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.

Promoting social and emotional learning in preschool: programs and practices that work

Education, Early years

In this brief, Pennsylvania State University summarises what is known about effective preschool social-emotional learning (SEL) programs and practices based on recent research studies. The studies presented in the brief support the use of SEL programs in preschool, with evidence of positive impacts on children’s development of SEL skills, their engagement with learning, interpersonal relationships and educational achievement. The paper identifies critical factors for success, such as supportive teacher-child interactions and effective engagement with parents.

Protecting Australia’s Children: Research and Evaluation Register, 2011-2015

Evaluation, Child maltreatment, Database

Published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS), the Protecting Australia's Children: Research and Evaluation Register is a searchable database of 943 research and evaluation projects conducted between 2011 and 2015. The Register provides a range of filtering options to enable easy access to recent research in the area of child protection.

Protection through participation: Involving children in child-safe organisations

Early years, Young People

This practitioner resource considers the nature and benefits of meaningful youth participation in child safety measures. It looks at tools and strategies that can help practitioners to talk to children about their own safety and some of the ways that institutions can respond. The resource highlights the need for organisation-wide commitment to children's participation for this to be successful.

Purpose, intent and adequacy of the Disability Support Pension

Report, Inquiry, Disability Support, Report

The Senate Community Affairs References Committee has released its inquiry report on the purpose, intent and adequacy of the Disability Support Pension (DSP). The committee found serious flaws with the DSP, its underlying policy framework, the way that it is administered, and how applicants are able to access it. The report makes 30 recommendations.

Quality is key in early childhood education in Australia

Education

This report from the Mitchell Institute highlights the importance of providing quality early childhood education to Australian children. It shows that children who have the most to gain from high quality services— such as those from disadvantaged backgrounds—are less likely to access services than children from higher socio-economic families. A review of the evidence shows that quality in early learning is driven by educators who can provide effective learning opportunities (through explicit teaching of skills and concepts) and sustained and reciprocal interactions.

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

This document developed by the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health outlines a number of principles and practices for engaging with young people. These were co-developed with a youth advisory group and seek to ensure a high quality of client engagement and service.

Quick Review Series – Telehealth

Technology, Literature Review

This quick review from CFECFW provides an overview of Telehealth as a well-established telepractice. It explores the potential of other telepractices being used currently in Victoria during COVID-19 and how well the telehealth model might be adapted to the social services or other community services.

Quick review series: Protecting children during the COVID-19 pandemic

Safety and wellbeing, COVID-19, Literature Review

This quick review from CFECFW looks at a webinar from the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action. The webinar discusses the protection of children during COVID-19 pandemic and shares lessons learnt from the child protection Ebola response. It also highlights key priorities and the way forward in the coming months.

In this ‘Kids Count’ policy report, the Annie E. Casey Foundation explores the intersection of children, opportunity, race and immigration. It explores the significant barriers facing children in immigrant families, and offers recommendations to help children in immigrant families gain the stability, economic resources and opportunities they need to thrive. The 2017 policy report considers the early care and education needs of children in immigrant families, and the importance of keeping the family together.

Racism, racial discrimination and child and youth health: A rapid evidence synthesis

Young People, Report, Children, Data, Racism, Report, Database

Australian National University and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute have prepared this rapid evidence synthesis on racism and child and youth health. The report finds that children are particularly vulnerable to the impact of racism, including differential access to socioeconomic resources, increased exposure to risk factors for poor health, and by affecting behaviour and physiological and psychological wellbeing in ways that compromise health outcomes.

Design

Rapid Case Study: Youth Leadership Program – Centre for Multicultural Youth

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD), Mental Health, Young People, Client Engagement, OPEN Resource

This case study sheds a light on the Youth Leadership Program Area at Centre for Multicultural Youth. It talks about principles and values which respect the views and abilities of young people from diverse backgrounds, and has transferable lessons for all kinds of youth participation models.

Identify

Rates of therapy use following a disclosure of child sexual abuse

Children, Literature Review, Therapy, Child Sexual Abuse, Literature Review

Child Family Community Australia has released this paper presenting findings from a systematic literature review on the rates of therapy referral, engagement and completion following a disclosure of child sexual abuse to police or child protection. The review found that many children are not receiving the benefits of therapy due to non-referral, not engaging when they are referred or non-completion. It also identified the need for data collection and increased research attention in this area.

Reaching potential: Experiences of young people with significant intellectual disability

Disability, Young People, Report, Report

This report from Social Ventures Australia investigates the experiences of young people with intellectual disability, focusing on those with more significant support needs. The study identified six themes: rich and diverse aspirations, a meaningful life of education, work and community participation, a secure future, a robust disability service system, healthy living, and community attitudes. The report identifies system gaps that are driving challenges for young people with intellectual disability and uses case studies to elevate their perspectives with the aim of driving systems change.

RECOVER – Reconnecting mothers and children after family violence: The child-parent psychotherapy pilot

Families and parenting, Evidence-Based Program, Report, Children, Intimate partner violence, Report

This report from ANROWS explores the feasibility of implementing child-parent psychotherapy (CPP), an evidence-based dyadic intervention, in the Australian context for children and their mothers affected by IPV. The state of knowledge review completed for this report identified very few evidence-based preventive treatments for mothers and children affected by IPV, especially in Australia. An evaluation of a pilot of CPP in Australia found that the program could be implemented under certain conditions and was highly acceptable to participants despite a range of identified implementation barriers. While there was evidence of some early outcomes, larger sample sizes and fully trained therapists are needed to assess effectiveness.

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.

Reducing relationship and sexual violence: Findings from reviews about the effectiveness of respectful relationships and bystander programs in school and tertiary education settings

Education, Evaluation, Report, Sexual Violence, Report

ANROWS has released this research report as part of the What works: Overviews of reviews series. It examines the effectiveness of respectful relationships and bystander programs in schools and tertiary education settings. The overview of the evidence from systematic reviews found promising results in the areas of improving attitudes and increasing knowledge, however the results were mixed when considering whether the programs reduced violence. The report contains key factors associated with increased effectiveness.

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, Literature Review

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.

Religious visibility, disadvantage and bridging social capital: a comparative investigation of multicultural localities in Melbourne’s north

low income, Religious visibility

This RMIT research project explores how religious visibility impacts social cohesion in two ethnically diverse suburbs in Melbourne’s north; Fawkner and Broadmeadows. The project focused primarily on the visibility of Muslims in these areas. It proposes that people living in more diverse suburbs are less likely to express or experience Islamophobia. The report provides considerations for future policy and programs, with a strong focus on educating the community about different faiths, and encouraging understanding and social cohesion.

Remote data collection on violence against children during COVID-19: A conversation with experts on research priorities, measurement and ethics (Part 2)

Family Violence, Safety and wellbeing, Child maltreatment, Report

Part two of his two part report from UNICEF presents a conversation with experts on research priorities, measurement and ethics for collecting data with these vulnerable groups. This is framed in the context of COVID-19, which may lead to an increased risk of violence as a result of compounding structural, interpersonal and individual-level risk factors - including the increased economic strain placed on families, stay-at-home orders, school closures and other COVID-19 response measures.

Remote data collection on violence against women during COVID-19: A conversation with experts on ethics, measurement & research priorities (Part 1)

Family Violence, Safety and wellbeing, Report

Part one of this two part report from UNICEF presents a conversation with experts on research priorities, measurement and ethics for collecting data with these vulnerable groups. This is framed in the context of COVID-19, which may lead to an increased risk of violence as a result of compounding structural, interpersonal and individual-level risk factors - including the increased economic strain placed on families, stay-at-home orders, school closures and other COVID-19 response measures.

Rental Affordability Snapshot

low income

This eighth annual Rental Affordability Snapshot by Anglicare Australia highlights the lived experience of people and families on low incomes trying to find a home in the private rental market. The report surveyed over 67,000 properties across Australia in regional and metropolitan areas and found that only 239 homes were affordable for a single parent with one child on Newstart and eight were affordable for a single person in a property or share house on Youth Allowance.

Report and data summary: Child protection Australia 2019-20

Out of Home Care (OOHC), Safety and wellbeing, Report

This summary from CFECFW focuses on the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's 'Child protection Australia 2019-20' report, which includes the latest national and state and territory data on child protection and family support services. This summary outlines findings nationally, and for the state of Victoria.

Reporting the health and development of children in rural and remote Australia

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Safety and wellbeing

A new report highlights the rapidly growing disparity between city and rural children’s developmental health. The report emphasises the developmental, behavioural and mental health needs of children aged 0-12 years of age, and the current gaps in the provision of appropriate health services for children and families. Aboriginal children are significantly more likely than their non-Indigenous peers to live in remote and rural areas, and are have greater exposure to adverse conditions and lack of services in these areas.

Reporting the Health and Development of Children in Rural and Remote Australia

Poverty, Safety and wellbeing

This review by the Centre for Community Child Health contributes to the knowledge base of the profile of children residing in rural and remote Australia, with particular attention to developmental outcomes and social determinants of health. It found that children in remote and regional areas are more likely to experience poverty, live in unemployed households in single parent families with low educational engagement, who are also more likely to be socially isolated and Indigenous. This review will inform a more systematic approach to improving access to health services and health outcomes for children living in rural and remote Australia.

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.

Responding to adverse childhood experiences with HOPE: health outcomes from positive experiences

Early years, Safety and wellbeing

This article introduces a framework called “HOPE: Health Outcomes From Positive Experiences.” The HOPE framework focuses on the need to actively promote positive childhood experiences that contribute to child wellbeing and development. The data presented demonstrates the powerful contribution of positive relationships and experiences to the development of healthy children.

Review of mental health programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in out-of-home care

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Mental Health, Out of Home Care (OOHC)

This article published in the International Indigenous Policy Journal reviews the programs, policies and interventions that aim to improve the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people living in out-of-home care (OOHC). The review identified nine programs or policies that are designed to improve the social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of Aboriginal young people in OOHC in Australia and abroad. The report concludes that there is a need for culturally competent service provision and attention to the monitoring and evaluation of mental health policies and programs.

Risk and protective factors for child abuse and neglect

Families and parenting, Child maltreatment

This paper provides an overview of the risk and protective factors for child abuse and neglect in families. It includes a comprehensive list of common risk and protective factors. The resource is designed for practitioners and policy-makers who work in the areas of child maltreatment. Identification of risk and protective factors can be used develop targeted approaches to reducing child abuse and neglect, and to inform direct intervention in cases where children are at risk of harm.

Safe and Sound: Creating safe residential care services for children and young people

Out of Home Care (OOHC), Safety and wellbeing

This Research to Practice issue explores options for the development of safe residential services for children and young people, and discusses the factors preventing them from seeking support for safety concerns. It also includes strategies for preventing harm and responding to safety concerns. The paper emphasises the importance of building trust between the young person and residential staff.

Safe and Sound: The safety concerns of young people in residential care

Out of Home Care (OOHC)

The most recent Institute of Child Protection Studies Research to Practice issue explores the factors leading to children and young people’s vulnerability in residential care, what children and young people think about safety in the context of residential care, and their interpersonal safety concerns. The key safety concerns reported by the young people in residential care include bullying and harassment, sexual harassment or assault, and witnessing violence and self-harm.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released this web report providing baseline data from a new national data collection on the safety and abuse of children in care. The report found that 1,442 children were the subject of a substantiation of abuse in care, of whom 46 per cent were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. The AIHW will undertake ongoing monitoring and reporting of this issue, with improvements and expansion of data collection taking place over time.

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.

School-based Depression and Anxiety Prevention Programs for Young People: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Education, Mental Health

This paper investigates the effectiveness of school-based programs in preventing depression and anxiety in young people. It is particularly interested in the validity of embedding mental health prevention programs into the school curriculum. This paper highlights the need for improvements in access to mental health prevention services for young people, opposed to treatment after the fact.

Screen time: What’s happening in our homes?

Young People, Technology

The latest Australian Child Health Poll has found that two-thirds of primary school-aged children and one-third of pre-schoolers now own their own tablet or smartphone. The report describes the links between increasing screen time and childhood issues such as lack of physical activity, disrupted sleep patterns and family conflict. The report highlights the important roles that healthcare providers, schools and policymakers alike, can have in helping children navigate this complex technological age.

Seeking help for domestic violence: exploring rural women’s coping experiences – Key findings and future directions

Family Violence

Australia's National Research Organisation For Women's Safety (ANROWS) has released a report presenting the results of a study examining the experiences of women seeking assistance for domestic and family violence in regional, rural, and remote areas in Australia. The qualitative study found that geographical isolation was only a factor for women who lived on isolated properties outside the regional centre. However, geographical isolation was identified as a key challenge for family violence practitioners, as it significantly shaped an agency’s ability to respond.

Self-harm and suicidal behaviour of young people aged 14-15 years old

Mental Health, Young People

New research by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has measured the rates of self-harm and suicidal behaviour among Australian teenagers. The Australia-wide study found that 10 per cent of 14-15 year-olds reported that they had self-harmed in the previous 12 months and 5 per cent had attempted suicide. The study examined the factors linked to self-harm and found some teens were more at risk than others, including those who are same-sex attracted or experiencing depression or anxiety.

Self-harm and suicidal behaviour of young people aged 14-15 years old

Safety and wellbeing

This AIFS report provides a comprehensive, analytical discussion of self-harm and suicidal behaviour of young people among a particular cohort in Australia. It explores the prevalence rates of self-harm and suicidal behaviour among 14–15 year olds, the risk factors associated with self-harm and the extent to which poor socio-emotional health earlier in life is associated with self-harm and suicidal behaviour. The findings highlight that interventions and preventive strategies should take place at both individual and school levels, particularly identifying those who are more likely to attempt suicide.

Seminar: The impact of telehealth during COVID-19 and beyond

Evaluation, Technology, Webinar

This online seminar from the Centre for Evaluation and Research Evidence (CERE) and DHHS looks at the impact of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. This seminar features multiple presentations, covering the topics of performing rapid evaluations of telehealth, telehealth for Indigenous health and rural healthcare delivery and how to embed telehealth in the healthcare system.

Sentencing breaches of Family Violence Intervention Orders and Safety Notices: Third monitoring report

Family Violence, Report, Report

The Sentencing Advisory Council has released this report examining breaches of Family Violence Intervention Orders (FVIOs) and Family Violence Safety Notices (FVSNs) in Victoria between 2010 and 2020 and how breaches were sentenced. The report found that there were 631,000 FVSNs, interim FVIOs and final FVIOs issued, 317,000 recorded breaches (by 84,000 people) and 113,000 sentenced breaches (by 39,000 people). The most common sentencing outcomes were imprisonment (26%), community orders (24%) and fines (21%). The report examines trends in FVIOs, FVSNs and sentencing since the introduction of the family violence reforms.

Services, support and life outcomes for autistic Australians

Report, Autism, Report

The Senate Select Committee on Autism has released its report investigating the services, support and life outcomes for autistic Australians. The inquiry found that life outcomes for autistic Australians are poor and there is a compelling need for change to address the discrimination and service access difficulties faced by people with autism and their families. The report makes 81 recommendations.

Showing the light: Supporting young parents with experience of the care system

Families and parenting, Out of Home Care (OOHC), Report, Report

The Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) has released this report aiming to increase understanding of the needs of young parents with experience of the care system and to identify how they can best be supported. The study identifies effective intervention opportunities to either prevent early pregnancy, or to support young care leavers to parent successfully. The report contains a summary of the needs of young parents, the opportunities available to reduce the incidence of intergenerational interaction with the child protection system, and evidence-informed principles and strategies for working with young parenting care leavers.

Single-sex schooling and achievement outcomes

Education

Analysis of NAPLAN numeracy and reading data shows that that separating the genders does not provide a greater value-add over time in comparison to coeducational schools. Author Dr Katherine Dix explains that there is an ongoing debate about the benefits of single-sex schools in terms of student achievement. This analysis shows the gap in educational achievement between single-sex and coeducational schools narrowing over time.

Slow down and listen: Improving children’s and young people’s safety during periods of violence, separation and reunification

Family Violence, Out of Home Care (OOHC), Report

This brief provides young people’s accounts of their experiences of violence and reunification and what they need to be safe and feel safe as they journey towards recovery. It aims to inform practice and highlights ways that the needs of children and young people might be central to responses to families experiencing violence. It draws from interviews with young people who participated in a study conducted by researchers from the Australian Centre for Child Protection, the Positive Futures Research Collaboration and the Schools of Social Work from the University of South Australia and Curtin University.

Social and economic impacts of implementing the voluntary earlier school starting age

Education

A report from the Secretary of the Department of Education in Tasmania discusses the opportunity to lower the school entry age to three years of age. The report examines the potential impact of the change to the early childhood education and care sector and presents mitigation strategies to ensure sustainable service delivery for families. Upon review of the evidence, the Tasmanian Minister for Education is advised to maintain the school entry age of five, while funding the delivery and evaluation of the Working Together for 3 Year Olds – a targeted pre-school initiative.

The House of Representatives Select Committee on Social Media and Online Safety has released its report investigating the range of online harms faced by Australians on social media and other online platforms and the impacts of these harms on wellbeing. It makes 26 recommendations.

Socioeconomic gaps in early childhood experiences: 1998 to 2010

Education, Early years, low income

Using two nationally representative data sets, this study compares the early life experiences of kindergarteners in 1998 and 2010 in the United States. The study finds that young children in the 2010 cohort were exposed to more books and reading in the home, have more access to educational games on computers, and engage more with their parents, both inside and outside of the home, than the 1990 cohort. This is true for both lower-income and higher-income families.