A safe and supportive family environment for children

A safe and supportive family environment for children

Key components and links to child outcomes

Killian Mullan and Daryl Higgins

Commissioned report— June 2014
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A report commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.

While most children live in safe and supportive environments, governments are aware that too many children are becoming known to child protection services. This report explores the prevalence of different types of family environments, and the influence of these environments on children's developmental outcomes. Using data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, it identifies three broad types of family environments - relating to family cohesiveness and engagement - and investigates their association with child health, wellbeing, and cognitive outcomes. The report also considers the impact of changes in family cohesion and engagement, with reference to other variables such as family size, rurality, and child age. The implications for public health approaches to family policy and child protection are noted as well.

This report was authored by AIFS staff and published by the Australian Government Department of Social Services

A safe and supportive family environment for children: key components and links to child outcomes

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