The quarterly ICPS Research to Practice Series links the findings of research undertaken by ICPS, to the development of policy and practice in the area of child, youth and family welfare.
Issue 23 of the ICPS Research to Practice series reports on the major findings of the MESSI study. The Managing Ethical Studies on Sensitive Issues (MESSI) study explored how adults and children make decisions about children’s participation in social research. The centrepiece of the study consisted of online surveys using hypothetical scenarios to explore the differences between participants, particularly when risk and payment levels changed. This paper outlines the responses from children and young people.
Issue 1 provides an overview of the interventions and practice principles that are effective in supporting young people who are homeless. It draws upon the findings of a research project implemented by ICPS in 2011, which examined Reconnect services in Australia.
Issue 2 discusses the role and potency of identity and meaning in the lives of vulnerable young people, and the implications of this for support services. It is based upon the findings of a qualitative research project implemented by ICPS in 2012, which interviewed 24 vulnerable young people about identity and meaning in their lives.
Issue 3 discusses the experiences and perceptions that younger mothers have about motherhood, their experiences of support services, and explores how services could better support younger mothers. It is based upon the findings of a qualitative research project implemented by ICPS in 2010, which interviewed 35 younger mothers and held focus groups, to discuss their aspirations and experiences of younger motherhood.
Issue 4 discusses the issues experienced by children and young people who have a parent in prison, and implications for supporting this target group. It is based upon the findings of a qualitative research project, commissioned by SHINE for Kids and implemented by ICPS in 2012-13, which interviewed 12 children and young people between the ages of 6 and 18 with a parent incarcerated in the ACT, along with 12 parents and caregivers.
Issue 5 discusses the issues experienced by homeless fathers, the impact of their identity and role as fathers on their experiences of homelessness, and implications for policy and programs to better support fathers who are homeless. It is based upon the findings of a qualitative and quantitative research project implemented by ICPS, Hanover Welfare Services and Melbourne City Mission, which interviewed 40 single fathers who were homeless.
Issue 6 discusses the impact that caring has on young people's lives, how it can affect young carers' education, what young carers want from schools, and how schools can support young carers. It is based on a project commissioned by Carers Australia and implemented by ICPS in 2006, and a number of subsequent papers, which explored the needs and experiences of young carers in education.
Issue 7 discusses the principles of child-centred practice. It is based on the ICPS Kids Central Toolkit, which aims to assist services to place children at the centre of their work. This issue provides information about the six principles of child-centred practice, outlined in the Kids Central Toolkit.
Issue 8 discusses the experiences of biological children of foster carers - their caring roles and responsibilities, the positive impacts and challenges of fostering, and the needs of biological children. It is based on a qualitative scoping study, which held focus groups in Canberra with biological children of foster carers aged 8 - 18 years, and with foster care parents, about the experience of fostering for biological children of foster carers.
Issue 9 examines what makes helpful and productive relationships between clients and services. It addresses the need for a human connection and how this relates to the role of service providers by drawing on the concept of 'linking social capital' to better understand the dynamics of this relationship. It is based on a journal article and larger study, which aimed to develop a deeper understanding of the service use experiences of families with complex needs, to inform the development of more responsive and integrated service delivery.
Issue 10 discusses the ways in which children in out-of-home care, parents and foster carers can be supported to participate in contact visits. This issue is based on a literature review on supervised contact between children in out-of-home care and their parents, and draws upon the broader ICPS study; kContact: Keeping Contact between Parents and Children in Care.
Issue 11 explores children and young people's conceptualisations of interpersonal safety, and what gives rise to these perceptions. This issue is based on the findings of the first part of a study conducted by ICPS, commissioned by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which examined children's experiences and perceptions of safety in institutions.
Issue 12 explores children and young people's views about safety in institutions, what they believe makes an institution safe for children and young people, and what advice they would give adults about dealing with their safety needs. It builds on Issue 11 of this series, which looked at children's conceptualisations of interpersonal safety.
Issue 13 presents the key findings of the ASK-YP Survey, an online survey of children and young people aged 10-18, which explored their perceptions of interpersonal safety in institutions. Issue 13 builds on Issue 11 and 12 which presented the findings from the first part of the study. It focuses on what children and young people said they need, and how well they thought institutions are doing. Issue 14 presents further survey findings.
Issue 14 presents the key findings of the ASK-YP Survey, an online survey of children and young people aged 10-18, which explored their perceptions of interpersonal safety in institutions. Issue 14 builds on Issue 13, and explores children and young people's views about help-seeking and institutional responses to their safety concerns.
Issue 15 explores the challenges experienced by refugee families resettling in Australia; the informal and formal supports they access and barriers to these supports; the characteristics of supportive services and implications for policy and practice. It is based on a study which aimed to provide in-depth and contextualised data about how services could better support refugee parents to care for their children in Australia.
Issue 16 explores what works to help people make the choice to become a foster carer, and the strategies that can assist in supporting and retaining carers for children in out-of-home care. It is based on a literature review which is part of a three-year project to identify the most effective strategies to attract, support and retain successful foster care families.
Issue 17 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 key interpersonal safety concerns. It draws from a study which interviewed 27 children and young people with lived experiences of residential care in Australia.
Issue 18 explores the development of safe residential services for children and young people, and discusses the factors preventing them from seeking support for safety concerns, strategies for preventing harm, and responding to safety concerns. It is based on a study which interviewed 27 children and young people with lived experiences of residential care in Australia.
Issue 19 explores the opportunities for preventing child sexual abuse through improving access to information, education and support; the relevant target groups; and implications for policy and practice. It is based on a study conducted by ICPS for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which examined the service needs and help-seeking behaviours of professionals, parents, community members and individuals in relation to concerns about child sexual abuse, as well as the functions and effectiveness of existing services.
Melbourne City Mission commissioned the Australian Catholic University’s Institute of Child Protection Studies to conduct research on the relationship between family conflict and youth homelessness. The purpose of the research is to support improved approaches to working with young people and their families to resolve family conflict and prevent homelessness. To do so, it investigated how family conflict relates to, and impacts on, youth homelessness.