CFCA in 2021: Year in review

Content type
Short article

December 2021

In 2021, families have continued to adapt their lives as we learn to manage COVID-19 in Australia. This year, many families have experienced challenges in the areas of mental health, financial security, family violence and child abuse and neglect.

The child, family and community welfare sector has supported families through the immediate consequences of these intersecting challenges as well as recognising the emerging long-term effects of the pandemic. The work of our sector is vital to improving outcomes for Australian families. CFCA is committed to engaging with you on the challenges our sector faces and ensuring you have access to the evidence you need to make a difference for families.

Supporting our sector remotely

As more Australian communities have experienced the effects of COVID-19, accessing information, resources and professional learning online has remained important for our sector.

To do this, we focused on bringing you more interactive webinars. We saw record breaking attendance and engagement at our The power in understanding patterns of coercive control webinar with 2,400 attendees in June. Two months later, our How to recognise complex trauma in infants and children and promote wellbeing webinar hosted over 4,300 attendees.

We also published a suite of evidence-informed resources to support you during remote service delivery:

In addition, we published resources to provide you with the evidence on the experiences of families during this period:

Listening to your needs

CFCA released online surveys in May and November to understand the sector’s needs and guide the development of our resources. You wanted more evidence on the topics of mental health, child abuse and neglect, and domestic and family violence; with a preference for engaging with online presentations and easy-to-understand practice guidance.

In response, we increased our focus on these topic areas and used accessible formats to share this with you. Across these topics, we updated and published multiple resources for you:

Mental health

Child abuse and neglect

Domestic and family violence

We also focused on collating and providing the best available evidence on important topics to you. We released seven papers to support your practice and saw an increase in the sector engaging with these information-rich resources. The papers What works to improving young children’s social, emotional and behavioural wellbeing? and Alcohol-related harm in families and alcohol consumption during COVID-19 received significant views and downloads.

Engaging with you

As we’ve continued to listen to your feedback and adapt how we work, we’ve seen increases in the number of our subscribers and how often the sector engages with us.

We welcomed more than 11,750 new subscribers to CFCA News, our largest annual subscriber increase. We also saw a 40% increase in the total number of webinar attendees compared to 2020. Webinar engagement and quality also remained high, with an average of 90% of respondents indicating the webinar content directly informed or supported their work.

This year, our resource sheets and papers saw a greater average number of views and downloads compared to 2020, showing that the sector values written evidence and information on topics that support your practice.

We maintained the use of website polls and other analytics to understand what you are most interested in. We received an increase in the number of responses compared to 2020, with 91% of respondents rating our papers as good or excellent and 95% telling us our short articles support them to use evidence in their practice.

Increased engagement since 2020: CFCA news subscribers - 28,848 (2020), 40,646 (2021); Webinar attendees - 16,616 (2020), 23,248 (2021); Website users - 1.85m (2020), 1.83m (2021); Downloads of new publications - 74,651 (2020), 142,773 (2021). Webinar highlights: Understanding patterns of coercive control - 2,400 attendees, 94% rated the webinar as good or excellent, 99% of survey respondents indicated they intend to use the information in some form, "The quality of the information presented was both professional and practical and has provided for me, a new approach to my practice when working with females suffering from coercive control. (Clinical psychologist, NSW)". Complex trauma in infants and children - 4,336 attendees, 91% rated the webinar as good or excellent, 94% of survey respondents indicated they intend to use the information in some form, "Thanks so much for this professional learning session. I really enjoyed learning more about supporting children through trauma. This learning today for me was so relevant as it is happening in a lot of communities within our country and our world. (Educator, NSW)". Publication highlights - What works to improve young children’s social, emotional and behavioural wellbeing? 92% rated the paper good or excellent, 93% of survey respondents indicated this paper supports them to use this evidence in their practice.

Our commitment to you

Around Australia, services have re-established face-to-face service delivery while also exploring hybrid approaches and using remote options where it benefits families. We remain committed to listening and adapting to meet your needs as they change and develop as well.

CFCA will continue to provide the best available evidence to support your practice and decision making to support Australian families.

Thank you for sharing your experiences and providing such valuable insights into our sector. We look forward to connecting with you online and face-to-face in 2022.