Families – Research

Shelter: development of a Children’s Headline Indicator

This December 2010 report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, describes the process of developing a Children’s Headline Indicator to measure the multidimensional aspects of shelter. It presents research evidence on the associations between shelter and children’s wellbeing; assesses potential indicators and data sources; and recommends an indicator based on households experiencing housing disadvantage.

Housing and children’s development and wellbeing

This July 2010 report from AHURI reviewed existing literature on the connections between housing and childhood development and wellbeing and it investigates the value and feasibility of conducting empirical research in the Australian context.

“Are we there yet?” : An exploration of the key principles for working with children accessing transitional supported accommodation services

This 2007 report describes the methodology, literature review, field work findings, conclusions and recommendations of research that explores key principles for working with children who are attending transitional supported accommodation. These key principles seek to fill a gap in the existing body of knowledge on the requirements and needs of homeless children as voiced by children. They are a basic framework for accommodation service workers to use in an environment of limited resources, and increasing numbers of children accessing their services, from which to build the psychosocial, biosocial and physical development of children and break the cycle of long-term and generational homelessness, poverty, and social isolation.

Fighting for my Family: A longitudinal study of families experiencing homelessness. 2013 (Australia)

It is two decades since the first Australian study to recognise and investigate homelessness amongst families with children was published. Since that time, family homelessness has increased, as is recognised in the Australian Government’s White Paper on Homelessness, The Road Home, which emphasised the need to provide housing and support for families with children to prevent and address homelessness, with particular emphasis on ‘breaking the cycle’ so that children who experience homelessness do not go on to experience homelessness and social exclusion as adults.

Most of what we know about family homelessness is framed within a social policy/social work framework in which people are viewed predominantly as clients of services with needs to be assessed and accommodation and/or support to be provided through professional intervention, either directly or through referral to other organisations. This approach is clearly essential in planning and delivering services for very vulnerable groups, but it has limitations in terms of understanding experiences of homelessness more broadly.

This report is the result of a collaboration between researchers at Swinburne University of Technology (Swinburne) and Hanover Welfare Services (Hanover) which aims at extending and deepening understanding of homelessness experienced by families, through a focus on lived experiences of citizenship.

Melbourne University researchers shocked by level of violence inflicted on relatives of gamblers. 2013 (Australia)

A Melbourne University study has found nearly half the family members of a problem gambler had experienced violence in the previous 12 months.

Home no sanctuary from Victoria family violence. 2013 (Australia)

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner, Ken Lay, said greater reporting of family violence was behind the increase and not higher levels of the crime. Home is supposed to be a sanctuary, but Victorian crime statistics show this is not so for tens of thousands of people.

There were more than 60,000 family violence cases reported to Victoria Police in 2012/13, an increase of 21.6 per cent on the previous year.

The Right To Belong: Family Homelessness and Citizenship

The Right To Belong: Family Homelessness and Citizenship presents the findings of research which investigated how homelessness affects the everyday experiences of women with children. It examines how homelessness affects citizenship: the ways in which women understand and negotiate rights and responsibilities, belonging and participation. The research was undertaken in a context in which homelessness amongst families is increasing, with most families experiencing homelessness made up of women and children.