Reducing Poverty and Improving Child Development in WA
All children growing up in WA deserve to have the best start to life, yet thousands of children are living in poverty. Growing up in poverty has a detrimental impact on children’s health, wellbeing and development. Children’s development is constantly informed by the experiences they have and the environment around them, including the neighbourhood where they live and the systems and policies that shape their lives.
Poverty is an adverse childhood experience that compromises wellbeing and development in the present and throughout a child’s life. An understanding of the early determinants of child development is required to plan prevention strategies and interventions to better support families and improve child health and wellbeing for a healthier society, now and in the future.
The Reducing Poverty and Improving Child Development in WA report highlights the impact of poverty on child development in Western Australia and proposes policy and practice solutions by drawing on research in the field and highlighting experiences of WA parents and families. It also includes some early insights into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on low-income families, how the government’s economic response to COVID-19 affected them and suggests ways to support children and families in the future.
Access the full report and snapshot below.
Rental Affordability Snapshot 2022
Access to affordable housing is a cornerstone of a healthy community. At Anglicare WA, we have seen the transformative power of providing safe, stable accommodation. The financial and emotional stress of paying high rents and having to constantly move from place to place, can be exhausting, and make it difficult to maintain work, keep children in school, and connect with friends and family. Securing decent accommodation is often the first step for people in getting back on their feet and developing a sense of belonging.
The Rental Affordability Snapshot 2022 found median rents increased around $50 per week since last year’s Snapshot:
- 12% in the Perth metro area ($480)
- 13.5% in the South West and Great Southern ($420)
- 9% in the North West ($600)
Less than 1% of available properties are affordable for people on income support payments and nothing is affordable for people on JobSeeker anywhere – not even a room.
Availability is an issue alongside affordability, last year’s snapshot saw a dramatic 50% drop in available private rentals across WA and the situation has not recovered in 2022.
Read the latest Snapshot below
Jobs Availability Snapshot
Every year Anglicare Australia produces the Jobs Availability Snapshot to show what the job market is really like for those facing the greatest barriers to work – those who may not have qualifications or experience to draw on, those trying to re-enter the workforce after a long break, or those living in regional or remote areas.
100 Families WA
Anglicare WA is an active member of the 100 Families WA project aimed at developing an ongoing evidence base on poverty, entrenched disadvantage and social exclusion in WA to inform policy and practice. 100 Families WA is a collaborative research project between Anglicare WA, Jacaranda Community Centre, the Centre for Social Impact University of Western Australia (CSI UWA), the UWA Social Policy, Practice and Research Consortium, the UWA School of Population and Global Health, Wanslea Family Services, Centrecare, Ruah Community Services, UnitingCare West, Mercycare, and the WA Council of Social Services. To learn more about the project, download research bulletins or get involved, go to the 100 Families WA website.
Life Course Centre
Anglicare WA is a partner in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course (Life Course Centre) investigating the ways in which deep and persistent disadvantage endures within families and across generations. The Life Course Centre generates evidence-based research to develop new knowledge, technology, and practices to benefit those living in, or at risk of, disadvantage. Bringing together a multi-disciplinary network of researchers and partners throughout Australia and internationally with a shared focus on addressing entrenched disadvantage, the Life Course Centre aims to:
- Identify the drivers of deep and persistent disadvantage
- Develop and trial new solutions in policy and practice
- Build capacity across academic, government, and non-government organisations
- Develop data and technical infrastructure and innovation
- Destigmatise disadvantage
Investigating the mental health of children exposed to domestic and family violence
Anglicare WA is working with researchers from The University of Western Australia to investigate the long-term mental health of children exposed to domestic and family violence. The project, led by Dr Carol Orr, from UWA’s School of Population and Global Health, and funded by Australia’s National Research
Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) will use police and health records to investigate differences in the mental health service use and diagnoses of children exposed to domestic and family violence.
Insights from the study will inform local and national policy as well as best practice in mental health services provision and support effective domestic family violence responses to affected children.
More than 55 percent of WA children in state care are Aboriginal, despite only being three percent of the state’s total population.
We at Anglicare WA are enormously proud to have had the opportunity to lead the Home Stretch WA Trial.
Read the Home Stretch WA Final Report.
Missed the Home Stretch WA Gallery Walk? Check out the online version below.
Access the Home Stretch Gallery Walk
Foyer Youth Housing Project Kimberley 2022
Foyer Youth Housing projects have had significant success nationally and internationally in providing the right mix of support, housing and opportunity to allow young people experiencing homelessness to thrive beyond formal supports.
In 2020, a consortium of Anglicare WA, Foundation Housing and Nirrumbuk Aboriginal Corporation proposed to develop a business case for a Foyer development in Broome in the Kimberley region of Western Australia as part of the North-West Aboriginal Housing Fund. The consortium recognised that a replication of the Foyer Oxford model, or other Australian Foyer models, would not be fit for purpose in the Kimberley context. This would be the first Foyer project to respond specifically to the needs of young Aboriginal people.
As such, Innovation Unit were contracted to work alongside consortium team members to undertake a codesign process, utilising Human Centred Design methods, to explore how a Foyer model would need to be adapted if it were to create impact in this context. The process was undertaken over a 5-month period and included a range of mixed methods focusing on both service design and built form. Over the course of the project a 10 person design team of Broome and Perth based young people, service providers and design professionals facilitated the involvement of more than 100 people in co-design activities.
Young Women's Voices
Anglicare WA is partnering with Anglicare affiliates across the country and researchers from Queensland University of Technology and University of South Australia to improve service delivery for girls through Young Women’s Voices, a three-year project
funded by the Australian Research Council. Young women’s contact with the justice system in Australia and internationally has shown significant increases in recent years, but the system is largely designed for young male offenders.
Young women are part of the project every step of the way, from inclusion on the steering group through to contributing to the data analysis. Their voices will help to identify strengths and weaknesses in the justice and human services systems as they experience them. The project aims to discover how the youth justice system, and human services such as child protection, mental health and education that have touchpoints with justice, could be improved to generate better outcomes for young women.