CFCA Connect

A dynamic, interactive source of the latest information in the child, family and community welfare sectors. Here you can engage in discussions with your peers, comment on our content, find and contribute short articles on current issues, read summaries of important research and reports, and discover what's new in the field.

Current issues

  • Sharing the care of children after separation: Thinking beyond “custody and access” or “residence and contact”

    Written by Professor Lawrie Moloney1

    It was not long ago that the father’s role in families was chiefly seen as being the provider of financial support. It was commonly thought that children needed to be mainly in the care of their mothers, and that the father’s nurturing role was that of secondary helper to the mother. By routinely ordering “access” or “contact” (primarily to fathers) after parental separation, courts also reflected this way of thinking. Though perhaps not consciously intended, these court orders reduced the status of thousands of separated fathers to that of visitors to their children.…

  • Caring for children after separation or divorce

    Written by Professor Lawrie Moloney1

    Parenting and parental absence after separation

    The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child affirms the child’s right, in normal circumstances, to enjoy an ongoing relationship with both parents. Similarly, Australia’s Family Law Act, amended in 2006, speaks of the child’s right, again in normal circumstances, to continue to have a meaningful relationship with both parents following separation or divorce. Broadly speaking, “normal circumstances” are those in which an ongoing relationship would not put the child or other family members at risk…

  • Enhancing parents’ knowledge and practice of online safety

    Written by Associate Professor Jane Burns, Young and Well CRC

    Technology plays a significant role in many areas of young people’s wellbeing— improving education, fostering creativity and strengthening relationships.

    The online world should not be feared, yet many parents report they have a limited understanding of why young people engage with technology. Parents also indicate that their own digital literacy is not sufficient to enable them to guide their children’s engagement…

  • Join the Conversation – The impacts of gambling on families and young people

    This webinar explored the family impacts of problem gambling, and described recent research that examined young people’s gambling behaviour.

    The webinar was a collaboration between the CFCA information exchange, the Australian Gambling Research Centre (AGRC), and the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.

    The webinar was presented by…

  • Property and financial matters upon the breakdown of de facto relationships

    Reforms introduced in 2009 to the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) have meant that most same-sex and opposite-sex de facto couples (in all states and territories except Western Australia) who end their relationships can now have their property and financial matters dealt with in substantially the same way as married people.

    This paper aims to provide non-legal professionals in the family law sector with a general outline of the relevant reforms, their genesis, and the arguments in favour of and against their introduction…

  • Child Protection in Australia 2012-2013

    Written by Debbie Scott1

    The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released their 17th annual Child Protection report. These reports collate state child protection department statistics to provide an overview of the Australian context of child protection.

    According to the report, between 1 July 2012 and 30 June 2013 there were…

  • Fathers’ involvement in the lives of their children: Separated parents’ preferences

    Changes occurring in family life over the last few decades, such as the progressive increase in the number of mothers in the workforce, have changed the way Australian families function.

    The ‘male-breadwinner, female-homemaker’ model has shifted to a shared (paternal and maternal) breadwinning role, and evidence now shows that fathers in Australia are spending more time caring for their children today than they were in the early 1990s…

  • Making Kids Central

    Written by Dr Tim Moore1 and Debbie Noble-Carr2

    In 2007, the Institute of Child Protection Studies at the Australian Catholic University conducted a study that looked at the experiences of children and young people who accompanied their parents during periods of homelessness. We found that:

    • It is vital to connect with children and young people in their own right, engage with them as individuals, and listen to and acknowledge their stories. Children and young people may also need support to be able to talk with parents about what is happening for them, and to maintain and strengthen relationships during periods of stress…
  • Reporting abuse and neglect: State and territory departments responsible for protecting children

    This resource provides information about how to report suspected child abuse or neglect.

    In Australia, state and territory governments are responsible for receiving reports of suspected child abuse and neglect from members of the public. Anyone who suspects, on reasonable grounds, that a child or young person is at risk of being abused and/or neglected should report it to the authority in their state or territory.

    Certain groups of people are required by law to report any suspicion of abuse or neglect of a child…

  • Safe and Supportive Family Environments

    Written by Dr Daryl Higgins1

    Today, the Department of Social Services published a report I wrote with Dr Killian Mullan about safe and supportive family environments for children.

    While most children live in safe and supportive environments, governments are aware that too many children are becoming known to child protection services. This has led to a shift in thinking away from solely concentrating on statutory responses to ‘risk of harm’ reports towards a broader public health approach to protecting Australia’s children, reducing the likelihood of children coming to the attention of statutory authorities…