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Violence against women and their children affects everybody. It impacts on the health, wellbeing and safety of a significant proportion of Australians throughout all states and territories and places an enormous burden on the nation’s economy across family and community services, health and hospitals, income-support and criminal justice systems.

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ANROWS was established by the Commonwealth and all state and territory governments of Australia to produce, disseminate and assist in applying evidence for policy and practice addressing violence against women and their children.

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To support the take-up of evidence, ANROWS offers a range of resources developed from research to support practitioners and policy-makers in delivering evidence-based interventions.


RP.20.02

Analysis of linked longitudinal administrative data on child protection involvement for NSW families with domestic and family violence, drug and alcohol issues and mental health issues

Project length
18 months

Domestic and family violence (DFV), alcohol and other drug use (AOD) and serious mental health issues (MHI) are considered key parental behavioural risk factors for children’s entry into out-of-home care (OOHC), but the interactions and intersections between these factors are less well understood.


This project analyses the NSW Human Services Dataset, which contains linked longitudinal administrative data on children born or living in New South Wales since 1990 and their family members, with 7 million records representing over 60 datasets from 11 government agencies, over a 27-year period.

The baseline data in 2018 included 3,136,665 children and these data are refreshed annually.


Research aim/s

The aim of this research is to produce population statistics to strengthen the evidence base for children and young people impacted by intersecting risk factors of domestic and family violence,  drug and alcohol issues and mental health issues. The analysis will focus on New South Wales, and in particular rural or geographically remote areas.

Methods

The NSW Human Services Dataset will be analysed using univariate and multiple regression modelling. Descriptive statistics will identify prevalence of co-occurrence of DFV, AOD and MHI with child protection statutory involvement and service usage before entry into OOHC, and geographic distribution of multiple risk factors by postcode. Multiple regression models will be used to estimate the predictive power of multiple risk factors (joint DFV, AOD and MHI) in explaining children’s entry into OOHC as well as assess whether participation in intensive family support services is associated with entry into care for families with multiple risk factors.


Significance

This project will generate new evidence about the prevalence of DFV, AOD and MHI and the interdependence of these issues for families with child protection involvement. For the first time, this study will produce prevalence rates of multiple risk factors, time trends, geographic clusters by postcode in New South Wales, and the predictive power of multiple risk factors for children’s entry into OOHC. Recognising the limited access to services in rural and regional areas, analyses by postcode will shed light on how families affected by multiple risk factors and child protection involvement cluster geographically – knowledge that will inform local service planning.


Downloads

Research report

Critical interpretive synthesis: Child protection involvement for families with domestic and family violence, alcohol and other drug issues, and mental health issues

Download

Researchers

Project lead

Associate Professor Amy Conley Wright, Director, Research Centre for Children and Families, The University of Sydney

Research team

Professor Stefanie Schurer, Professor of Economics and Leader of Economics of Human Development research node at the Charles Perkins Centre, The University of Sydney

Dr Betty Luu, Research Associate, Research Centre for Children and Families, The University of Sydney

Associate Professor Susan Heward-Belle, Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Associate Director, Research Centre for Children and Families, The University of Sydney

Dr Susan Collings, Research Fellow, Research Centre for Children and Families, The University of Sydney

Dr Emma Barrett, Senior Research Fellow and Forensic Psychologist, The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use, The University of Sydney

Research partners

Human Services Data Set Governance Advisory Committee FACS Insights, Analysis and Research (FACSIAR)

Budget

$108,000

This project is funded by Australian Commonwealth, state and territory governments under ANROWS’s 2020–2022 Core Grant round.

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