This report released by Wanslea in Western Australia seeks to build the evidence base on the impacts of caring on the mental, physical, social and financial health of grandparent carers, investigate service gaps, and explore the commonalities and differences in the experiences of grandparent carers. The study found that caring comes with significant costs to grandparent carers’ wellbeing with common challenges including poverty, health and navigating systems.
ldentifying strategies to better support foster, kinship and permanent carers
This final report collates evidence collected from a collaborative research project into support for carers produced by the Australian Institute of Family Studies and Murawin, an Aboriginal research and evaluation consultancy. The report covers the key challenges, supports available, barriers in accessing these supports, and the effects of COVID-19 on foster, kinship, and permanent carers. The research identifies priority actions to support carers which are detailed in the report.
Permanence and stability: The missing ingredients for Victoria’s most vulnerable children
Permanent Care and Adoptive Families (PCAF) has released this report reviewing the current state of permanent care in Victoria. The study finds that permanency legislation has not gained the traction that was expected, with a key barrier being limited support for children and carers. The report makes eight recommendations to address key challenges and barriers to permanency and improved long-term outcomes for children.
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
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.
Strong carers, stronger children – Victorian Carer Strategy: Findings of the home-based carer census
Ernst & Young Sweeney has released this report outlining the findings of a census of home-based carers that aimed to increase understanding of the profile of carers in Victoria and their experiences and needs. The study shows that more than nine in ten carers are confident in their ability to provide care and over four-fifths are confident to support children to maintain cultural connection. The insights gained from this research can assist with improvements to policy and practice to better support carers and children.
The mental and physical health of young carers: A systematic review
This systematic review focuses on the quantitative data on the mental health and well-being of young carers under age 18 from 1162 unique studies. The review provides insights into the quality of evidence in this area and has recommendations for future research focusing on health outcomes.
What contributes to placement moves in out-of-home care?
Child Family Community Australia (CFCA) has released this scoping review of local and international evidence examining the factors that influence placement moves for children in out-of-home care. Factors found to increase the risk of a placement move include the age at which a child first enters care and the presence of externalising behaviour. CFCA found kinship care to be a factor that reduces the risk of placement moves. The paper identifies a lack of evidence on factors influencing placement moves relating specifically to Aboriginal children.