A waitlist intervention for transgender young people and psychosocial outcomes

Journal article, Young People, Transgender Community, Journal article

This article, published in Pediatrics, investigates the impact of the First Assessment Single-Session Triage clinic, a waitlist intervention and demand management model of care for transgender young people and their families waiting to access specialist gender services. The study found that compared with a control group, transgender young people supported by this model experienced improvements in depression and quality of life.

Allegations of child sexual abuse: An empirical analysis of published judgements from the Family Court of Australia 2012-2019

Children, Data, Child Sexual Abuse, Journal article, Case Study

This article, published in the Australian Journal of Social Issues, analyses data from Family Court of Australia judgements containing allegations of child sexual abuse. The study found that judges expressed or implied a belief that the allegations were true in only 14 per cent of fully contested cases, and risk of sexual harm to a child was found in only 12 per cent of fully contested cases. The study also found that parenting time with the allegedly unsafe parent was increased in 63 per cent of fully contested cases.

How COVID-19 Is Placing Vulnerable Children at Risk and Why We Need a Different Approach to Child Welfare

Out of Home Care (OOHC), COVID-19, Journal article

In this journal article, Herrenkohl et al. explain how the vulnerabilities for many children that are exacerbated by COVID-19 reinforce the need for systemic change within statutory child welfare systems and the benefits that would accrue by implementing a continuum of services that combine universal supports with early intervention strategies. This article also focuses on promising approaches consistent with goals for public health prevention and draw out ideas related workforce development and cross-sector collaboration.

How do leaders enable and support the implementation of evidence-based programs and evidence-informed practice in child welfare? A systematic literature review

Journal article, Evidence Informed Practice, Evidence-Based Program, Children, Research, Literature Review, Journal article, Literature Review

This article, published in Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance, explores how leaders in child welfare organisations can best support the implementation of evidence-based approaches to deliver ‘what works’ to improve outcomes for children and families. A systematic review identified 12 articles and finds that leaders achieve this by providing vision, cultivating organisational culture, proactive planning and investment, developing capabilities, and maintaining relationships required to enable implementation.

Infant-led Research: Privileging Space to See, Hear, and Consider the Subjective Experience of the Infant

Early years, Journal article

In this article, Wendy Bunston, Margarita Frederico and Mary Whiteside present a novel “infant-led” qualitative research methodology which foregrounds the subjective experiences of infants, rather than those their parents and carers. This methodology is nonintrusive and has much to offer social workers working with infants in high risk situations in community, health, and mental health settings.

Policies are needed to increase the reach and impact of evidence‑based parenting supports: A call for a population‑based approach to supporting parents, children, and families

Families and parenting, Journal article, Evidence-Based Program, Children, Adolescents, Carers, Journal article

While not a research study, this article authored by members of the Parenting and Families Research Alliance and published by Child Psychiatry & Human Development, provides a useful overview of the evidence for effective parenting interventions. The authors found that for parents and carers, the benefits of evidence-based parenting supports include improved wellbeing and mental health, positive relationships with their child, and enhanced skills, knowledge and confidence. For children and adolescents, the benefits of these programs include improved wellbeing and mental health, skills and competencies, and better academic attainment. The authors call for wider availability of evidence-based supports at a population level.

Potential indirect impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children: A narrative review using a community child health lens

Journal article, Children, COVID-19, Research, Journal article

This narrative review by researchers from the Centre for Community Child Health and the University of Melbourne synthesises the existing research from previous pandemics and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic about their indirect impacts on children. The research identified 11 impact areas under three broad categories: child-level factors (poorer mental health, poorer child health and development, poorer academic achievement); family-level factors that affect children (poorer parent mental health, reduced family income and job losses, increased household stress, increased abuse and neglect, poorer maternal and newborn health); and service-level factors that affect children (school closures, reduced access to health care, increased use of technology for learning, connection and health care).

Quality of School Life – Adventure (Motivation) subscale (QSL)

Education, Journal article, Tool/toolkit

The QSL measures primary-school-aged students’ perceptions towards school against three dimensions, 1) general satisfaction with school 2) commitment to school work 3) attitudes towards teachers. Learn more about the QSL

Research ethics in practice: challenges of using digital technology to embed the voices of children and young people within programs for fathers who use domestic violence

Family Violence, Safety and wellbeing, Journal article

This paper from Katie Lamb, Cathy Humphreys and Kelsey Hegerty (University of Melbourne) discusses the ethical challenges of using digital technology to conduct qualitative research with children in the family violence space. It focuses on a study was undertaken in Victoria, which used a combination of interviews, focus groups and digital storytelling. While digital storytelling proved to be an effective method of engaging children and young people in the research, a range of challenging ethical issues emerged - both in the formal 'procedural ethics' process, and related to the complex issues of anonymity and safety considerations in practice.

School Attitudes Assessment Survey-Revised

Education, Journal article, Tool/toolkit

This article describes the School Attitudes Assessment Survey - Revised (SAAS-R). This survey is a validated instrument used to measure the attitudes of adolescents toward school and teachers as well as their goal-valuation, motivation and academic self-perceptions. It is also used to explore below average academic achievement in high school students.

The journey to evidence: Adopting evidence-based programs in an Australian child welfare organization

Evidence-Based Program, Children, Case Study, Journal article, Case Study

This article published in Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance outlines a case study on the adoption and implementation of evidence-based programs by OzChild. The case study draws on interviews with organisational leaders and managers to identify strategies, decision-making processes and challenges faced during the adoption of evidence-based programs.

The pathways between natural disasters and violence against children: A systematic review

Family Violence, Children, Evidence Based Decision Making, Journal article, Literature Review

This article, published in BMC Health, examines the pathways between natural disasters and violence against children using a systematic review process. The study found five pathways between natural disasters and violence against children, including: environmentally induced changes in supervision, accompaniment, and child separation; transgression of social norms in post-disaster behaviour; economic stress; negative coping with stress; and insecure shelter and living conditions. The findings are intended to inform targeted prevention services.

Where is the village? Care leaver early parenting, social isolation and surveillance bias

Out of Home Care (OOHC), Journal article, Young People, Journal article

This article, published in the International Journal on Child Maltreatment, investigates care leaver early parenting in Victoria, Australia. The researchers interviewed service providers to gather insight into the factors that lead to a high prevalence of early parenting among care leavers, and the services that are available and necessary to assist young parents and their children. The study found that care leavers experience unique challenges arising from their care experience that impact their means to safely raise children, necessitating improved transition supports and parenting supports.

“Your behaviour has consequences”: Children and young people’s perspectives on reparation with their fathers after domestic violence

Family Violence, Journal article

This paper from Katie Lamb, Cathy Humphreys and Kelsey Hegarty (University of Melbourne) presents findings from qualitative research undertaken in Australia with children and young people who have experienced domestic violence aged 9 to 19 years. It explores children and young people's perspectives on fathering in the context of domestic violence as well as the key messages they believe fathers who attend a program to address their violence need to know. This paper will focus on some of the findings of the study, with a particular focus on the issue of reparation which was identified as a strong theme in children and young people's accounts.