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OUR STUDY

In Australia today thousands of young children are being raised in foster and kinship care arrangements. While early childhood is a critical time for learning and development, virtually nothing is known about formal and informal learning experiences or child development outcomes for this group of children.

The Early Childhood in Foster and Kinship Care study is about the learning and wellbeing of foster and kinship care children who have yet to start their first year of full-time schooling. The study is looking at babies/toddlers as well as preschool aged children. The purpose of the Early Childhood in Foster and Kinship Care study is to collect important new information that government and non-government agencies can use to support the good development of foster and kinship care children during early childhood and ensure they start school healthy and eager to learn.

Survey information is collected from people over the age of 18 who are the main carers of a foster or kinship care child who has yet to start their first year of full-time schooling. The survey is about young foster and kinship care children. Specifically, it is about their participation in early learning and care programs, informal learning and developmental wellbeing.

WHO’S INVOLVED

Research Partners

The University of Melbourne Department of Social Work and The Berry Street Childhood Institute are the study partners. Berry Street provides foster care and statutory kinship care placement and support services.

Berry Strlet Childhood Institute

Principal Researcher

Dr Sarah Wise, The University of Melbourne and The Berry Street Childhood Institute Good Childhood Fellow, is conducting the research on behalf of The University of Melbourne and The Berry Street Childhood Institute.

Advisory Group

A national advisory group is providing guidance for the study. Members of the advisory group are:

Marilyn McHugh
Research Fellow
Social Policy Research Centre
University of New South Wales

Bev Orr
President (outgoing)
Australian Foster Care Association

Frank Hytten
CEO
Secretariat of National Aboriginal
and Islander Child Care (SNAICC)

Albert Barelds
Executive Director
Child and Family Welfare
Association (South Australia)

Joseph McDowall
Executive Director, Research
CREATE Foundation

Anne McLeish
Director
Grandparents Australia

Annette Kelly-Egerton
Senior Manager – Canberra
Children’s Family Centre
Barnardos Australia

Melody Stack
Senior Policy and Membership
Officer
Association of Children's Welfare
Agencies (NSW)

Anita Pell
State-wide Senior Manager
Home-Based Care
Berry Street Victoria

Funding Partner

The study is being assisted by a grant from the Campbell Edwards Trust.

Campbell Edwards Trust
The Early Childhood in Foster and Kinship Care study is about the learning and wellbeing of foster and kinship care children who have yet to start their first year of full-time schooling.

The Early Childhood in Foster and Kinship Care study is about the learning and wellbeing of foster and kinship care children who have yet to start their first year of full-time schooling.

GET STARTED

You are invited to take part in the Early Childhood in Foster and Kinship Care study if you are the main carer of a foster or kinship care child who has yet to start their first year of full-time schooling.

Taking part in the study means completing a 30 minute survey about your foster or kinship child’s participation in all forms of early education and care, his/her informal learning and development.

The survey can be completed online or on paper. The survey can also be completed as a telephone interview. If you have difficulties with English you can complete a telephone interview in their preferred language.

If you would like to complete a paper survey or an interview please contact the Principal Researcher, Dr Sarah Wise on 03 9035 5371 or via email at sarah.wise@unimelb.edu.au

START SURVEY

Survey Open

PUBLICATIONS

A report of findings and other outputs from the Early Childhood in Foster and Kinship Care study will be published here.