and young people's disclosures of abuse (March 2015)
  • Who abuses children? (September 2014)

Seminars and webinars

AIFS Seminar Series

19 August 2014

Warren Mundine, Chairman, Indigenous Advisory Council

Building safe and sustainable communities: Families are central

11 September 2014

Heather Nancarrow, CEO, Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety

Building evidence to support the reduction of violence against women and children: The role of the Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety (ANROWS) in the National Action Plan.

9 October 2014

Professor Kelley Johnson, Director, Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales

Walking the line: Research, advocacy and impact

11 November 2014

The honourable Professor Nahum Mushin, Adjunct Professor of Law, Monash University

Forced adoption: Righting wrongs of a dark past

24 February 2015

Dr Anna Thomas, Manager, Australian Gambling Research Centre, Australian Institute of Family Studies

Harm reduction and gambling: Building the evidence for policy development

26 March 2015

Professor David de Vaus, Senior Research Fellow, Australian Institute of Family Studies

Dr Lixia Qu, Senior Research Fellow, Australian Institute of Family Studies

Living alone in Australia: Trends, nature and outcomes

30 April 2015

Professor Daniel Saunders, School of Social Work, University of Michigan, USA

Child custody evaluations and domestic violence

19 May 2015

Professor Hal Kendig, Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing

Childhood influences on the wellbeing of baby boomers

16 June 2015

Dr Ben Edwards, Senior Research Fellow, Australian Institute of Family Studies

Dr Diana Smart, Senior Research Fellow, Australian Institute of Family Studies

Introducing Building a New Life in Australia: The longitudinal study of humanitarian migrants

30 June 2015

Professor Kerry Arabena, Director, Indigenous Health Equity Unit, University of Melbourne

The first 1000 days of childhood: Maximising protective factors in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families

CFCA Webinar Series

24 July 2014

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

Professor Cathy Humphreys, University of Melbourne

Family violence, separated parents and fathering: Empirical insights and intervention challenges

3 September 2014

Associate Professor Nicki Dowling, Deakin University

Ms Sophie Vasiliadis, Senior Research Officer, Australian Institute of Family Studies

The impacts of gambling on families and young people

5 November 2014

Professor Kerry Arabena, Chair for Indigenous Health, University of Melbourne

Dr Catherine Chamberlain, Research Fellow, University of Melbourne

Dr Kerry Proctor, Program Manager of the Indigenous Program at the Bouverie Centre.

Promoting Indigenous child health and wellbeing: "Get a piece of paper honey, no-one can take that away from you"

26 November 2014

Kate Alexander, Executive Director, NSW Department of Family and Community Services

The critical importance of supervision in child protection: Harnessing the energy of teams

10 December 2014

Vicki Russell, CEO, National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Sara McLean, Research Fellow, Australian Centre for Child Protection

Stewart McDougall, Research Officer, Australian Centre for Child Protection

Supporting children and families affected by fetal alcohol spectrum disorders

26 February 2015

Rose Cuff, Statewide Coordinator, Victorian Families where a Parent has a Mental Illness (FaPMI)

Brad Morgan, Director, Children of Parents with a Mental Illness (COPMI) national initiative.

"Flying over the radar": Changing practice to support children and families where a parent has a mental illness

12 March 2015

Dr Richard Fletcher, Senior Lecturer, University of Newcastle

Dr Jennifer St George, Senior Lecturer, University of Newcastle

Refining the task of father inclusive practice

22 April 2015

Elly Robinson, CFCA Manager, Australian Institute of Family Studies

Evidence, evidence-based programs and evaluation

28 April 2015

John Guenther, Principal Research Leader, Flinders University

Mal Galbraith, Manager for Families and Schools Together (FAST) NT Program

Phillip Dhamarrandji, program trainer with FAST NT

Bonnie Moss, Research Manager, Menzies School of Health Research.

Practice-based best evidence: What evidence base counts when evaluating good practice in program delivery?

13 May 2015

Nadine Liddy, National Coordinator, Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network (Australia)

Heather Stewart, Coordinator, South East for the Centre for Multicultural Youth

Good practice when working with young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds

Presentations

  • Baxter, J. A. (2014, 14 July). Mothers' jobs and spillover: Which families are struggling more? Relationships and Stress Mini-Conference, Deakin University, Melbourne.
  • Baxter, J. A. (2014, 31 July). Australian mothers' employment trends and transitions. 13th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne.
  • Baxter, J. A. (2014, 8 October). Child care in Australia: Children, families and jobs in a flexible economy. Child-Inclusive Insights From Finland and Australia Symposium, Canberra.
  • Baxter, J. A. (2014, 3-5 December). Exploring child care patterns in the context of parental employment and family characteristics. 17th Australian Population Association Conference, Hobart.
  • Baxter, J. A. (2014, 3-5 December). Motherhood and employment transitions: New research opportunities with the Australian longitudinal Census data. 17th Australian Population Association Conference, Hobart.
  • Baxter, J. A., Hand, K., & Sweid, R. (2014, 4-6 September). Families' use of and needs for school-aged care. Early Childhood Association Conference, Melbourne.
  • Baxter, J. A., & Strazdins, L. (2014, 1 August). 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. 13th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne.
  • Baxter, J. A., Sweid, R., & Hand, K. (2014, 1 August). Balancing work and child care needs in families where parents work non-standard hours or shift work. 13th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne.
  • Campo, M. (2015, 18 May). Impacts of children's exposure to domestic and family violence: An overview of issues. Examination of Children Affected by Family Violence Roundtable, Australian Human Rights Commission, Melbourne.
  • Carson, R. (2014, 29 October). The whys and wherefores of children's matters with a special emphasis on Independent Children's Lawyers. Lecture at Monash Law School, "Principles of Family Law" unit, Melbourne.
  • Carson, R. (2014, 5 November). Independent Children's Lawyers Study: Consultation and collaboration with non-legal professionals in family law matters. 7th Family Relationship Services Australia National Conference, Adelaide.
  • Commerford, J. (2014, 4 November). In it for the long haul: What research tells us about how couples stay together. Marriage and Relationships Educators National Conference, Adelaide.
  • Commerford, J., & Green, L. (2015, 24-25 March). Children's contact services: How the flexible and creative use of evidence-based practice can support positive outcomes for children and families. Australian Children's Contact Service Association Annual Training & Networking Forum, Adelaide.
  • Crabbe, M., Australian Institute of Family Studies, & OurWatch. (2015, 30 April). Roundtable discussion on workshops in Darwin and Alice Springs for Indigenous young people, Melbourne.
  • Daley, C., Qu, L., & Baxter, J. (2014, 1 August). Australians' journeys through life changes in family composition. 13th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne.
  • De Maio, J., Kaspiew, R., Smart, D., Dunstan, J., & Moore, S. (2014, 31 July). Disclosure of family violence and parents' attitudes to the family law system. 13th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne.
  • Dickins, M., Armstrong, A., & Thomas, A. (2014, 26-28 November). Knowledge translation and exchange at the Australian Gambling Research Centre. National Association for Gambling Studies Conference, Gold Coast.
  • Edwards, B. (2014, September). Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Learnings about ECEC. Early Childhood Australia Biennial Conference, Melbourne.
  • Edwards, B. (2015, June). Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Entering adolescence and becoming a young adult. Coming Together for Australia's Children Conference, Hobart.
  • Edwards, B., & Daraganova, G. (2014, 30 July). The OECD Education and Social Progress Project (ESP): An international comparative study of the role of non-cognitive skills on social progress into adulthood. 13th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne.
  • Edwards, B., & Harvey, J. (2014, 30 July). The Transition and Wellbeing Family Study: Investigating the social, physical, and emotional health of family members of men and women who have recently transitioned out of the Australian Defence Forces (ADF). 13th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne.
  • Edwards, B., & Harvey, J. (2014, 17-19 October). The Transition and Wellbeing Family Study: Investigating the social, physical, and emotional health of family members of men and women who have recently transitioned out of the Australian Defence Forces (ADF). "Military Service, Veterans and Their Families" symposium, 23rd Annual Australasian Military Medicine Association Inc. (AMMA) Conference, Sydney.
  • Edwards, B., Smart, D., De Maio, J., Silbert, M., & Jenkinson, M. (2015, 11-13 February). Insights from the first wave of the Building a New Life In Australia Study. First International Conference on Migration, Social Disadvantage and Health, Melbourne.
  • Family Planning Queensland, Australian Institute of Family Studies, & OurWatch. (2015, 4 June). Roundtable discussion on workshops in ACT, QLD, WA for pre-teens, Brisbane.
  • Hand, K., &, Baxter, J. A. (2015, 28 April). Opportunities and challenges in providing flexible child care through family day care. SPRC Seminar Series, Sydney.
  • Hand, K., & Baxter, J. A. (2015, 30 June). Evaluation of the Child Care Flexibility Trials: Final report. Department of Social Services staff briefing, Canberra.
  • Hayes, A. (2014, 5 November). Giving a voice to the child in vulnerable families: Opportunities and challenges for practitioners and policymakers. FRSA Conference, "Wellbeing for Children, Families & Communities - Future Policy, Programs & Practice", Adelaide.
  • Hayes, A. (2015, 16 April). The shifting role of public sector organisations: From problems to prospects. National Public Sector Managers and Leaders Conference, Melbourne.
  • Hayes, A. (2015, 27 May). Reflections on prevention and early intervention: Investing, innovating and interconnecting. Valedictory address, Department of Social Service, Canberra.
  • Hayes, A., Higgins, D., Smart, D., & Lahausse, J. (2014, 2 December). Key findings of the Wave 1 interviews with carers, children and young people in OOHC. Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study (POCLS) NSW Family and Community Services staff briefing, Sydney.
  • Higgins, D. (2014, 2 July). Public health approach to creating safe and secure family environments. Judith Lumley Centre lunchtime seminar, Latrobe University, Melbourne.
  • Higgins, D. (2014, 1 August). A public health approach to promoting safe and supportive family environments for Australia's children. 13th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne.
  • Higgins, D. (2015, 25 March). The Expert Panel Project. Family Relationships Services Australia (FRSA) Senior Executive Forum, "Families: Worth the Investment", Canberra.
  • Higgins, D., De Maio, J., & Smart, D. (2014, 1 July). Relationships of children in out-of-home care with their caregiving family and peers. 13th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne.
  • Hunter, C., & Green, L. (2014, 5 November). Children's Contact Services: How the flexible and creative use of evidence-based practice can support positive outcomes for children and families. FRSA Conference, Adelaide.
  • Hunter, C., & Jewell, P. (2014, August). Evaluation of Bringing Up Great Kids program: The utility of a reflective parenting program for parents with complex needs. Australian Childhood Foundation Trauma Conference, Melbourne
  • Jessup, K., Edwards, B., & Baxter, J. (2014, August). Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Judith Lumley Centre lunchtime seminar, Latrobe University, Melbourne.
  • Kaspiew, R. (2014, 7 October). Honouring the role, meeting the challenges: A multi-dimensional empirical perspective on ICL practice. Independent Children's Lawyers National Conference, Sydney.
  • Kaspiew, R. (2014, 30 October). Family law in Australia: Research and policy development in the past decade. New Zealand Family Law Workshop, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand.
  • Kaspiew, R. (2014, 11 November). Family violence and separated parents: New empirical insights. Women's Legal Centre (ACT & Region) membership event, Canberra.
  • Kaspiew, R., & Carson, R. (2014, 30 July). Family violence, child abuse and the practices of Independent Children's Lawyers. 13th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne.
  • Kaspiew, R., & Tayton, S. (2014, 7 August). Domestic Violence Prevention Review and Evaluation: Focusing on at-risk groups and communities and children affected by domestic and family violence. NSW Domestic Violence Council, Sydney.
  • Kaspiew, R., & Tayton, S. (2014, 1 December). Domestic Violence Prevention Review and Evaluation: Focusing on at-risk groups and communities and children affected by domestic and family violence. NSW Department of Family and Community Services Analysis and Research (FACSAR) seminar series, Sydney.
  • Kenny, P., Higgins, D., Sweid, R., & Ockenden, L. (2014, 30 July). Impacts and needs of those who experienced forced adoption: Is it solely trauma? 13th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne.
  • Lodge, J. (2014, 30 July). Under-reporting or unaware? Parent and teacher reports of children's bullying experiences. 13th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne.
  • Lodge, J. (2014, 6 August). Working with families with a child who is bullying. National Centre Against Bullying Conference, Melbourne.
  • Lohoar, S. (2015, 18 May). Strengths of Australian Aboriginal cultural practices in family life and child rearing. Child Aware Approaches Conference, Melbourne.
  • Meredith, V. (2014, 1 August). Fly-in fly-out workforce practices in Australia: The effects on children and family relationships. 13th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne.
  • Moloney, L. (2014, 1 August). Negotiating parenting arrangements during the first five years of separation. 13th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne.
  • Moloney, L. (2014, 12 September). Methodologies in ADR research. Alternative Dispute Resolution Research Forum. Monash Law Chambers, Melbourne.
  • Moloney, L. (2014, 17 September). Child focused dialogues with separated parents. Clinical presentation to Indigenous Graduate Certificate of Family Therapy students, Cooktown, Qld.
  • Moloney, L. (2014, 19 September). Separated parents' dispute pathways: Can we make it easier for the children? Far North Queensland Family Law Pathways Group seminar, Cairns, Qld.
  • Moloney, L. (2014, 5 November). Family law and social sciences. Family Relationship Services Australia Conference, Adelaide.
  • Moloney, L. (2014, 5 November). Responding to complex family law parenting disputes: A survey of clinical presentations at Family and Relationship Australia (FRSA) conferences. Family Relationship Services Australia Conference, Adelaide.
  • Moloney, L., & Deblaquiere, J. (2014, 31 July). AIFS family lawyer surveys and evaluations of the "Better Partnerships" and "Coordinated Family Dispute Resolution" initiatives: The spirit is willing but challenges remain. 13th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne.
  • Moloney, L., & Qu, L. (2014, 9-11 September). Mediation after the 2006 family law reforms: Data from the first five years. 14th Biennial National Mediation Conference, Melbourne.
  • Price-Robertson, R., & Quadara, A. (2014, 18 September). Thinking about community-level child protection. Australian Child Protection Forum, Melbourne.
  • Qu, L., & Kaspiew, R. (2014, 1 August). Property division after separation: New insights. 13th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne.
  • Qu, L., & Weston, R. (2014, 1 August). Leaving and returning to the parental home. 13th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne.
  • Qu, L., & Weston, R. (2014, 3-5 December). Leaving and returning to the parental home. 17th Biennial Australian Population Association Conference, Hobart.
  • Qu, L., Daley, C., & Baxter, J. A., (2014, 1 August). Australians' journeys through life: Changes in family composition. 13th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne.
  • Qu, L., Gray, M., de Vaus, D., & Stanton, D. (2014, 1 August). The economic consequences of relationship breakdown: A comparative cross-national analysis. 13th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne.
  • Quadara A. (2014). Factors influencing responses to disclosure of sexual abuse 1950-2014, NSW. Framework of Historical Influences on Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Advisory Committee presentation.
  • Quadara, A. (2014, 27 August). Conceptualising the prevention of child sexual abuse in a public health framework. Department of Social Services/Australian Institute of Family Studies workshop, Canberra.
  • Quadara, A. (2014, 3 December). Young people negotiating gender and sexualisation in contemporary culture. Project update for National Child Protection Forum, Melbourne.
  • Quadara, A., & Stathopoulos, M. (2015). Disclosing institutional child sexual abuse: Impacts on family relationships. Emerging themes. Advisory Group meeting, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
  • Renda, J., & Jessup, K. (2014, December). Tracking developmental change: Developing age-sensitive content and methodological solutions in Growing Up in Australia, the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. ACSPRI Social Science Methodology Conference, Sydney.
  • Rintoul, A. (2014, 30 July) Understanding the impacts of gambling: The need for better surveillance, reporting and responses to improve public health. Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne.
  • Robinson, E. (2014, 11 November). The impact of fly-in, fly-out work on families and children. Diversity Council of Australia.
  • Robinson, E. (2015, February). What evidence means for the 30% requirement. Communities for Children Victoria Forum, Melbourne.
  • Robinson, E. (2015, February). What evidence means for the 30% requirement. Communities for Children Tasmania Forum (by teleconference), Launceston, Tas.
  • Robinson, E. (2015, March). Evidence, evidence-based programs and evaluation. Family & Relationship Services Australia Senior Executive Forum, Canberra.
  • Robinson, E. (2015, March). Evidence, evidence-based programs and evaluation. DSS Grant Area Manager Workshop, Melbourne.
  • Robinson, E., & Hand, K. (2014, 3 November). Evaluation: Making it work for your organisation. 7th Family Relationship Services Australia (FRSA) National Conference, Adelaide.
  • Robinson, E., & Hillier, C. (2014, 6 November). Mapping an existing long-term service to better measure and improve outcomes. 7th Family Relationship Services Australia (FRSA) National Conference, Adelaide.
  • Smart, D. (2014, 1 July). Wellbeing of children and young people in the first years of out-of-home care. 13th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne.
  • Smart, D., De Maio, J., Silbert, M., & Jenkinson, M. (2014, 30 July). Insights from the Building a New Life in Australia study: Cohort overview and preliminary findings from Wave 1. 13th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne.
  • Smart, D., De Maio, J., Silbert, M., & Jenkinson, R. (2014, 3-5 December). Building a New Life in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Humanitarian Migrants: Study overview and findings from Wave 1. 17th Australian Population Association Conference, Hobart.
  • Smart, D., Flaxman, S., Brosnan, K., Arnott, J., De Maio, J., & Silbert, M. (2014, 10 December). Methodological innovations for a complex population. 2014 Australian Consortium of Social and Political Research Incorporated (ACSPRI) Conference, Sydney.
  • Thomas, A. (2014, 30 July) The importance of where you come from: Exploring the impact of early life experiences on later gambling. Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne.
  • Thomas, A. (2014, 9-12 September). Evaluation of the removal of automated teller machines (ATMs) from gambling venues in Victoria, Australia. European Association for the Study of Gambling Conference, Helsinki, Finland.
  • Thomas, A. (2014, 26-28 November). Removal of ATMs from Victorian electronic gaming machine (EGM) venues: An evaluation of effectiveness. National Association for Gambling Studies Conference, Gold Coast, Qld.
  • Thomas, A. (2015, 20-21 April). Women and gambling. International think tank on gambling research, policy and practice, Toronto.
  • Thomas, A. (2015, 18-19 May). Helping the gambling sector become child aware. Child Aware Approaches Conference, Melbourne.
  • Vasiliadis, S., & Thomas, A. (2014, 26-28 November). Processes of recovery from gambling harms. National Association for Gambling Studies Conference, Gold Coast, Qld.
  • Weston, R., Hayes, A., & Qu, L. (2014, 1 August). Post-separation journeys of families where parents reported that violence or drug/alcohol addiction issues existed in the relationship pre-separation. 13th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne.
  • Weston, R., Hayes, A., & Qu, L. (2015, 30 April). The changing faces of Australian families. Playgroup Victoria State Conference, "Playgroups in a Changing World", Melbourne.
Appendix D: Consultancies and collaboration 2014-15

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 Inquiry into the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Intercountry Adoption) Bill 2014, Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee (July 2014);
  • Submission to the Inquiry into domestic violence in Australia, Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee (July 2014);
  • Submission to the Inquiry into out-of-home care, Senate Community Affairs Reference Committee (October 2014);
  • Submission to the Inquiry into the Australian Citizenship and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014, Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee (November 2014);
  • Submission to the Inquiry Enhancing Online Safety for Children Bill 2014 and the Enhancing Online Safety for Children (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2014, Standing Committee on Environment and Communications Legislation Committee (December 2014);
  • Appearance at the Roundtable on Surrogacy, House Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs (February 2015);
  • Submission to the Inquiry into the Examination of children affected by family and domestic violence, National Children's Commissioner (May 2015);
  • Submission to the Royal Commission into Family Violence (May 2015).

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 included:

  • Senior District Judge Valerie Thean, District Judge Jen Koh, District Judge Chia Wee Kiat, Singapore Stats Court (July 2014);
  • Dick Lindberg, Åsa Borén, Sandra South, Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (July 2014);
  • Clare Ward, Chief Executive, Superu (formally NZ Families Commission) (July 2014);
  • Ali Taraghi Jah, Hamnava Institute, Iran (September 2014);
  • Associate Professor Nicola Taylor, Megan Gollop, Senior Research Fellow, University of Otago, New Zealand (October 2014);
  • Dr Ting Ming Hwa, Research Specialist, Centre for Research on Rehabilitation and Protection Ministry of Social and Family Development, Singapore (November 2014);
  • Professor Najibah Mohd Zin, Dr Roslina Che Soh, Dr Noraini Md Hashim, Ms Kamillia Ibrahim, International Islamic University, Malaysia (January 2015);
  • Anna Brooks, Deputy Director, Christina Strååt, Special Advisor, Swedish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, Sweden (March 2015);
  • Delegation of three Singapore government ministries: Ms Charlotte Beck (head of delegation), Ms Penny Yapp, Singapore Ministry for Social and Family Development, Ms Jan Chua, Ms Chelsea Wong, National Population and Talent Division, Ms Heng Shiru, Mr Toh Hanqing, Ministry of Manpower, Ms Valerie Koh, Ministy of Finance (May 2015).
Appendix E: 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 N/A
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 N/A
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 their agency's actions in dealing with fraud 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 -
Statistics on staffing Mandatory
Statistics on employees who identify as Indigenous 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
Small business  
Procurement initiatives to support small business 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

Publication details

Annual Report
Published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, October 2015
122 pp.

Download Publication