Annual report 2015–16

Annual report 2015–16

Annual Report – October 2016

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, gambling in suburban Australia, the effects of demographic change in Australia, and the complex needs of families of serving and formerly 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.

Following machinery of government changes in September 2015, the Hon. Christian Porter MP, Minister for Social Services, assumed responsibility for the Institute.

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1. 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, gambling in suburban Australia, the effects of demographic change in Australia, and the complex needs of families of serving and formerly 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.

Following machinery of government changes in September 2015, the Hon. Christian Porter MP, Minister for Social Services, assumed responsibility for the Institute.

Research highlights 2015-16

During the past year the Institute worked on 52 projects, and continued to extend its expertise and experience to make a significant contribution to practice and policy development in a wide range of family wellbeing areas.

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 new major activity for the Centre, the Gambling in Suburban Australia study, was established during the reporting period. The pilot study of two local government areas in divergent parts of suburban Melbourne was designed to provide evidence of contextual and environmental factors that influence gambling at a neighbourhood level while at the same time documenting the effects of gambling locally. The preliminary findings show that high levels of exposure to high intensity forms of gambling, combined with high levels of social stress, contribute to often severe crisis and legacy harms from gambling in poorer neighbourhoods. Substantial harms are also occurring in middle-income areas. However, in these communities, those affected are more likely to have access to resources to support them in absorbing and, in some instances, recovering from harm.

Growing Up in Australia

Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) 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 12-13 years and 16-17 years. Wave 7 is in the field and includes new measures covering areas such as educational pathways (school, tertiary education, apprenticeships, etc.), gambling, driving and work.

During the reporting period, Wave 6 of the LSAC was released to data users. A technical report on imputing income in LSAC was published. The report documented how the team imputed missing income data for Parent 1 and Parent 2.

Children and Young People in Separated Families

Commissioned by the Federal Attorney-General's Department, the Children and Young People in Separated Families: Family Law System Experiences and Needs Project seeks to build on the existing empirical base on separated families. The aim of the study is to develop a better understanding of the experiences of children and young people after the separation of their parents, and the extent to which their needs are met within existing family law system service formats.

This new AIFS project will address a significant gap in knowledge by enabling the examination of the experiences of children and young people whose parents engage with family law services on the basis of data from children and young people themselves. The project will involve in-depth, semi-structured individual interviews with children and young people of between 10 and 17 years of age, together with a short separate parent interview.

The interviews will canvas issues including the services and supports that children and young people find to be of assistance in dealing with parental separation; the issues of importance from the perspective of children and young people when parenting arrangements are made; the nature of children and young people's experiences where their families have used family law system services (including their acknowledgement and participation in decision-making); and the characteristics of effective professional practice from the perspective of children and young people.

Building a New Life in Australia

Building a New Life in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Humanitarian Migrants (BNLA) 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' journey from receiving a permanent visa through to their eligibility for citizenship.

The third wave of data for the study has recently been collected, and planning for the fourth wave is well underway. While the study examines the wellbeing of adults and older adolescents, in Wave 3 there was a special focus on children who were 5-17 years of age. The study collected information about the mental health and wellbeing of these children, how they were going at school and with making friends in Australia.

The early findings indicate that humanitarian migrants, in the early months of receiving a permanent visa and settling in Australia, appear to be adjusting quite well to their new lives. 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. Findings from later waves of data show improvements in employment outcomes, language proficiency and reduced risk of mental health distress.

Evaluating the 2012 Family Violence Amendments

Evaluating the 2012 Family Violence Amendments was 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 were released in the second half of 2015, including:

  • Evaluation of the 2012 family violence amendments
  • Responding to family violence: A survey of family law practices and experiences
  • Experiences of Separated Parents Study report
  • Court Outcomes Project

The main findings of the evaluation indicate that the 2012 family violence amendments are a step in the right direction in a reform agenda intended to improve the system's response to family violence and child abuse concerns in post-separation parenting arrangements.

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 services such as Child Family Community Australia (CFCA) and by researchers presenting at conferences and events, including online webinars.

The Institute's research is widely reported in the media and promoted through our websites and social media. A refreshed website focusing on improved discoverability of content for users, as well as dedicated project pages for research areas, delivered improved user data during the reporting period. The deployment of improved analytics tools also assisted the Institute to better understand website users' behaviour in order to improve users' experiences of AIFS' websites.

Child Family Community Australia

The Child Family Community Australia (CFCA) information exchange, funded by DSS, continues to be a primary source of evidence-based resources and publications for the child, family and community welfare sector. In 2015-16, the CFCA website received over 2.5 million page views and reached the milestone of 7,000 subscribers to the fortnightly e-news. The webinar program continues to attract large number per session (over 3,000 participants in total) and plays a significant role in professional development for the sector. User feedback indicates that content is useful in ways that relate to CFCA impact measures, including increased knowledge of the latest research and increased use of evidence in policy and practice.

Families and Children Activity Expert Panel

The Families and Children Activity Expert Panel (the Expert Panel) continues to deliver products and services that support, strengthen and evaluate the Department of Social Services Families and Children Activity (FaC Activity). The Expert Panel has provided assistance to service providers funded via the FaC Activity by using a tiered and developmental approach. This approach includes the provision of an online "guidebook" of evidence-based program profiles, assessment of alternate programs offered by providers, online resources and guides and direct support services. One of the key aims of the Expert Panel project was to develop and support projects that contribute to the evidence base for quality service and program delivery and disseminate relevant findings for the benefit of the broader sector. This has been achieved, with the first collaborative project team scheduled to deliver a webinar in July 2016.

Events

The Institute increases its public engagement by hosting its conference and other events. During the 2015-16 financial year, significant planning was undertaken for the 14th biennial AIFS Conference that was held at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre from Wednesday 6 July to Friday 8 July 2016. Headlining the conference program were three keynote speakers: Professor Greg Duncan (University of California), Professor John Lynch (University of Adelaide) and Justice Jennifer Coate (Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse). The conference also featured 169 oral presentations, 29 poster presentations, a Q&A panel session and two evening workshops.

The Institute continued to run other webinars and seminars in 2015-16, attracting a range of diverse and eminent speakers who generously shared their knowledge across a variety of areas affecting families. Topics included the impact of social networks on children's wellbeing, poverty and housing, gambling in Indigenous communities, relationship education and counselling and the evaluation of the 2012 family violence amendments.

Publications

The Institute continued to publish outstanding research into Australian families, with 91 project reports and papers produced, and over 2.93 million publications viewed or downloaded from our websites. We have also produced a host of short articles, news pieces, infographics, fact sheets and practice resources.

In the past year, publishing highlights include authoritative reports on elder abuse, online gambling, humanitarian migrants, living alone, mandatory reporting, family law and the experiences of separated parents.

Governance, performance and risk management

Finances

In the 2015-16 financial year, AIFS operated with $4,556,402 of government appropriation and $7,642,900 of other revenue (primarily from contracted research), as detailed in Chapter 5: Financial statements. The Institute incurred a budget deficit for the financial year 2015-16 of $345,469. This deficit is primarily due to the depreciation expense for 2015-16 of $350,980. After adjusting for this item, AIFS reported a surplus of $5,511.

Outlook for 2016-17

The Institute has undergone a review of its operations and strategic objectives, and has developed new Strategic Directions to 2020. These outline our aspirations to build organisational capability to address contemporary requirements for research evidence addressing emerging policy and practice needs. Our purpose is to "create and communicate knowledge to accelerate positive outcomes for families and communities".

In our work, we aspire to be agile and responsive to clients and stakeholders, and to achieve greater impact on policy and practice challenges, addressing the needs of Australian families.

As the Institute's new Director I have been impressed by the commitment of our talented staff, and the rigor of our research and communication activities. External stakeholders have encouraged us to be a strong voice providing independent advice to inform family wellbeing policy and practice. In this coming year we will begin our transformation activities to build our capability in the achievement of these strategic objectives.

Anne Hollonds
Director, Australian Institute of Family Studies
September 2016

2. Agency overview

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) 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) and all staff are based in Melbourne. 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 Defence, 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 2016, 75 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 2015-16 AIFS Agency Plan documents a set of research domains and guides the research undertaken, including commissioned projects. These three research domains are:

  • family relationships;
  • social and economic participation; and
  • child and family wellbeing.

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 AIFS Agency Plan, 2015-16 came into effect on 1 July 2015. The plan outlines the roles and functions of the Institute for this annual reporting period. The key strategic objectives were:

  • 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). 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.

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 three information exchanges - the Australian Gambling Research Centre, the Child Family Community Australia information exchange and the Knowledge Circle: Indigenous Child and Family Resources Portal - and five 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 2016

Figure 2.1: described in text.

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 2015-16 (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: Report on performance, measure output deliverables.

The Institute's research and communications performance is described in Chapter 3: Report on performance, its management accountability performance in Chapter 4: Management and accountability, and its finances in Chapter 5: Financial statements.

3. Report on performance

Performance statement

These performance statements are prepared for paragraph 39(1)(a) of the Act. The statements relate to the reporting period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016. It is the opinion of the Director that these performance statements: (i) accurately present the entity's performance in the reporting period; and (ii) comply with subsection 29(2) of the Act.

The Institute has a 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.

To achieve this outcome, 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 2015-16, the Institute operated within a continuing environment of fiscal restraint. This has 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 domains

The Institute's research program during the reporting period was structured around the three research domains established under the AIFS Agency Plan 2015:

  • family relationships;
  • social and economic participation; and
  • child and family wellbeing.

The majority of the Institute's research projects relate to more than one research domain. 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 research and evaluation 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 C, p. 88, 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 (see Table 3.1). 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: Deliverable indicators: Actuals (2014-15 to 2015-16) and forward estimates (2016-17)Analysis of performance
Deliverable indicator Actual
2014-15
Target
2015-16
Actual
2015-16
Forward estimate
2016-17
1. Number of research outputs and publications 90 100 91 100
2. Number of conferences, seminars and forums hosted 21 18 14 18
3. Number of presentations given by AIFS staff 86 80 78 100
4. Number of bibliographic records generated 2,368 2,000 2,470 2,000

Analysis of performance

Indicator 1

The first deliverable - research outputs and publications - is a core deliverable for the Institute. The 91 research outputs include both AIFS published materials as well as external publications based on AIFS research. The Institute published five research reports, 10 commissioned reports and one issue of Family Matters. The number of research outputs is slightly lower than forecast.

Indicator 2

The second deliverable identifies the number of conferences, seminars and other communication events hosted. In 2015-16, AIFS delivered 14 events, which is down on the target mainly due to the decision to move into the online event space and decrease the number of face-to-face seminars held at the Institute.

Indicator 3

The number of presentations given by AIFS personnel was slightly lower than planned for the year, however the 78 presentations given is still a valuable indication of the value of AIFS work and the high standing of its research specialists.

Indicator 4

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 that the Institute met or exceeded almost all of its targets.

Table 3.2: Key performance indicators: Actuals (2013-14 to 2015-16) and forward estimates (2016-17)
Key performance indicator Actual
2013-14
Actual
2014-15
Target
2015-16
Actual
2015-16
Forward estimate
2016-17

1 Data provided by iSentia.

Research
Number of commissioning bodies 24 21 20 21 20
Number of research projects 45 43 45 52 45
Number of longitudinal studies 7 5 5 4 5
Communications
Number of publications distributed and downloaded (millions) 3.31 2.76 3.00 2.93 3.00
Total attendance at AIFS conferences, seminars, webinars and forums 3,053 4,307 2,000 3,210 2,500
Number of media mentions 1 5,615 6,499 3,000 9,391 3,500
% of research personnel with postgraduate qualifications 67% 67% 60% 74% 60%

Research

The number of commissioning bodies is indicative of the spread of research undertaken in the broad area of family wellbeing. This also helps to indicate that the Institute is not reliant on a single source of income. In 2015-16, the Institute was commissioned by 21 organisations to undertake research projects, exceeding the KPI target.

The Institute undertook 52 research projects during the reporting period. It should be noted that this number includes a number of smaller research reports and other project types including scoping studies and discussion papers.

An indication of the Institute's capability and readiness to undertake high-quality research is the proportion of researchers with postgraduate qualifications. In 2015-16, 74% of researchers at the Institute held postgraduate qualifications, which is substantially higher than the target of 60% and a 10% increase on the previous year.

The Institute was involved in four 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.

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 increased 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 2015-16, 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 2015-16, the 2.93 million publications distributed was slightly below the target of 3.0 million. A complete list of Institute research outputs and publications for 2015-16 is available in Appendix C.

The 3,210 participants that attended AIFS events throughout the year was 60% above the target of 2,000 participants, although this figure is down on 2014-15 levels due to a decrease in the number of in-house AIFS seminars presented at the Institute. Online webinars conducted by the CFCA information exchange continued to increase in popularity. Appendix C provides a complete list of these events.

The very high number of media mentions is an indication of the Institute's strong focus this financial year on communicating research findings to the broader Australian community. Media mentions increased by 67% in 2015-16 and were three times over the target. The continued interest from online, print, television and radio journalists provides a valuable conduit for research about Australian families.

Performance against AIFS research domains

This section reviews the major projects undertaken by AIFS during the reporting period, within the framework of the Institute's three research domains. All projects undertaken during the reporting period and their relevance to the research domains 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 three research domains.

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

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

Table 3.3: AIFS research projects 2015-16 and relevance to research domains
Project title Duration Project funder (Partner) Family relationships Social & economic participation Child & family wellbeing

Note: Acronyms: ABS = Australian Bureau of Statistics; AGD = Attorney-General's Department; ANROWS = Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety; 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; RCH = Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne; Royal Commission = Royal Commission Into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse; Uni. = University; UNSW = University of New South Wales.

Child Family Community Australia information exchange (CFCA) 2011-2019 DSS X X X
Building a New Life in Australia (BNLA): The longitudinal study of humanitarian migrants 2012-2018 DSS   X X
Longitudinal Study on Leaving Care (Beyond 18) 2012-2018 Victorian DHHS   X X
Evaluation of the Cradle to Kinder and Aboriginal Cradle to Kinder Programs 2013-2016 Victorian DHHS     X
Knowledge Circle: Indigenous Child and Family Portal 2013-2016 DSS X X X
Family Pathways: Evaluating the 2012 Family Violence Amendments (SRSP 2014) 2013-2015 AGD X   X
Role of Family in the Rehabilitation of Seriously Wounded, Injured or Ill Australian Defence Force Members 2013-2015 Dept of Defence X   X
Family Wellbeing Study: Survey of currently serving and recently transitioned ADF members 2014-2016 DVA X   X
Service Providers to Families and Children Expert Panel: Supports for planning and implementing programs, evaluating outcomes and sharing results 2014-2019 DSS X X X
Preventing Violence Against Women: A comparative study of models of intervention 2014-2015 VicHealth X   X
Sexualisation of Children Project 2014-2015 Our Watch Limited     X
Family Dynamics Around Disclosure of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse 2014-2015 Royal Commission X   X
Framework of Historical Influences on Institutional Child Sexual Abuse 2014-2015 Royal Commission     X
Establishing the Connection: Interventions linking service responses for domestic violence and/or sexual assault with drug or alcohol use/abuse 2014-2015 ANROWS X   X
Domestic and Family Violence and Parenting: Mixed method insights into impact and support needs 2014-2016 ANROWS X   X
Evidence Compass: Rapid Evidence Assessments of topics related to families and military life 2015 DVA X   X
Risk Profiles for InstitutioForced nal Child Abuse 2015 Royal Commission     X
Adoptions Community of Practice: Principles for effective practice in Forced Adoption Support Services 2015-2016 DSS X   X
Violence Prevention: Evidence-based supports for whole-of-government and community-wide responses 2015 Victorian Managed Insurance Authority X   X
Working Together to Care for Kids: The national survey of foster and relative/kinship carers 2015-2016 DSS     X
Prevention and Early Intervention Scoping Study 2015 DSS X X X
Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Mapping Project Scoping Study 2015 DSS X   X
Scoping of Five Children and Families Secretaries (CAFS) Data Sharing Projects - Phase 1: Consultation and project refinement 2015 DSS   X X
Scoping Project for Prevalence Studies (for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse) 2015-2016 UNSW     X
Elder Abuse: Understanding issues, frameworks and responses scoping study 2015 AGD X X X
Pathways to Support Services for Victim/Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse and their Families 2015-2016 Royal Commission X   X
Trauma-Informed Approaches: Discussion Paper 2015-2016 Royal Commission X   X
Evaluation of Changes to Consent Options into the NSW Medical and Forensic Examination Record (MFER) process 2015-2016 Health Administration Corporation X X  
Data Linkage of the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY) to Administrative Data Sources 2015-2016 NCVER   X X
Fatal Neglect of Children: Literature review and advice 2015-2016 NSW Ombudsman X   X
Ethical Review for the 2015 Cohort of the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY) 2016-2026 NCVER   X X
Meta-Analysis of Relevant Literature to Develop Sexual Assault Strategy for NSW 2016 HAC X   X
Critical Analysis of Early Childhood Education Literature Review 2016 Tasmania DoE X   X
Community-level Risk and Protective Factors for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse 2016 Royal Commission X X X
Strengthening the Evidence Base for the Impact of Early Childhood Education 2016 DET   X X
Empowering CALD Women 2016 DSS X X X
Children and Young People in Separated Families: Family Law System Experiences and Needs 2016-2017 AGD X X X
Family Wellbeing Study: Qualitative Study 2016-2017 DVA X   X
Locational Disadvantage Analysis and Communities with Potential 2016 DSS   X X
The Effects of Pornography on Children and Young People 2016 DSS X   X
Data Exchange (DEX) Client Survey 2016 DSS X X X
Development of an Evaluation Tool and Methodology for Playgroup Programmes 2016-2017 DSS   X X
Australian Temperament Project 1983- Melbourne Uni.; Deakin Uni.; RCH X X X
Data Linkage Integration Authority Ongoing Appropriation X X X
Families and Addictive Behaviours Ongoing Appropriation X X X
Family Law Developments Ongoing Appropriation X X X
Growing Up in Australia: The longitudinal study of Australian Children Ongoing DSS (Project partners: DSS, ABS) X X X
Services Supporting Australian Families Ongoing Appropriation X X X
Sexual Violence Research Ongoing Appropriation; ANROWS; Royal Commission; Melbourne Uni.; MHS X X X
Work and Family Interactions Ongoing Appropriation X X X
Australian Gambling Research Centre Ongoing Appropriation X X X
Child Module (Impact of Family Trauma) for Building New Life in Australia: Longitudinal Study of Humanitarian Migrants (BNLA) 2015-2016   X X X

Research highlights

Gambling in Suburban Australia

The Gambling in Suburban Australia study, an activity of the Australian Gambling Research Centre, was established in 2015. Located in Melbourne, this pilot study is designed to provide evidence of contextual and environmental factors that influence gambling at a neighbourhood level while at the same time documenting the effects of gambling locally.

The study initially explored two differentially exposed local areas of Melbourne; one western site of high poker machine expenditure and high levels of relative socioeconomic disadvantage, and one eastern site with mid-range levels of disadvantage and electronic gaming machine expenditure. Using multiple methods - analysis of regulator and census data, a survey, unannounced observations of poker machine venues, interviews with gamblers, significant others and professionals as well as focus groups with local residents - researchers are seeking to account for differences in the distribution of gambling related harm between places.

The preliminary findings show that high levels of exposure to high intensity forms of gambling, combined with high levels of social stress contribute to often severe crisis and legacy harms from gambling in poorer neighbourhoods. Substantial harms are also occurring in middle income areas, however in these communities those affected are more likely to have access to resources to support them in absorbing and, in some instances, recovering from harm.

Children and young people in separated families

Commissioned by the Australian Government's Attorney-General's Department, the Children and Young People in Separated Families: Family Law System Experiences and Needs project seeks to build on the existing, now extensive, empirical base on separated families.

The aim of the study is to develop a better understanding of the experiences of children and young people after the separation of their parents, and the extent to which their needs are met within existing family law system service formats. This new AIFS project will address a significant gap in knowledge by enabling the examination of the experiences of children and young people whose parents engage with family law services on the basis of data from children and young people themselves. The project will involve in-depth, semi-structured individual interviews with children and young people of between 10 and 17 years of age, together with a short separate interview with a parent of the child or young person. It is proposed that children, young people and parents will be recruited using multiple strategies through family law services and online communication.

The interviews will canvas issues including the services and supports that children and young people find to be of assistance in dealing with parental separation; the issues of importance from the perspective of children and young people when parenting arrangements are made; the nature of children and young people's experiences where their families have used family law system services (including their acknowledgement and participation in decision-making) and the characteristics of effective professional practice from the perspective of children and young people.

Evaluating the 2012 Family Violence Amendments

Evaluating the 2012 Family Violence Amendments, an activity of the Family Law Developments, 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 were released in the second half of 2015, including:

  • Evaluation of the 2012 family violence amendments
  • Responding to family violence: A survey of family law practices and experiences
  • Experiences of Separated Parents Study report
  • Court Outcomes Project

The main findings of the evaluation indicate that the 2012 family violence amendments are a step in the right direction in a reform agenda intended to improve the system's response to family violence and child abuse concerns in post-separation parenting arrangements.

Since the amendments, there has been an increased emphasis on identifying families with concerns about family violence and child abuse, however 29% of parents who used family law system services since the amendments came into effect reported never being asked about family violence or safety concerns.

The proportion of children with court orders for shared care where neither family violence or child safety was raised did not change since the amendments (22%). However, where allegations of both family violence and child safety had been raised, fewer children were in shared care since the amendments (from 19% to 11%). This is supported by findings in the Court Outcomes data suggesting subtle shifts in patterns of parenting applications and outcomes since the 2012 family violence amendments.

The vast majority of family law professionals interviewed agreed that adequate priority was given to children's rights to meaningful relationships with both parents (including 100% of judicial officers, 89% of lawyers and 83% of non-legal practitioners). Agreement was not quite as widespread, however, in relation to protecting children/family members from harm - with 97% of judicial officers agreeing that this was given adequate priority, but only 68% of lawyers and 62% of non-legal professionals in agreement.

Families and Children Activity Expert Panel

The Families and Children Expert Panel (the Expert Panel), a CFCA project, aims to support, strengthen and evaluate services funded via the Department of Social Services Families and Children Activity (FaC Activity), in order to facilitate positive outcomes for children and families.

The project engages service providers in a "tiered and developmental" approach to increasing their use of evidence in practice and programs. This includes the provision of advice, guidance, and resources to build the capacity and skills of service providers to adopt evidence-based programs or improve existing programs. Activities in 2015-16 included:

  • working with more than 20 Communities for Children Facilitating Partners and undertaking assessment of programs in relation to the 30-50% requirement for evidence-based programs (66 programs in total);
  • administering and promoting the Industry List, with 17 currently active or completed projects;
  • presenting at relevant meetings and forums; and
  • developing resources and publications that assist services to plan, implement and evaluate quality programs.

A key aim of the Expert Panel project is to develop and support community-based projects for which findings contribute to the evidence base for quality service and program delivery, and to disseminate these findings for the benefit of the broader sector. The first dissemination activity, a webinar that will discuss the partnership and outcomes of a project undertaken by an Industry List and sector organisation, took place in July 2016.

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 2015-16 of $345,469. This deficit is primarily due to the depreciation expense for 2015-16 of $350,980. After adjusting for this item, AIFS reported a surplus of $5,511.

See Table 3.4 for a summary of budgeted and actual expenses for 2015-16.

Operating revenue

The total operating revenue was $12,199,302 and consisted of the following:

  • government appropriations of $4,556,402;
  • sale of goods and rendering of services of $7,463,184; and
  • other revenue of $179,716.

Operating expenses

Total operating expenses were $12,544,771 and consisted of:

  • employee costs of $8,499,686;
  • supplier expenses of $3,694,105; and
  • depreciation and amortisation of $350,980.
Table 3.4: Budgeted and actual expenses for Outcome 1, 2015-16, and budgeted expenses, 2016-17
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 2015-16 $'000 Actual 2015-16 $'000 Variation (column 2 - column 1) ($'000) Budget 2016-17 ($'000)
Program 1.1: Australian Institute of Family Studies - Departmental expenses
Departmental appropriation 13,826 12,165 (1,661) 12,308
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year 394 380 (14) 367
Total for Program 1.1 14,220 12,545 (1,675) 12,675
Outcome 1 totals by appropriation type - Departmental expenses
Departmental appropriation 13,826 12,165 (1,661) 12,308
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year 394 380 (14) 367
Total expenses for Outcome 1 14,220 12,545 (1,675) 12,675
Average staffing level 83 69 (14) 82

Balance sheet

Net asset position

The net asset position at 30 June 2016 was $1,619,355 (2014-15: $1,470,868).

Total assets

Total assets at 30 June 2016 were $7,385,253 (2014-15: $7,158,268). Financial assets increased by $383,287. This increase in financial assets was mainly due to a significant amount of Section 74 receipts received at the end of June 2016. Non-financial assets decreased by $156,302. The decrease in non-financial assets is mainly due to depreciation, a limited amount of capital purchases in 2015-16 and a decrease in prepayments. These were offset by a revaluation surplus of $308,956.

Total liabilities

Total liabilities at 30 June 2016 were $5,765,898 (2014-15: $5,687,400). The increase is mainly due to a higher level of unearned revenue of $554,294, offset by decreases in employee provisions of $63,568 and in payables of $412,228.

4. 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 policies and guidelines under 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 2015-16 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 2015-16, the responsible minister for AIFS was the Hon. Scott Morrison MP (from 23 December 2014 till September 2015). Following machinery of government changes in September 2015, the Hon. Christian Porter MP, Minister for Social Services, assumed responsibility for the Institute.

Fraud control

During the financial year 2015-16, no fraud was identified. The last fraud risk assessment was conducted during 2014-15 and another is scheduled for the 2016-17 financial year.

Annual Report 2015-16 Fraud Control Certification

In accordance with section 10 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014, I, Anne Hollonds, Director, Australian Institute of Family Studies, hereby certify that I am satisfied that the Institute has:

  • undertaken a fraud risk assessment and updated the fraud control plan;
  • put in place appropriate fraud prevention, detection, investigation, and reporting mechanisms that meet the specific needs of the Institute; and
  • taken all reasonable measures to appropriately deal with fraud relating to the Institute.

Anne Hollonds, Director
Australian Institute of Family Studies
9 September 2016

Senior executive members

Professor Alan Hayes AM was the Director of the Institute until 30 June 2015. Two Deputy Directors assist the Director in leading and managing the Institute. Ms Sue Tait, Deputy Director (Corporate and Strategy) acted as Director until September 2015 when the new Director, Ms Anne Hollonds, began. Dr Michael Alexander took over the role of Acting Deputy Director (Corporate and Strategy) in January 2016. Dr Daryl Higgins is Deputy Director (Research).

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, and the two Deputy Directors.

Senior Leadership Group

The Senior Leadership 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 Risk Assessment and Audit Committee, and the Human Research Ethics Committee.

Advisory Council

The role of the Advisory Council is to provide high-level 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 terms of appointment for all Council members, including the Chair, expired on 30 June 2015, and new Council members are currently being sought.

Australian Gambling Research Centre Expert Advisory Group

The Expert Advisory Group of the AGRC provides advice to the Director of AIFS (in her 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 11, other members. The group met once during the financial year.

Australian Gambling Research Centre Expert Advisory Group, 2015-16

  • 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
  • Dr Ralph Lattimore, Assistant Commissioner, Productivity Commission
  • Professor Alison McClelland, Productivity Commission
  • Cheryl Vardon, Chief Executive, Australasian Gaming Council (to October 2015)
  • Dr Mark Zirnsak, Director, Justice and International Mission Unit, Uniting Church in Australia Synod Office (Victoria & Tasmania)
  • Linda Woo (Executive Director, Office of Regulatory Policy in Queensland's Department of Justice and Attorney-General).
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 the review of budgets.

Risk Assessment and Audit Committee members, 2015-16
  • Denise Swift PSM (Chair) (to December 2015)
  • Dennis Mihelyi (Chair), Chief Financial Officer, Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate (from December 2015)
  • Brian Scammell (Member), Assistant Commissioner, Corporate Group, Productivity Commission (from December 2015)
  • Ivan Perrett (Member), Branch Manager, People and Culture, National Disability Insurance Agency (from June 2016)
  • Sue Tait (Member), Deputy Director (Corporate and Strategy), AIFS (to December 2015)
  • Associate Professor Daryl Higgins (Member), Deputy Director (Research), AIFS
  • Dr Michael Alexander (Member), Acting Deputy Director (Corporate and strategy), AIFS (from January 2016)
  • Anne Hollonds (Observer), Director, AIFS
  • Susan Leong (Observer), Chief Finance Officer, 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 2015-16 and assessed 15 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, 2015-16
  • Dr Duncan Ironmonger AM (Chair), BCom, MCom (Melb.); PhD (Cambridge); Department of Economics, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Richard Ingleby, MA, DPhil (Oxford); LLM (Cambridge); Latham Chambers, Faculty of Business and Law, Deakin University
  • Ms Lorrain Parsons, BA (Latrobe); BSW (Latrobe); Grad. Cert. Management (Curtin)
  • 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
  • Marlene Burchill, BSW, DipFamTherapy, MA (Social Work); social worker and family therapist (to 23 November 2015)

Corporate and statutory reporting

During 2015-16, the Institute continued to refine and strengthen its planning processes in order to make its reporting outputs more robust, including ongoing improvements to its budget development, review and monitoring processes. These initiatives continue to bring together a range of corporate and communications priorities, and have contributed to robust compliance standards and reporting performance against outcomes.

In August 2015, the Institute published its first Corporate (Agency) Plan for 2015-16 to 2018-19 as required under the PGPA Act. The Institute has spent much of 2015-16 reviewing its Strategic Priorities and that work is reflected in the latest Agency Plan for 2016-17 to 2019-20, which was published in August 2016. The new Plan focuses on three priorities of Creating, Connecting and Communicating knowledge, as well as Activating greater organisational capability through a range of internal initiatives. The Institute expects to continue to refine its Strategic Priorities over the course of 2016-17.

In 2015-16, all statutory reports were completed and tabled in a timely manner as required.

Risk management

Building on the development and implementation of the 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 2016 Risk Management Benchmarking Survey conducted by Comcover.

Project management

In 2015-16, the Institute instigated a major review of its financial and management accounting processes. The review recommended that AIFS implement a more systematic approach to its project management processes through the adoption of an agency-wide project management tool and associated processes. By doing so, AIFS expects to be able to generate more accurate and timely analysis from its management accounting activities through a more consistent and sharper focus on project management principles. In addition, the new systematic project management approach is expected to allow risk reporting to be more easily embedded in scheduled projected reporting, as well as reduce the resourcing required in relation to the management of project budgets.

The Institute has commenced work on implementing this new project management approach, with much of the "proof of concept" activities now completed. The Institute expects to complete the implementation during 2016-17.

Internal audit

During 2015-16, two reviews were undertaken by the Internal Auditors, namely reviews of our Procurement Practices and Compliance to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and related legislation. Both reviews confirmed that the Institute has maintained, in all material respects, effective control procedures.

The Institute also undertook an open tender process to establish an outsourced internal audit program and BDO East Coast Partnership was engaged to provide Internal Audits for a period of three years, with provision for two one-year extensions.

Business continuity

The Institute's Business Continuity Plan was reviewed and updated during 2015-16, with the next major review scheduled for 2017-18. 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 2016, 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 2015-16.

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 2015-16, 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 2015-16.

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. During the reporting period, AIFS did not provide staff with any non-salary benefits.

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 2016

Figure 4.1: described in text.

Figure 4.2: Research employee qualifications as at 30 June 2016

Figure 4.2: described in text.

Workforce planning

In 2015-16, 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 2016-17.

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, leadership and specialist programs in 2015-16. The effectiveness of the training provided was evaluated in the performance reviews conducted between managers and individuals.

During 2015-16, the Institute invested $71,770 in direct learning and development activities, $37,960 in conference attendance and the equivalent of $59,455 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 for the Institute recommenced in 2016 following the lifting of recruitment restrictions as detailed within the APS-wide interim recruitment arrangements introduced in November 2013.

The majority of vacancies at the Institute were advertised via the online APS jobs service, supplemented by online advertising where appropriate.

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 2016, there were 75 staff - 21 males and 54 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 2016 and 30 June 2015 respectively. As Table 4.1 indicates, at 30 June 2016 the Institute had 59% of staff in ongoing positions and 41% of staff in non-ongoing positions. This represents an increase in ongoing staff of 15 percentage points compared to the previous year and is primarily attributable to the lifting of the recruitment restrictions in late 2015. Table 4.3 describes staff by classification level, gender and type of employment as at 30 June 2016.

Table 4.1: Staffing overview: Actual ongoing and non-ongoing full-time and part-time staff, by gender, at 30 June 2016
  Ongoing Non-ongoing Totals
Full-time Part-time Full-time Part-time

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

Male 8 1 8 4 21
Female 19 16 9 10 54
Total number 27 17 17 14 75
% of all staff 36 23 23 18 100
Table 4.2: 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

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

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
Table 4.3: Staffing overview: Actual ongoing and non-ongoing staff, by classification level, salary range and gender, at 30 June 2016
Classification AIFS classification / salary range ($) Ongoing Non-ongoing Total number % of all staff
Male Female Male Female

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

Senior Executive Service (SES) Band 1 SES Band 1 2 0 0 0 2 3
Executive Level (EL) 2 AIFS EL 2 109,519-128,393 2 10 0 1 13 17
Executive Level 1 AIFS EL 1 93,424-103,171 5 10 2 7 24 32
APS 6 AIFS Band 5-6 75,090-83,712 0 10 3 3 16 21
APS 5 AIFS Band 5-6 67,920-73,228 0 1 4 4 9 12
APS 4 AIFS Band 3-4 60,495-65,684 0 3 2 2 7 9
APS 3 AIFS Band 3-4 54,279-59,657 0 0 0 2 2 3
APS 2 AIFS Band 1-2 48,971-52,848 0 1 1 0 2 3
APS 1 AIFS Band 1-2 42,111-46,542 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total number   9 35 12 19 75  
% of all staff   12 47 16 25   100
Employees who identify as Indigenous

As at 30 June 2016 the Institute had no ongoing or non-ongoing employees who identified as Indigenous, the same as at 30 June 2015.

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 2016 are shown in Table 4.4.

Table 4.4: Number of staff covered by different employment agreements, at 30 June 2016
Type of agreement No. of staff

Note: 1 Two 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 one SES employee not covered by the Enterprise Agreement and six employees engaged to provide services to the Institute on an irregular/intermittent (casual) basis.

Enterprise Agreement1 74
Section 24(1) determination 2

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 2015 performance cycle.

Table 4.5: Performance pay for 2015 performance cycle
Level Number Aggregated amount Average Minimum Maximum
EL 2 2 $12,840 $6,420 $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 Guidelines, 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 and sufficiently skilled expertise is not immediately available in-house, or where 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 media relations services.

Processes for the engagement of consultants were consistent with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules, as detailed in the Financial Guidelines. 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 2013-14 to 2015-16 (incl. GST)
Financial year Consultancy contract expenditure
2013-14 $328,259
2014-15 $287,975
2015-16 $267,534

During 2015-16, 13 new consultancy contracts were entered into (including those to the value of less than $10,000), involving total actual expenditure of $117,426 (incl. GST). In addition, 12 ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the year, involving total actual expenditure of $150,108 (incl. GST). Expenditure for the year totalled $267,534 (incl. 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.

Commissioning bodies

During the 2015-16 financial year, the following organisations commissioned projects from the Institute:

  • Attorney-General's Department
  • Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety Ltd
  • Department of Defence
  • Department of Education and Training
  • Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Department of Social Services
  • Department of Veterans' Affairs
  • Heath Administration Corporation (HAC)
  • NSW Department of Family and Community Services
  • National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)
  • Ombudsman New South Wales
  • Our Watch Limited
  • Phoenix Australia Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health (PACPMH)
  • Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
  • Swinburne University of Technology
  • 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. AIFS pays particular attention to paying all small business invoices according to the business terms. 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.

5. Financial statements

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

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 advertising campaigns were undertaken during the reporting period. 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 details the Institute's environmental impacts, and the initiatives staff have taken to minimise them.

In 2015-16, electricity consumption within our tenancy (causing emissions to the air and use of resources) was reduced by 5% from 2014-15. Our level of use has now decreased to be almost equivalent to that used in the 2012-13 reporting period. 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 mostly due to domestic airline flights. Staff are encouraged to use webinar, video and teleconference facilities where possible. Webinars are increasingly replacing seminar presentations, meaning many more people can participate without needing 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 14% in 2015-16 compared to the previous period. This follows a 10% decrease in the 2014-15 reporting period, meaning our usage has decreased by 24% in total over the last two years, after a 16% increase in 2013-14. 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. Since 2010-11, departments and agencies have not 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 10-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.

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 2015-16
    Actual available appropriation for 2015-16
$ (a)
Payments made 2015-16
$ (b)
Balance remaining 2015-16
$ (a) - (b)

Notes:

1 Appropriation Act (No.1) 2015-16 and Appropriation Act (No.3) 2015-16 [and Appropriation Act (No. 5) 2015-16 if necessary]. This may also include prior year departmental appropriation and section 74 Retained Revenue Receipts.

2 Includes an amount of $0.185 million in 2015-16 for the Departmental Capital Budget. For accounting purposes this amount has been designated as "contributions by owners".

3 Appropriation Act (No.2) 2015-16 and Appropriation Act (No.4) 2015-16 [and Appropriation Act (No. 6) 2015-16 if necessary].

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

Ordinary annual services 1        
Departmental appropriation 2   17,754,876 12,919,319 4,835,557
Total   17,754,876 12,919,319 4,835,557
Total ordinary annual services A 17,754,876 12,919,319 4,835,557
Other services 3        
Departmental non-operating        
Equity injections   - - -
Total   - - -
Total other services B - - -
Total available annual appropriations and payments   17,754,876 12,919,319 4,835,557
Special appropriations        
Total special appropriations C - - -
Special accounts 4        
Total special accounts D - - -
Total resourcing and payments A+B+C+D   17,754,876 12,919,319 4,835,557
Less appropriations drawn from annual or special appropriations above and credited to special accounts through annual appropriations   - - -
Total net resourcing and payments for AIFS   17,754,876 12,919,319 4,835,557
Table B2: Budgeted expenses and resources for Outcome 1, 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 1 2015-16
$'000 (a)
Actual expenses 2015-16
$'000 (b)
Variation 2015-16
$'000 (a) - (b)

1 Full year budget, including any subsequent adjustment made to the 2015-16 Budget at Additional Estimates.

2 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

Program 1.1: Australian Institute of Family Studies - Departmental expenses
Departmental appropriation 2 13,826 12,165 1,661
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year 394 380 14
Total for Program 1.1 14,220 12,545 1,675
  2014-15 2015-16  
Average staffing level (number) 83 69 14
Appendix B: Agency resource statements and resources for outcomes
Table B1: Agency resource statement 2015-16
    Actual available appropriation for 2015-16
$ (a)
Payments made 2015-16
$ (b)
Balance remaining 2015-16
$ (a) - (b)

Notes:

1 Appropriation Act (No.1) 2015-16 and Appropriation Act (No.3) 2015-16 [and Appropriation Act (No. 5) 2015-16 if necessary]. This may also include prior year departmental appropriation and section 74 Retained Revenue Receipts.

2 Includes an amount of $0.185 million in 2015-16 for the Departmental Capital Budget. For accounting purposes this amount has been designated as "contributions by owners".

3 Appropriation Act (No.2) 2015-16 and Appropriation Act (No.4) 2015-16 [and Appropriation Act (No. 6) 2015-16 if necessary].

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

Ordinary annual services 1        
Departmental appropriation 2   17,754,876 12,919,319 4,835,557
Total   17,754,876 12,919,319 4,835,557
Total ordinary annual services A 17,754,876 12,919,319 4,835,557
Other services 3        
Departmental non-operating        
Equity injections   - - -
Total   - - -
Total other services B - - -
Total available annual appropriations and payments   17,754,876 12,919,319 4,835,557
Special appropriations        
Total special appropriations C - - -
Special accounts 4        
Total special accounts D - - -
Total resourcing and payments A+B+C+D   17,754,876 12,919,319 4,835,557
Less appropriations drawn from annual or special appropriations above and credited to special accounts through annual appropriations   - - -
Total net resourcing and payments for AIFS   17,754,876 12,919,319 4,835,557
Table B2: Budgeted expenses and resources for Outcome 1, 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 1 2015-16
$'000 (a)
Actual expenses 2015-16
$'000 (b)
Variation 2015-16
$'000 (a) - (b)

1 Full year budget, including any subsequent adjustment made to the 2015-16 Budget at Additional Estimates.

2 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

Program 1.1: Australian Institute of Family Studies - Departmental expenses
Departmental appropriation 2 13,826 12,165 1,661
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the Budget year 394 380 14
Total for Program 1.1 14,220 12,545 1,675
  2014-15 2015-16  
Average staffing level (number) 83 69 14
Appendix C: AIFS publications, seminars and presentations 2015-16

The following are the research publications, presentations and other outputs prepared by AIFS staff during 2015-16.

Publications

Arney, F., Iannos, I., Chong, A., McDougall, S., & Parkinson, S. (2015). Enhancing the implementation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle: Policy and practice considerations (CFCA Paper No. 34). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Australian Institute of Family Studies. (2015). Annual report 2014-2015. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Australian Institute of Family Studies. (2015). The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children annual statistical report 2014. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Australian Institute of Family Studies. (2015). Building a New Life in Australia: Wave 1 data users guide. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Australian Institute of Family Studies (2016). Establishing the Connection: Guidelines for practitioners and clinicians in the sexual assault and alcohol and other drug sectors. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Australian Institute of Family Studies. (2016). Family Matters, 97. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Australian Institute of Family Studies. (2016). Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study: Connections between children's length of time in out-of-home care and Wave 1 response patterns; or non-participations in components of the Wave 1 data collection. Technical Report No. 2. Unpublished report for Department of Family and Community Services.

Australian Institute of Family Studies. (2016). Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study: Do Wave 1 participants differ from study-eligible non-participants? Results of non-response analyses (Technical Report No. 1). Unpublished report for Department of Family and Community Services.

Australian Institute of Family Studies, Chapin Hall Center for Children University of Chicago, & 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: Department of Family and Community Services.

Baxter, J. (2015). Children's time with fathers and mothers over the pre-school years: A longitudinal time use study of couple families in Australia. Family Science, 6(1), 302-317.

Baxter, J. (2015). Gender role attitudes within couples, and parents' time in paid work, child care and housework. In Australian Institute of Family Studies (Ed.), The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children annual statistical report 2014 (pp. 39-62). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Baxter, J., & Hand, K. (2016). Flexible child care: Key findings from AIFS Evaluation of the Child Care Flexibility Trials. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Baxter, J., & Renda, J. (2015). Review of government initiatives for reconciling work and family life (Research Report No. 34). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Bray, J.R., Gray, M., Hand, K., & Katz, I. (2015). Compulsory Income Management in the Northern Territory - evaluating its impact. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 50(4), 373-396.

Campo, M. (2015). Children's exposure to domestic and family violence: Key issues and responses (CFCA Paper No. 36). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Child Family Community Australia. (2015). Domestic and family violence in regional, rural and remote communities: An overview of key issues (CFCA Practitioner Resource). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Child Family Community Australia. (2015). Domestic and family violence in pregnancy and early parenthood: Overview and emerging interventions (CFCA Practitioner Resource). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Child Family Community Australia. (2015). Empowerment evaluation (CFCA Practitioner Resource). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Child Family Community Australia. (2015). Intimate partner violence in lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer communities: Key issues (CFCA Practitioner Resource). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Child Family Community Australia. (2015). Participatory action research (CFCA Practitioner Resource). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Child Family Community Australia. (2016). The effect of trauma on the brain development of children: Evidence-based principles for supporting the recovery of children in care (CFCA Practitioner Resource). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Commerford, J., & Hunter, C. (2015). Children's Contact Services: Key issues (CFCA Paper No. 35). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Commerford, J., & Hunter, C. (2016). Marriage and relationship education: Recent research findings. Family Matters, 97, 55-66.

Commerford, J., & Robinson, E. (2016). Supported playgroups for parents and children: The evidence for their benefits (CFCA Paper No. 40). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

De Maio, J., & Higgins, D. (2015). Establishing children's placements. In Australian Institute of Family Studies, Chapin Hall Center for Children University of Chicago, & Department of Family and Community Services (Eds.), Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study: Outcomes of Children and Young People in Out-of-Home Care in New South Wales. Wave 1 Baseline Statistical Report (pp. 61-80). Sydney: Department of Family and Community Services.

De Maio, J., Silbert, M., & Edwards, J. (2015). Building a New Life in Australia: Wave 3 pilot technical report. Report to Department of Social Services.

De Maio, J., Silbert, M., & Edwards, J. (2016). Building a New Life in Australia: Wave 3 main technical report. Report to Department of Social Services.

De Maio, J., & Smart, D. (2015). Caregiver parenting practices and children's relationships. In Australian Institute of Family Studies, Chapin Hall Center for Children University of Chicago, & Department of Family and Community Services (Eds.), Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study: Outcomes of Children and Young People in Out-of-Home Care in New South Wales: Wave 1 Baseline Statistical Report (pp. 151-174). Sydney: Department of Family and Community Services.

de Vaus, D. & Qu, L. (2015). Living alone and personal wellbeing (Australian Family Trends No. 10). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

de Vaus, D. & Qu, L. (2015). The nature of living alone (Australian Family Trends No. 9). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Dickins, M., & Thomas, A. (2016). Is it gambling or a game? Simulated gambling games: Their use and Regulation (AGRC Discussion Paper No. 5). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Forrest, W., & Edwards, B. (2015). Early onset of crime and delinquency among Australian Children. In Australian Institute of Family Studies (Ed.), The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children annual statistical report 2014 (pp. 131-150). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Hand, K., Katz, I., Gray, M., & Bray, J. R,. (2016). Welfare Conditionality as a child protection tool. Family Matters, 97, 16-29.

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 [Directions], 48, 22-28.

Higgins, D. J., Kaufman, K., & Erooga, M. (2016). How can child welfare and youth-serving organisations keep children safe? Developing Practice: The Child Youth and Family Work Journal, 44, 48-64.

Higgins, D. J., Kenny, P., & Morley, S. (2016). Forced adoption national practice principles: Guidelines and principles for effective specialist services. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Hollonds, A. (2016). Investing in our future. Every Child, 22(2), 3.

Hollonds, A. (2016). Why do families matter for our future? Family Matters, 97, 2-4.

Hooker, L., Kaspiew, R., & Taft, A. (2016). Domestic and family violence and parenting: Mixed methods insights into impact and support needs (Landscapes: State of Knowledge, No. 01/2016). Alexandria, NSW: Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety (ANROWS).

Hunter, C. & Commerford, J. (2015). Relationship education and counselling: Recent research findings (CFCA Paper No. 33). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Jenkinson, R., Silbert, M., De Maio, J., & Edwards, B. (2016). Building a New Life in Australia: settlement experiences of recently arrived humanitarian migrants. Journal of the Home Economics Institute of Australia, 22(3), 22-28.

Jenkinson, R., Silbert, M., De Maio, J., & Edwards, B. (2016). Settlement experiences of recently arrived humanitarian migrants (Building a New Life in Australia Fact Sheet). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Kaspiew, R., Carson, R., Coulson, M., Dunstan, J., & Moore, S. (2015). Responding to family violence: A survey of family law practices and experiences (Evaluation of the 2012 Family Violence Amendments). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Kaspiew, R., Carson, R., Dunstan, J., De Maio, J., Moore, S., Moloney, L. et al. (2015). Experiences of Separated Parents Study (Evaluation of the 2012 Family Violence Amendments). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Kaspiew, R., Carson, R., Dunstan, J., Qu, L., Horsfall, B., De Maio, J. et al. (2015). Evaluation of the 2012 family violence amendments: Synthesis report. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Kaspiew, R., Carson, R., Qu, L., Horsfall, B., Tayton, S., Moore, S. et al. (2015). Court Outcomes Project (Evaluation of the 2012 Family Violence Amendments). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

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

Kaspiew, R., & Qu, L. (2016). Property division after separation: recent research evidence. Australian Journal of Family Law, 30(1), 1-27.

Kaspiew, R., Carson, R., & Rhoades, H. (2016). Elder abuse: Understanding issues, frameworks and responses (Research Report No. 35). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Kaufman, K. L., Erooga, M., Zatkin, J., Stewart, K., Tews, H., McConnell, E., & Higgins, D. (2015). Risk profiles for institutional child sexual abuse: A literature review. Sydney: Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Kenny, P., & Higgins, D. (2015). National Practice Standards for Australian Government funded Forced Adoption Support Services: Discussion Paper. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Kenny, P., Higgins, D., & Morley, S. (2015). Forced adoption support services: Establishing and building networks. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Kenny, P., Higgins, D., & Morley, S. (2015). Good practice principles in providing services to those affected by forced adoption and family separation. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Lahausse, J. (2015). Characteristics of the caregiver, household and neighbourhood. In Australian Institute of Family Studies, Chapin Hall Center for Children University of Chicago, & Department of Family and Community Services (Eds.), Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study: Outcomes of Children and Young People in Out-of-Home Care in New South Wales. Wave 1 Baseline Statistical Report (pp. 200-219). Sydney: Department of Family and Community Services.

Lahausse, J., & Silbert, M. (2015). Service provision and support. In Australian Institute of Family Studies, Chapin Hall Center for Children University of Chicago, & Department of Family and Community Services (Eds.), Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study: Outcomes of Children and Young People in Out-of-Home Care in New South Wales. Wave 1 Baseline Statistical Report (pp. 175-199). Sydney: Department of Family and Community Services.

Maguire, B., & Yu, M. (2015). Transition to secondary school. In The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children annual statistical report 2014 (pp. 83-104). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Mathews, B., Walsh, K., Dunne, M., Katz, I., Arney, F., Higgins, D., Octoman, O., Parkinson, S., & Bates, S. (2015). Scoping study for research into the prevalence of child abuse in Australia: Report to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Sydney: Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Australia in partnership with Australian Institute of Family Studies, Queensland University of Technology and the Australian Centre for Child Protection, University of South Australia.

Merkouris, S. S., Thomas, A. C., Shandley, K., Rodda, S., Oldenhof, E., & Dowling, N. A. (2016). An update on gender differences in the characteristics associated with problem gambling: A systematic review. Current Addiction Reports, 3, 254. doi:10.1007/s40429-016-0106-y

Miller, P. G., Butler, E., Richardson, B., Staiger, P. K., Youssef, G. J., Macdonald, J. A. et al. (2016). Relationships between problematic alcohol consumption and delinquent behaviour from adolescence to young adulthood. Drug and alcohol review, 35, 317-325.

Moloney, L. (2016). Defining and delivering effective counselling and psychotherapy (CFCA Paper No. 38). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Moore, T., McDonald, M., McHugh-Dillon, H., & West, S. (2016). Community engagement: A key strategy for improving outcomes for Australian families (CFCA Paper No. 39). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Muir, S., & Morley, S. (2015) Summary report: What are the family protective factors for members transitioning from Defence service? A rapid evidence assessment. Report commissioned by the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Muir, S., & Morley, S. (2015) What are the family protective factors for members transitioning from Defence service? A rapid evidence assessment. Report commissioned by the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Price-Robertson, R., Baxter, J., & Mathews, S. (2015). Longitudinal associations between fathers' mental health and the quality of the their coparenting relationships. Clinical Psychologist, doi:10.1111/cp.12072

Qu, L., & de Vaus, D. (2015). Life satisfaction across life course transitions (Australian Family Trends No. 8). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Qu, L., & Weston, R. (2015). Children's views about parental separation. In Australian Institute of Family Studies (Ed.). The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children annual statistical report 2014 (pp. 13-38). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Quadara, A. (2015). Implementing trauma-informed systems of care in health settings: The WITH study  (Landscapes: State of Knowledge No. 10). Alexandria, NSW: Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety (ANROWS).

Quadara, A., Nagy, V., Higgins, D., & Siegel, N. (2015). Conceptualising the prevention of child sexual abuse (Research Report No. 33). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Quadara, A., Stathopoulos, M., & Jenkinson, R. (2015). Establishing the Connection [between alcohol and other drug use and sexual victimisation] (Landscapes: State of Knowledge No. 6). Alexandria, NSW: Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety (ANROWS).

Robinson, E., & Esler, M. (2016). The Expert Panel project: towards better outcomes for families. Family Matters, 97, 67-72.

Rodda, S., Lubman, D., & Dowling, N. (2015). Online counselling for problem gambling (AGRC Facts Sheet). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Silbert, M., De Maio, J., & Edwards, B. (2015). Building a new Life in Australia: Annual Report 2014-15. Report to Department of Social Services.

Smart, D. (2015). Children's childcare and educational experiences. In Australian Institute of Family Studies, Chapin Hall Center for Children University of Chicago, & Department of Family and Community Services (Eds.), Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study: Outcomes of Children and Young People in Out-of-Home Care in New South Wales: Wave 1 Baseline Statistical Report (pp. 125-150). Sydney: Department of Family and Community Services.

Smart, D. (2015). Wellbeing of children and young people. In Australian Institute of Family Studies, Chapin Hall Center for Children University of Chicago, & Department of Family and Community Services (Eds.), Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study: Outcomes of Children and Young People in Out-of-Home Care in New South Wales. Wave 1 Baseline Statistical Report (pp. 81-124). Sydney: Department of Family and Community Services.

Stathopoulos, M., & Jenkinson, R. (2016). Establishing the Connection: Interventions linking service responses for sexual assault with drug or alcohol use/abuse. Final report (ANROWS Horizons). Alexandria, NSW: Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety (ANROWS).

Stathopoulos, M., & Jenkinson, R. (2016). Establishing the Connection: Interventions linking service responses for sexual assault with drug or alcohol use/misuse. Key findings and future directions (ANROWS Compass). Alexandria, NSW: Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety (ANROWS).

Thomas, A., Christensen, D., Deblaquiere, J., Armstrong, A., Moore, S., Carson, R., & Rintoul, A. (2016). Review of electronic gaming machine pre-commitment features: Limit setting. (AGRC Discussion Paper). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Thomas, A., Carson, R., Deblaquiere, J., Armstrong, A., Moore, S., Christensen, D., & Rintoul, A. (2016). Review of electronic gaming machine pre-commitment features: Self-exclusion (AGRC Discussion Paper). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Thomas, A., Rintoul, A., Deblaquiere, J., Armstrong, A., Moore, S., Carson, R., & Christensen, D. (2016). Review of electronic gaming machine pre-commitment features: Transaction history statements. (AGRC Discussion Paper). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Vasiliadis, S., & Thomas, A (2016). Journeys through gambling: Pathways to informal recovery (AGRC Discussion Paper). Melbourne: Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.

Vassallo, S., Edwards, B., & Forrest, W. (2016). Childhood behaviour problems and fighting in early adulthood: What factors are protective? Journal of Criminal Justice, 45, 85-93.

Vassallo, S., Lahausse, J., & Edwards, B. (2016). Factors affecting stability and change in risky driving from late adolescence to the late twenties. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 88, 77-87.

Wall, L., Higgins, D., & Hunter, C. (2016). Trauma-informed care in child/family welfare services (CFCA Paper No. 37). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Wall, L., Scott, D., Kaspiew, R., Carson, R., Quadara, A., Perriman, A., & Higgins, D. (2015). Evaluation of the Co-located Child Protection Practitioner Initiative. Melbourne: Department of Health and Human Services.

Warren, D. (2015). Historical Development and Recent Reforms. In Committee for Economic Development of Australia (Ed.), The Super Challenge of Retirement Income Policy (pp. 25-40). Melbourne: CEDA.

Warren, D. (2015). Why single women are more likely to retire poor. The Conversation, 27 November.

Whitehouse, G., Baird, M., Alexander, M., & Brennan, D. (2015). Australia [country profile]. In P. Moss (Ed.), 11th international review of leave policies and related research 2015 (pp. 48-60). London: International Network on Leave Policies and Related Research.

Wilks, S., & Muir, S. (2015). What is the prevalence of risk-taking behaviours in the children of former or current military personnel? A rapid evidence assessment. Report commissioned by the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Yu, M., & Daraganova, G. (2015). Children's early home learning environment and learning outcomes in the early years of school. In Australian Institute of Family Studies (Ed.), The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children annual statistical report 2014 (pp. 63-82). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Yu. M., & Daraganova, G. (2015). The educational expectations of Australian Children and their mothers. In Australian Institute of Family Studies (Ed.), The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children annual statistical report 2014 (pp. 105-129). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Updated CFCA resource sheets

  • Age of consent laws (April 2016)
  • Australian legal definitions: When is a child in need of protection? (April 2016)
  • Child deaths from abuse and neglect (May 2016)
  • Child protection and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children (September 2015)
  • Children in care (June 2015)
  • The economic costs of child abuse and neglect (December 2015)
  • Helplines and telephone counselling services for children, young people and parents (April 2016)
  • Mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect (May 2016)
  • Online safety (March 2016)
  • Pre-employment screening: Working with children checks and police checks (May 2016)
  • Reporting abuse and neglect: State and territory departments responsible for protecting children (April 2016)
  • Risk assessment instruments in child protection (June 2016)
  • What is child abuse and neglect? (September 2015)

AIFS Seminar Series

Seminars and webinars

Alison McClelland, Commissioner, Productivity Commission; Paul Lindwall, Commissioner, Productivity Commission. Migrant intake into Australia. 18 August 2015

Julian Disney, Professor and Director, Social Justice Project, University of New South Wales and Former Chair, National Affordable Housing Summit. Housing, transport and family hardship.13 October 2015

Gerry Redmond, Associate Professor, School of Social and Policy Studies, Flinders University; Jen Skattebol, Senior Research Fellow, Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales. Who is in my family? T he shape of social networks and their impact on children's wellbeing. 10 November 2015

Rae Kaspiew, Australian Institute of Family Studies. Evaluation of the 2012 Family Violence Amendments. 25 November 2015

CFCA Webinar Series

Kylie Beckhouse, Executive Director of Family Law at Legal Aid NSW. Representing children in legal proceedings. 9 July 2015

Dr Jemima Petch, Clinical Psychologist and Head of Research at Relationships Australia Queensland; W. Kim Halford, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Queensland. Couple relationship education and counselling: Research evidence and the implications for practice. 30 July 2015

Aunty Sue Blacklock, Chair of Winangay Resources and Respected Elder of the Nucoorilma people from Tingha, part of the Gamilaraay (Kamilaroi) nation; Professor Fiona Arney, Director of the Australian Centre for Child Protection; Alwin Chong, Acting Director of the Yaitya Purruna Indigenous Health Unit (YPIHU); Gillian Bonser, Psychologist and co-founder of Winangay Resources. How can we improve the implementation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle. 27 August 2015

Dr Marisa Fogarty, ANU; Nicola Coalter, Amity Community Services; Ashley Gordon, Aboriginal Gambling Consultant; Dr Helen Breen, Southern Cross University. Addressing gambling in Indigenous communities. 29 September 2015

Michael Carr-Gregg, psychologist and Managing Director of the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre. Using technology in practice to improve young people's mental health. 20 October 2015

Yvonne Kelly, Professor of Lifecourse Epidemiology at University College, London, and Deputy Director of the International Centre for Lifecourse Studies. The far-reaching benefits of a good start in life. 13 November 2015

Sophie Aitken, General Manager of Implementation and Quality at Drummond Street Services. Implementation and adaptation of evidence-based programs. 23 February 2016

Professor Lawrie Moloney, Senior Research Fellow, Australian Institute of Family Studies; Dr Stephen Andrew, psychologist in private practice. Counselling and psychotherapy: Evidence and future directions. 9 March 2016

Frank Quinlan, CEO of Mental Health Australia. Mental health reform at the crossroads. 27 April 2016

Sue West, Associate Director of the Centre for Community Child Health at The Royal Children's Hospital, and Senior Manager at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute; Dr Tim Moore, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Community Child Health; Angela Sayer, a parent from Clarence Plains, Tasmania, who was actively involved in the co-design of her local Child and Family Centre. Engaging communities: What's involved and how it's done. 17 May 2016

Presentations

Baxter, J. (2016, May 19-20). Shift work and child care: How do Australian parents do it? The New Economy and Challenges for Family Life workshop, Berlin, Germany.

Baxter, J. (2016, June). Children's time with parents as they grow into adolescence: Insights using longitudinal children's time use data. Time Use Across the Life Course Conference, University of Maryland, USA.

Baxter, J. (2015, November). Family structure and employment in Australia: The implications of child care and time use for child wellbeing. OECD, Third Joint OECD-UNICEF-EC Child Wellbeing Consultation, Paris, France.

Baxter, J., & Hand, K. (2016, June 23-25). Flexible home based child care - opportunities & challenges for families & care providers. Work Family Researchers Network Conference, Washington DC, USA.

Campo, M. (2015, November 11). Children's exposure to domestic and family violence: Overview of impacts and responses. 8th Family and Relationship Services Australia (FRSA) National Conference, Brisbane.

Carson, R. (2015, November 25). An empirical insight into injuries arising from family violence in separated families. 12th Australasian Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Conference, Sydney.

Carson, R. (2016, June 23) Key findings of the Evaluation of the 2012 family violence amendments. Family Court of Australia Registrar Conference, Sydney.

Carson, R., & Kaspiew, R. (2016, April 14). Significant and emerging topics in the family law sector: Recent and current AIFS research. Greater Melbourne Family Law Pathways Network Project Officer Conference, Melbourne.

De Maio, J. (2016, May 10). Introducing the Building a New Life in Australia Study. Victorian Transcultural Mental Health, quarterly meeting, Melbourne.

De Maio, J., Edwards, B., Silbert, M., & Jenkinson, R. (2015, September 28-20). Psychological wellbeing and social participation of recently arrived humanitarian migrants. Australian Social Policy Conference, Sydney.

Dickins, M. (2016, May 26). Is it gambling or a game? Simulated gambling games - their use and regulation. Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, Melbourne.

Duracinsky, M., Armstrong, A., Herrmann, S., Lalanne, C., Galano, E., Da Silva, M. H., Carrieri, P. M., & Chassany, O. (2015, November). Psychometric validation of the new international questionnaire to assess health-related quality of life (HRQL) specific to viral hepatitis C: PROQOL HCV. 18th Annual European Congress of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, Milan, Italy.

Duracinsky, M., Armstrong, A., Herrmann, S., Lalanne, C., Galano, E., Da Silva, M. H., Carrieri, P. M., & Chassany, O. (2016, April). Validation of a new health-related quality of life (HRQL) questionnaire specific to viral hepatitis C: PROQOL HCV. 51st Annual European Association for the Study of Liver, Barcelona, Spain.

Edwards, B. (2015, February). Building the evidence base, the complementary role of monitoring and longitudinal studies of children. National Child Wellbeing Symposium, Canberra.

Edwards, B. (2015, November). Growing Up in Australia: Critical findings from longitudinal studies of family life in Australia. Our Parenting Journey Forum, Australian Childhood Foundation, Melbourne.

Edwards, B. (2016, February). Evaluation of Commonwealth Funded Place Based Initiatives. Workshop on Place-Based Approaches: Design and Evaluation of Government Policy and Programs, Prime Minister and Cabinet, Canberra.

Gray, M., Stanton, D., Qu, L., & de Vaus, D. (2016, June 20). The impact of policy change and macro-economic conditions on Australian single mothers. Foundation for International Studies in Social Security Conference, Sigtuna, Sweden.

Hand, K. (2015, December 11). Evidence, evidence-based programs and evaluation. Child and Parenting Services Forum, Brisbane.

Hand, K. (2016, February 22). Why is evidence important? Communities for Children Community Partners Forum, Darwin.

Hand, K. (2016, March 7). Why is evidence important? Communities for Children Community Partners Forum, Brisbane.

Hand, K. (2016, June 10). Family Policy in Australia. UK Department of Work and Pensions, London, UK.

Hand, K., & Baxter, J. (2015, August 27). Flexible outside school hours care - what do parents want? Paving the Foundation - Australian School Age Care Research Symposium, Gold Coast.

Hand, K., & Baxter, J. (2015, September 28-30). In-home child care: a solution to parents' flexible child care needs? Australian Social Policy Conference, Sydney.

Hand, K., Bray, J. R., Katz, I., & Gray, M. (2016, June 1). Vulnerability as a mechanism for welfare conditionality: The case of Income Management in the Northern Territory. Invited Seminar. University of York, UK.

Hand, K., Katz, I., Gray, M., & Bray, J. R. (2015, September 28-30). Welfare conditionality as a child protection tool. Australian Social Policy Conference, Sydney.

Hand, K., & Nelson, A. (2016, June 19-21). Who cares? Income support duration among young Australians in receipt of carer and parenting payments - a quantitative enquiry of administrative data: 1999-2013. Foundation for International Studies on Social Security Conference. Sigtuna, Sweden.

Hand, K. (2015, September 17-18). Panellist - Workforce participation (young people and child care). International Conference on Welfare Reform: Meeting the Policy Challenges of Change, Canberra.

Heggie, K., & Harvey, J. (2015, October 11). Exploring the psycho-social health of the families of ADF current and ex-serving members. Australasian Military Medicine Association Conference (AMMA Conference), Hobart.

Higgins, D. (2015, July 22-25). A public health approach to enhance safe and supportive family environments for children. 23rd American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) Annual Colloquium, Boston, USA.

Higgins, D. (2015, September 7 & 9). Whose business? Implementing child-safe principles in organisations to protect Australia's children. National Child Protection Week Seminar, Taking Action to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse. Life Without Barriers and the Australian Institute of Family Studies, Sydney.

Higgins, D. (2015, September 30). Data on how children are faring on entry into out-of-home care. NSW FaCS Analysis and Research Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study Roundtable. Ashfield, NSW.

Higgins, D. (2015, October 23 & 30). Facilitated workshops, NSW Families and Community Services responses to Domestic and Family Violence. Ashfield, NSW.

Higgins, D. (2016, April 28). Understanding forced adoption: An introduction for health professionals. Australian Psychological Society webinar series.

Higgins, D. (2016, May 12). Safe and supportive family environments and children's wellbeing. Family policies and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda United Nations Expert Group Meeting, New York.

Higgins, D. (2016, May 23-24). How can child welfare and youth-serving organisations keep children safe? Child Aware Approaches conference, Brisbane.

Higgins, D. (2016, June 28). Research in the round. Facilitating the inaugural roundtable for the Queensland Family & Child Commission. QUT, Brisbane.

Hollonds, A. (2015, October 28-30). Challenges and opportunities to address disadvantage across the life course: Insights from research at the Australian Institute of Family Studies. International Life Course Conference, Brisbane.

Hollonds, A., & Alexander, K. (2016, April 6-8). Australian approaches to prevention and early intervention in child welfare and family support service delivery. China-Australian Human Rights Technical Cooperation Program, Ruili City, China.

Hollonds, A., & Edwards, B. (2015, December 9). An overview of the Building a New Life in Australia Study. New South Wales Department of Premier and Cabinet, Sydney.

Hunter, C. (2016, June 22). Implementing evidence in practice. Western NSW Child and Family Conference, Parkes, NSW.

Jenkinson, R., Dietze, P., Hellard, M., & Lim, M. (2016, February). Gambling behaviours and experience of harm among a sample of young Australians. International Gambling Conference, Auckland, New Zealand.

Kaspiew, R. (2015, July 29). Family violence and separated parents: New empirical insights. Child Dispute Services Seminar Series, Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia, Melbourne.

Kapsiew, R. (2015, 21 October). Overview of the Evaluation of the 2012 family violence amendments. Presented to the Family Law Council, Canberra.

Kaspiew, R. (2015, November 10-12). Participation in the Family Violence Panel Discussion at the 8th Family and Relationship Services Australia (FRSA) National Conference, Brisbane.

Kaspiew, R. (2016, February 25). Domestic and family violence and parenting: insights from practice and research. Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety (ANROWS) Inaugural Conference, Melbourne.

Kaspiew, R. (2016, March 3). Findings of the Evaluation of the 2012 family violence amendments (and other matters). Family Law Pathways Network Tasmania, Hobart.

Kaspiew, R. (2016, March 4). Findings of the Evaluation of the 2012 family violence amendments (and other matters). Family Law Pathways Network Tasmania, Launceston.

Kaspiew, R. (2016, March 17). Family Law in Australia 2006-2016. National Plan Implementation Executive Group.

Kaspiew, R. (2016, June 16). Panel member, Elder abuse at the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration Incorporated Conference, East Melbourne.

Kaspiew, R., & Wall, L. (2015, November 10-12). Child protection and the family law courts working together: insights from the evaluation of the Victorian co-located child protection practitioner initiative. 8th Family and Relationship Services Australia (FRSA) National Conference, Brisbane.

Katz, I., Bray, J. R., Gray, M., & Hand, K. (2015, September 28-30). Income management and behaviour change: Evidence and policy. Australian Social Policy Conference, Sydney.

Kenny, P. (2015, July 16). Establishing and building networks resource: forced adoption support services. Forced Adoption Support Services Practice Roundtable, Sydney.

Kenny, P. (2015, November 12). Past adoption practices: Findings from a National Research Study and implications for current adoptions and permanency planning policy and practice. Settlement Services International forum on open adoption and implications for refugee and migrant children and young people in out-of-home care, Sydney.

Moore, S. (2015, September 8). Evidence, evidence-based programs and evaluation. Child and Parenting Services Forum, Sydney.

Moore, S. (2015, October 8). Evidence, evidence-based programs and evaluation. Child and Parenting Services Forum, Melbourne.

Muir, S. (2015, August 18). Beyond 18: The Longitudinal Study of Leaving Care. Centre For Excellence in Child and Family Welfare - Leaving Care and Post Care Forum, Melbourne.

Muir, S. (2015, December 9). Beyond 18: The Longitudinal Study of Leaving Care. Out of Home Care Community of Practice, Melbourne.

Muir, S. (2016, March 24). Beyond 18: The Longitudinal Study of Leaving Care. Youth Justice Community Support Service & Youth Justice Group Conferencing Statewide Reference Group, Melbourne.

Rintoul, A. (2016, June). Gambling in Suburban Australia: A tale of two suburban neighbourhoods in Melbourne. Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation lunchtime learning, Melbourne.

Rintoul, A., Deblaquiere, J., Thomas, A., Dickins, M., & Armstrong, A. (2016, February). Gambling in suburban Australia: Findings from a place-based study in Melbourne. International Gambling Conference, Auckland, New Zealand.

Robinson, E. (2015, August 27). Evidence-based program requirement - Where to from here? Communities for Children Facilitating Partners Forum, Melbourne.

Robinson, E. (2015, November 10-12) Evidence-based program requirement - Where to from here? 8th Family and Relationship Services Australia (FRSA) National Conference, Brisbane.

Robinson, E. (2015, December 1-2). Evidence, evidence-based programs and evaluation. Communities for Children National Good Practice Form, Adelaide.

Robinson, E. (2016, February 17). Why is evidence important? Communities for Children Community Partners Forum, Melbourne.

Robinson, E. (2016, February 24). Evidence, evidence-based programs and evaluation. Communities for Children Facilitating Partners Forum, Perth.

Robinson, E. (2016, March 3). Q&A session. Communities for Children Facilitating Partners Forum, Melbourne.

Robinson, E. (2016, March 22). Why is evidence important? Communities for Children Community Partners Forum, Melbourne.

Robinson, E., & Moore, S. (2015, August 10). Evidence, evidence-based programs and evaluation. DSS Grant Agreement Managers Forum, Melbourne.

Scott, D. (2015, November 25-27). Maltreatment prevention: but it's hardly injury prevention - or is it? 12th Australasian Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Conference, Sydney.

Stathopoulos, M., (2016, February 25). Establishing the Connection: Key findings. ANROWS Inaugural National Research Conference on Violence Against Women, Melbourne.

Thomas, A. (2015, November). Gambling and harm reduction: Building the evidence for policy development. National Association for Gambling Studies, 25th Annual Conference, Adelaide.

Thomas, A. (2016, February). Standardising gambling questions in broader surveys where space is a problem: Why is this an issue? International think tank on gambling research, policy and practice, Auckland, New Zealand.

Thomas, A., Delfabbro, P., Armstrong, A., Rintoul, A., & Debliaquiere, J. (2016, February). Identification and intervention with gamblers exhibiting signs of gambling problems in venues: Moving from theory to practice. International Gambling Conference, Auckland, New Zealand.

Vasilliadis, S. (2016, March). Pathways through informal recovery. Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation seminar, Melbourne.

Warren, D. (2015, September 17). Australia's retirement income system: Historical development and recent reforms. Funding Retirement public seminar, Committee for the Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), Brisbane.

Warren, D. (2015, September 17). The super challenge of retirement income policy. Funding Retirement public seminar, Committee for the Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), Brisbane.

Warren, D. (2015, September). Low income and poverty dynamics: Implications for NAPLAN outcomes. Australian Social Policy Conference, Sydney.

Warren, D., & Edwards, B. (2016, February 18). Appearance at the Senate Inquiry into the Economic Security of Women in Retirement, Melbourne.

Appendix D: Consultancies and collaboration 2015-16

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, the Institute made the following submissions:

  • Submission to the NSW Government on Issues Paper on Establishment of an Institute of Open Adoption (July 2015)
  • Submission to the Inquiry Into Service Coordination in Communities with High Social Needs, NSW Legislative Council's Standing Committee on Social Issues (August 2015)
  • Submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Economic Security of Women in Retirement (October 2015)
  • Submission to the Inquiry into Economics Security for Women in Retirement, Senate Economics References Committee (October 2015)
  • Submission to a Question on Notice regarding Data Linkage Integration Authority activities at AIFS for the Select Senate Committee on Health (January 2016)
  • Submission to the Commonwealth of Australia Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs inquiry into Surrogacy: Oral evidence given at public hearing in Canberra (March 2016)
  • Submission to the Inquiry into Lowering the Probationary Driving Age in Victoria to Seventeen, Parliament of Law Reform, Road and Community Safety Committee (June 2016)
  • Submission to the Inquiry into Child Protection, NSW Legislative Council's General Purpose Standing Committee No. 2 (June 2016)
  • Submission to Gaming Machine Review by the Victorian Government (February, 2016)
  • Submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications. Inquiry and report in relation to the Interactive Gambling Amendment (Sports Betting Reform) Bill 2015
  • Submission to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection discussion paper: Australia's Humanitarian Programme 2016-17. Settlement experiences of recently arrived humanitarian migrants - Insights from the first wave of the Building a New Life in Australia Longitudinal Study of Humanitarian Migrants

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.

In the reporting period, the Institute received the following delegations:

  • Delegation of the Singapore Early Childhood Development Agency: Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Social and Family Development (MSF) (head of delegation), Ms Li-Na Koh, Ms Chan Lin Ho, Ms Jane Lee, Ms Celine Lee, Dr Winnie Goh (April 2016)
  • Delegation of International Islamic University, Malaysia: Dr Norliah Ibrahim, Professor Dr Zuhairah Ariff Abd Ghadas (May 2016)
Appendix E: Acronyms and abbreviations
Table E1: Acronyms and abbreviations
Acronyms and abbreviations Description
AASB Australian Accounting Standards Board
ABS Australian Bureau of Statistics
ACT Australian Capital Territory
ADF Australian Defence Force
AFM Advance to the Finance Minister
AGD Attorney-General's Department
AGRC Australian Gambling Research Centre
AIFS Australian Institute of Family Studies
AM Member of the Order of Australia
ANAO Australian National Audit Office
ANROWS Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety
ANU Australian National University
AO Officer of the Order of Australia
APS Australian Public Service
ATP Australian Temperament Project
AWA Australian Workplace Agreement
BNLA Building a New Life in Australia
CBE Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
CFCA Child Family Community Australia information exchange
Cth Commonwealth
DCB Departmental Capital Budget
DHS Australian Government Department of Human Services
DoE Department of Education
DSS Department of Social Services
DVA Department of Veterans' Affairs
EL Executive Level
FaC Activity Department of Social Services Families and Children Activity
FASSA Fellows of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia
FBT Fringe Benefits Tax
FMO Finance Minister's Order
FOI Act Freedom of Information Act 1982
FRSA Family Relationship Services Australia
FRR Financial Reporting Rule
GST Goods and Services Tax
HAC Health Administration Corporation
IFA Individual flexibility arrangements
IPS Information Publication Scheme
KPI Key performance indicator
LSAC Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children
MP Member of Parliament
NSW New South Wales
NSW FaCS NSW Department of Family and Community Services
NT Northern Territory
OAM Medal of the Order of Australia
OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
OPA Official Public Account
PAES Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements
PBS Portfolio Budget Statements
PGPA Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013
PM&C Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
PSM Public Service Medal
PSPF Protective Security Policy Framework
Qld Queensland
SA South Australia
SES Senior Executive Service
SMEs Small and medium enterprises
SOETM Services for Other Entities and Trust Moneys Special accounts
Tas. Tasmania
UK United Kingdom
UNSW University of New South Wales
USA United States of America
Vic. Victoria
WA Western Australia
Appendix F: 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.

Table F1: Mandatory and suggested reporting items
PGPA Rule Reference Part of Report Description Requirement

Note: N/A = not applicable

17AD(g) Letter of transmittal
17AI iii A copy of the letter of transmittal signed and dated by accountable authority on date final text approved, with statement that the report has been prepared in accordance with section 46 of the Act and any enabling legislation that specifies additional requirements in relation to the annual report Mandatory
17AD(h) Aids to access
17AJ(a) v Table of contents Mandatory
17AJ(b) 109 Alphabetical index Mandatory
17AJ(c) 100 Glossary of abbreviations and acronyms Mandatory
17AJ(d) 102 List of requirements Mandatory
17AJ(e) ii Details of contact officer Mandatory
17AJ(f) ii Entity's website address Mandatory
17AJ(g) ii Electronic address of report Mandatory
17AD(a) Review by accountable authority
17AD(a) 2 A review by the accountable authority of the entity Mandatory
17AD(b) Overview of the entity
17AE(1)(a)(i) 10 A description of the role and functions of the entity Mandatory
17AE(1)(a)(ii) 11 A description of the organisational structure of the entity Mandatory
17AE(1)(a)(iii) 12 A description of the outcomes and programmes administered by the entity Mandatory
17AE(1)(a)(iv) iv A description of the purposes of the entity as included in corporate plan Mandatory
17AE(1)(b) N/A An outline of the structure of the portfolio of the entity Portfolio departments - mandatory
17AE(2) N/A Where the outcomes and programs administered by the entity differ from any Portfolio Budget Statement, Portfolio Additional Estimates Statement or other portfolio estimates statement that was prepared for the entity for the period, include details of variation and reasons for change If applicable, Mandatory
17AD(c) Report on the performance of the entity
  Annual performance statements  
17AD(c)(i); 16F 14 Annual performance statement in accordance with paragraph 39(1)(b) of the Act and section 16F of the Rule Mandatory
17AD(c)(ii) Report on financial performance  
17AF(1)(a) 30 A discussion and analysis of the entity's financial performance Mandatory
17AF(1)(b) 31 A table summarising the total resources and total payments of the entity Mandatory
17AF(2) N/A If there may be significant changes in the financial results during or after the previous or current reporting period, information on those changes, including: the cause of any operating loss of the entity; how the entity has responded to the loss and the actions that have been taken in relation to the loss; and any matter or circumstances that it can reasonably be anticipated will have a significant impact on the entity's future operation or financial results If applicable, Mandatory.
17AD(d) Management and accountability
  Corporate governance  
17AG(2)(a) 34 Information on compliance with section 10 (fraud systems) Mandatory
17AG(2)(b)(i) 34 A certification by accountable authority that fraud risk assessments and fraud control plans have been prepared Mandatory
17AG(2)(b)(ii) 34 A certification by accountable authority that appropriate mechanisms for preventing, detecting incidents of, investigating or otherwise dealing with, and recording or reporting fraud that meet the specific needs of the entity are in place Mandatory
17AG(2)(b)(iii) 34 A certification by accountable authority that all reasonable measures have been taken to deal appropriately with fraud relating to the entity Mandatory
17AG(2)(c) 35 An outline of structures and processes in place for the entity to implement principles and objectives of corporate governance Mandatory
17AG(2)(d)-(e) N/A A statement of significant issues reported to Minister under paragraph 19(1)(e) of the Act that relates to non-compliance with Finance law and action taken to remedy non-compliance If applicable, Mandatory
  External scrutiny  
17AG(3) 39 Information on the most significant developments in external scrutiny and the entity's response to the scrutiny Mandatory
17AG(3)(a) N/A Information on judicial decisions and decisions of administrative tribunals and by the Australian Information Commissioner that may have a significant effect on the operations of the entity If applicable, Mandatory
17AG(3)(b) N/A Information on any reports on operations of the entity by the Auditor-General (other than report under section 43 of the Act), a Parliamentary Committee, or the Commonwealth Ombudsman If applicable, Mandatory
17AG(3)(c) N/A Information on any capability reviews on the entity that were released during the period If applicable, Mandatory
  Management of human resources  
17AG(4)(a) 40 An assessment of the entity's effectiveness in managing and developing employees to achieve entity objectives Mandatory
17AG(4)(b) 41-43 Statistics on the entity's APS employees on an ongoing and non-ongoing basis; including the following:
  • Statistics on staffing classification level;
  • Statistics on full-time employees;
  • Statistics on part-time employees;
  • Statistics on gender;
  • Statistics on staff location;
  • Statistics on employees who identify as Indigenous
Mandatory
17AG(4)(c) 43 Information on any enterprise agreements, individual flexibility arrangements, Australian workplace agreements, common law contracts and determinations under subsection 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999 Mandatory
17AG(4)(c)(i) 43 Information on the number of SES and non-SES employees covered by agreements etc. identified in paragraph 17AG(4)(c) Mandatory
17AG(4)(c)(ii) 42 The salary ranges available for APS employees by classification level Mandatory
17AG(4)(c)(iii) 40 A description of non-salary benefits provided to employees Mandatory
17AG(4)(d)(i) 43 Information on the number of employees at each classification level who received performance pay If applicable, Mandatory
17AG(4)(d)(ii) 43 Information on aggregate amounts of performance pay at each classification level If applicable, Mandatory
17AG(4)(d)(iii) 43 Information on the average amount of performance payment, and range of such payments, at each classification level If applicable, Mandatory
17AG(4)(d)(iv) 43 Information on aggregate amount of performance payments If applicable, Mandatory
  Assets management  
17AG(5) N/A An assessment of effectiveness of assets management where asset management is a significant part of the entity's activities If applicable, mandatory
  Purchasing  
17AG(6) 44 An assessment of entity performance against the Commonwealth Procurement Rules Mandatory
  Consultants  
17AG(7)(a) 44 A summary statement detailing the number of new contracts engaging consultants entered into during the period; the total actual expenditure on all new consultancy contracts entered into during the period (inclusive of GST); the number of ongoing consultancy contracts that were entered into during a previous reporting period; and the total actual expenditure in the reporting year on the ongoing consultancy contracts (inclusive of GST) Mandatory
17AG(7)(b) 45 A statement that "During [reporting period], [specified number] new consultancy contracts were entered into involving total actual expenditure of $[specified million]. In addition, [specified number] ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the period, involving total actual expenditure of $[specified million]" Mandatory
17AG(7)(c) 44 A summary of the policies and procedures for selecting and engaging consultants and the main categories of purposes for which consultants were selected and engaged Mandatory
17AG(7)(d) 45 A statement that "Annual reports contain information about actual expenditure on contracts for consultancies. Information on the value of contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website." Mandatory
  Australian National Audit Office Access Clauses  
17AG(8) N/A If an entity entered into a contract with a value of more than $100 000 (inclusive of GST) and the contract did not provide the Auditor-General with access to the contractor's premises, the report must include the name of the contractor, purpose and value of the contract, and the reason why a clause allowing access was not included in the contract If applicable, Mandatory
  Exempt contracts  
17AG(9) N/A If an entity entered into a contract or there is a standing offer with a value greater than $10,000 (inclusive of GST) which has been exempted from being published in AusTender because it would disclose exempt matters under the FOI Act, the annual report must include a statement that the contract or standing offer has been exempted, and the value of the contract or standing offer, to the extent that doing so does not disclose the exempt matters If applicable, Mandatory
  Small business  
17AG(10)(a) 46 A statement that "[Name of entity] supports small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market. Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and Small Enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance's website." Mandatory
17AG(10)(b) 46 An outline of the ways in which the procurement practices of the entity support small and medium enterprises Mandatory
17AG(10)(c) N/A If the entity is considered by the Department administered by the Finance Minister as material in nature - a statement that "[Name of entity] recognises the importance of ensuring that small businesses are paid on time. The results of the Survey of Australian Government Payments to Small Business are available on the Treasury's website." If applicable, Mandatory
  Financial statements  
17AD(e) 47 Inclusion of the annual financial statements in accordance with subsection 43(4) of the Act Mandatory
17AD(f) Other mandatory information
17AH(1)(a)(i) N/A If the entity conducted advertising campaigns, a statement that "During [reporting period], the [name of entity] conducted the following advertising campaigns: [name of advertising campaigns undertaken]. Further information on those advertising campaigns is available at [address of entity's website] and in the reports on Australian Government advertising prepared by the Department of Finance. Those reports are available on the Department of Finance's website." If applicable, Mandatory
17AH(1)(a)(ii) 84 If the entity did not conduct advertising campaigns, a statement to that effect If applicable, Mandatory
17AH(1)(b) N/A A statement that "Information on grants awarded to [name of entity] during [reporting period] is available at [address of entity's website]." If applicable, Mandatory
17AH(1)(c) 84 Outline of mechanisms of disability reporting, including reference to website for further information Mandatory
17AH(1)(d) 85 Website reference to where the entity's Information Publication Scheme statement pursuant to Part II of FOI Act can be found Mandatory
17AH(1)(e) N/A Correction of material errors in previous annual report If applicable, Mandatory
17AH(2) 83 Information required by other legislation Mandatory

Acknowledgements

Feature image: © istockphoto/bhowie

Publication details

Annual Report
Published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, October 2016
124 pp.

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