Presentation on theme: "Giving a voice to the child in vulnerable families – opportunities and challenges for practitioners and policymakers Adelaide Convention Centre 4 – 6 November."— Presentation transcript:
Giving a voice to the child in vulnerable families – opportunities and challenges for practitioners and policymakers Adelaide Convention Centre 4 – 6 November 2014 Presented by Professor Alan Hayes AM Director, Australian Institute of Family Studies On Wednesday 5 November 2014 at the
Vulnerability defined Circumstances or conditions that reflect relative risk and that influence choices, chances and life outcomes Emergence of these and their impacts may be evident from early life, as well as across the life span Is vulnerability better thought of as a state, rather than a fixed trait?
Vulnerability As a state reflects opportunities, options and life circumstances too often is treated as a fixed characteristic of individuals The intent and purpose of policy interventions are to Alter circumstances Change outcomes Broad spectrum, coordinated supports, at key points across the lifespan are required to change the state of vulnerability or the “disadvantages” that flow from it.
Investment of resources In early life to prevent neurological damage, cognitive deficits and social-emotional disturbances In middle childhood and adolescence to promote educational attainment, health, prosocial behaviour and positive, adaptive attitudes and aspirations In early adulthood to prepare for relationship stability, positive parenting and family wellbeing And across the lifespan
Policy opportunities and implications The state of thinking about the "state" of vulnerability; Re-considering risk within an actuarial frame; Connecting prevention, early intervention and investment approaches within a progressive or proportionate universalist policy approach; Implications for systems' reform in addressing complex, interconnected, problems with lifecourse and intergenerational impacts on children and families; and 21st Century approaches to data, research and evaluation as the foundations for policy and practice.