Barriers and facilitators to childhood obesity prevention among culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in Victoria, Australia

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD), Safety and wellbeing

This study looks at the barriers and enablers to the engagement of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) community members in childhood obesity prevention programs in Victoria. Recommendations include system, and community level responses to address barriers such as low levels of health literacy, junk food advertising to children and cultural and language barriers to accessing health programs.

Bright futures: Spotlight on the wellbeing of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD)

This report from VicHealth discusses issues that affect the wellbeing of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. The report finds that migrant and refugee students are less likely to find full-time employment after graduation (45%) compared with Australian-born students (69%) due to racial discrimination, lack of understanding of the local job market and overseas skills and qualifications not being recognised. The research shows that refugee and young migrant communities also bring with them many unique qualities, such as global networks, new ideas and an entrepreneurial spirit, which can enrich Australian society.

This project measured the extent and variation of racist attitudes and experiences in Australia. It examines Australians’ attitudes to cultural diversity, intolerance of specific groups, perceptions of cultural privilege, and belief in racial hierarchy. The project also explored experiences of racism and the circumstances in which these events occur. Although just over 80% of respondents support a multicultural society, around 51% expressed anti-Middle Eastern sentiments and nearly 33% of participants had experienced racism in the work place.

Childcare, Mobility Decisions and ‘Staggered’ Migration

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD)

This paper explores how the uncertainty related to long-term migration affects migrants’ decisions about their children and care. The paper draws data from in-depth interviews with Asian migrants living in Australia who have experienced ‘staggered’ migration. Participants dealt with three key decisions in relation to their children and care: whether to bring their children to Australia; whether to leave their children at home or send them back home; and, whether to leave Australia as a family and move back home with their children. Feelings of temporariness and uncertainty were common in these households.

This brief article outlines how co-design and collaboration shapes the work of the Healing Foundation. It explores how concepts of collaboration and co-design fit with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and provides a list of further resources for those who want to know more about best practice in this area.

Evaluators may come across situations where they have to work in a cultural context other than of their own. Culturally competent evaluators not only respect the cultures represented in the evaluation but recognize their own ‘culturally based assumptions’; take into account the ‘differing world view of evaluation stakeholders and target communities’ and select culturally appropriate evaluation options and strategies.

Educational opportunity for all: Overcoming inequality throughout the life course

Education, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD)

According to a new OECD report, too many children from disadvantaged backgrounds are falling behind in education and being disadvantaged in the future job market. Only a few OECD countries offer people from disadvantaged backgrounds equal opportunity to succeed as their more well-off peers, including Japan, Korea and the Netherlands. To address this level of inequality, investment in good quality early childhood education and care is needed, especially for children from disadvantaged families.

Empowering migrant and refugee women: Supporting and empowering women beyond five-year post-settlement

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD)

This Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) research report builds the evidence base on how to empower migrant and refugee women. The areas of empowerment explored in the report are women’s safety; economic and social participation; leadership opportunities; and to foster their role in promoting community cohesion. It details the types of services currently available as well as key gaps in service delivery for migrant and refugee women. One key challenge identified in providing services to migrant women is the need to accommodate diverse language needs.

Mapping Social Cohesion 2017: The Scanlon Foundation Surveys Report is the tenth in the series of Scanlon Foundation surveys. The report provides a discussion of public opinion on social cohesion, trust, immigration, asylum seekers, and ethnic, cultural and religious diversity, including analyses by age and ethnicity of respondents. The survey asks respondents to identify ‘the most important problem facing Australia today’. Concern sparked by terrorism and national security increased from less than 1% in 2014 to 10% the following year and has remained a top five ranked issue. The surveys provide a reference point to understand the pattern and extent of change, of public opinion in Australia.

No Child Should Grow Up Like This: Identifying Long Term Outcomes of Forgotten Australians, Child Migrants and the Stolen Generations

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD), Out of Home Care (OOHC)

The University of NSW has published a report on the challenges faced by members of the ‘Forgotten Australians’ (children born in Australia who were placed in ‘care’ in the twentieth century), child migrants, and the Stolen Generations. The two year study engaged 700 participants who grew up in the care system between 1930 and 1989. Participants describe the suffering they faced in their out of home care placements and the kinds of support and protection they needed growing up. Participants also describe the ongoing challenges they face due to their experiences in care. It is hoped that in bringing these experiences to light, we can better anticipate the needs of children and young people in out-of-home care today.

Prevention of violence against women and safer pathways to services for migrant and refugee communities

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD), Family Violence

This report from ANROWS covers research insights from the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Projects with Action Research (CALD PAR) initiative. In determining 'what works', researchers found that an intersectional and culturally safe approach to prevention and safer pathways work empowers CALD groups and individuals. This approach centres their voices and brings together communities and services to reduce violence.

Promoting Community-Led Responses to Violence Against Immigrant and Refugee Women in Metropolitan and Regional Australia. The ASPIRE Project: Key Findings and Future Directions

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD), Safety and wellbeing

ANROWS has released a state of knowledge paper exploring the nature of violence against immigrant and refugee women in Victoria and Tasmania. The report focuses on patterns of help-seeking and access to services. A number of challenges such as language barriers, cultural and social isolation and visa restrictions are faced by immigrant and refugee women and contribute to their experience of family violence. The report provides recommendations to policy-makers and practitioners to better prevent and respond to violence against immigrant and refugee women.

This Institute of Child Protection Studies (ICPS) Research to Practice issue explores why people make the decision to become a foster carer, and the strategies that can be used to support and retain carers for children in OOHC. Effective strategies differ across care type (i.e. foster carers and kinship carers); however, ‘word of mouth’ emerges as the most effective recruitment strategy: for example, knowing or meeting other foster carers, or having a family member who was a foster carer. Important elements of support for carers include training, financial support and respite. This research is particularly pertinent at a time when recruiting and retaining skilled foster carers is increasingly an issue.

Refugees, asylum-seekers and undocumented migrants and the experience of parenthood: A synthesis of the qualitative literature

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD), Families and parenting

This paper draws together the current qualitative literature describing the parenting experiences of refugees, asylum-seekers and undocumented migrants. Three themes emerged from the literature: experiencing hardship or loss; building resilience and strength: and living transnationally. Transnational parenting is a relatively new concept, and introduces issues such as family separation and reunification and forging an international family identity. Transnational identity can also afford families additional resources. Overall, the review shows how stress related to migration and resettlement can compound the responsibilities related to parenthood.

This Institute of Child Protection Studies Research to Practice issue explores the challenges faced by refugee families living in Australia and the formal supports that are available to them. The paper draws on in-depth interviews with families from a refugee background, and a national survey of government funded service providers supporting refugee families. It paints a picture of the networks, relationships and resources used by refugee families and the implications for policy and service delivery. Connecting children and young people, building culturally safe services and communication across service sectors are among some of the recommendations made.

The Victorian Government has released a multicultural policy statement, Victorian. And proud of it. The statement recognises the success of Victoria’s immigrant history and celebrates the new communities that have settled here. It includes a series of initiatives to encourage Victorians – from diverse circumstances and cultural backgrounds – to contribute and belong in our community.

What have we learned about good social work systems and practice?

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD), Families and parenting

The Rees Centre has published a report looking at what we have learned from the Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme (UK) about good social work systems and practice in children’s social care. The report examines 17 social work projects and their impacts on families and children. Key components of good social work practice included the skills and confidence to work directly with families, the ability to engage the whole family, and cultural competence.

The Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights has released three new publications to assist practitioners to provide culturally appropriate services and respond to the distinct concerns that may be held by young Muslim children. There are two booklets specific to workers: ‘Caring for Muslim children in out-of-home care’ and ‘Caring for Muslim children in foster care’.

Young Service Users from Refugee Backgrounds: Their Perspectives on Barriers to Accessing Australian Mental Health Services

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD), Mental Health, Young People

This article examines the barriers to accessing mental health services from the perspective of young people with a refugee background. To improve understanding of the issues, researchers interviewed 16 young people with a refugee background who had been in contact with mental health services in Australia. Factors such as Unfamiliarity with the service system, social exclusion and stigma are discussed as potential barriers to accessing mental health services.