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

  • Corporal punishment: Key issues

    Corporal punishment is a contentious and much debated issue within the community.

    This resource provides a brief overview of research literature on the use of corporal punishment towards children and the legal landscape regarding corporal punishment as a means of disciplining children in Australia. We examine the distinction between corporal punishment and physical abuse, and the relationship between corporal punishment and discipline. Arguments for and against changes to the law in this area are also discussed…

  • Including the voices of children in research

    Written by Joanne Commerford1

    Research that includes the voices of children has the potential to help us understand their perspectives and inform social policy and practices that are in the best interests of children.

    So, how can researchers gather children’s perspectives? What are child friendly methodologies, and what do children think of them?

    Research suggests that if we regard children as experts and want them to inform research…

  • Understanding child neglect

    Child neglect is one of the most common forms of maltreatment.

    Neglect is a topic that encompasses complex issues, many of which are also emerging research areas. This paper aims to provide a broad overview of these issues in relation to current thinking and to generate discussion points for practitioners, policy makers and researchers.

    The key messages of this paper are:

    • Poverty and child neglect are closely linked, but not all children from poor families are neglected…
  • Victorian Family Law Pathways Network Launches Mobile App – iRefer Vic

    Written by Liese Savage1

    The Victorian Family Law Pathways Network launched its first app, ‘iRefer Vic,’ at the first meeting of the Melbourne-based Judges of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia in January.

    The app is a searchable directory of programs and services available to Victorian families experiencing separation, and provides a range of services that will complement, supplement or pre-empt any agreements made by the parties, or Orders of the Court…

  • Understanding and engaging parents of children in care

    Written by Christina Battle1 and Janine Bendit2

    How do you think you would feel if your children were removed? Angry? Devastated? Despairing?

    These are the basic emotions reported by parents attending the Relationships Australia, Hunter ‘Kids in Care’ group. This group, which is run for 18 hours over a 6-week period, is for parents whose children are in the care of the Department of Family and Community Services (NSW)…

  • Online safety

    The purpose of this CFCA resource is to provide information about online safety and relevant resources available for parents.

    What is online safety, and why is it important?

    Young people are increasingly exposed to an open and collaborative online culture, which allows them to access information, maintain friendships and relationships with family, and engage in creative content production. Young people, however, are at a dynamic stage of development…

  • Boosting new parents’ confidence with a novel psychoeducation program

    Written by Heather Rowe and Jane Fisher1

    Becoming a parent is one of life’s biggest challenges. New parents assume responsibility for their child’s welfare, relinquish at least temporarily their employment identity, and manage a household in which their baby now lives.

    All new mothers and fathers have high learning needs.

    Post-natal child and family health care is a valuable opportunity to help parents grow in confidence. However, the focus is generally on the baby’s feeding, growth and development…

  • Practitioner’s Corner – Parental mental illness: building understanding and resilience in children

    Practitioner’s Corner is a column on CFCA Connect where practitioners can discuss work-related issues and new resources, and share their insight and practice wisdom. Please contact us if you would like to contribute an article.

    In this article Brad Morgan, Director of  Children of Parents with a Mental Illness (COPMI), discusses the experiences of COPMI in developing resources and training in collaboration with families who have a parent with a mental illness and the professionals that work with them.…

  • Family Links (Family Support in Criminal Court)

    Written by Melanie Field-Pimm1

    The ordinary functioning of the adult criminal justice system can have unintended negative effects on families and children of offenders.  These children are already exposed to the complex needs and social disadvantage of their parents, and risks to children’s safety and wellbeing then increase as parents move further into the criminal justice system.

    Strengthening families who are in contact with criminal justice systems is a shared responsibility…

  • Practical Guidelines to Improve Service Accessibility for Families

    Written by East Gippsland Service Access Working Group1

    The East Gippsland Early Years Committee – Service Access Working Group recently launched the ‘Practical Guidelines to Improve Service Accessibility for Families’. The guidelines were developed in recognition that some families don’t access services for a range of reasons, and it is often the way in which services are delivered that makes a difference to how accessible they are.

    A number of individual circumstances can create barriers to accessing support through services…