Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

New research, strategic priorities for Australian Institute of Family Studies

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP
    Minister for Housing
    Minister for Homelessness
    Minister for Small Business

The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin and the Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Brendan O’Connor today welcomed the release of the Australian Institute of Family Studies’ Research Directions 2012-2015 and Strategic Directions 2012-15.

The new papers outline the Institute’s research priorities and strategic directions over the next three years.

Research from the Institute is designed to inform government policies and practices which support families in all their forms, wherever they live and whatever the characteristics of their communities.

Over the next three years it will focus on:

  • family change, functioning and wellbeing;
  • social and economic participation for families;
  • child and family safety; and
  • support services available to families.

These priorities were developed in consultation with all relevant government portfolios, leading not-for-profit organisations and peak bodies in the community support and family services sector.

Ms Macklin said the Government’s strong social policy reform agenda for families and vulnerable Australians was well- informed by the work of the Institute.

“The Institute’s research provides us with vital evidence to inform Government policy and decision making on how to best support Australian families,” Ms Macklin said.

AIFS Research and Strategic Directions sets a clear path for the Institute’s research over the next three years and the Government looks forward to reviewing their findings.

Mr O’Connor also launched the new Child Family Community Australia Information Exchange, which is managed by the Institute.

“The Government has invested almost $3.2 million over three years to establish and maintain the Child Family Community Australia Information Exchange,” Mr O’Connor said.

“The Information Exchange amalgamates three former clearinghouses to provide better access and sharing of evidence-based information, resources and support.

“This will help policy makers, researchers and service providers to strengthen communities, support families and protect and develop children.”

It replaces the Australian Family Relationship Clearinghouse, the Communities and Families Clearinghouse Australia, and the National Child Protection Clearinghouse.

The new interactive information exchange website features:

  • synthesised research publications on topics of children, families and communities
  • news updates from community sectors via Twitter and Facebook alerts
  • information sharing and discussion opportunities through the new online blog CFCA Connect
  • databases containing research and practice profiles
  • support through a research and inquiry helpdesk.

The new Information Exchange website is at

Research Directions 2012-2015 and Strategic Directions 2012-15 are available at