Annual Report 2006‚Äď2007

Minister's foreword

Foreword from the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Healthy children depend on strong families and supportive communities.

To support Australian families, we need evidence-based policies that promote the best possible health, emotional and intellectual development for all children.

Good social policy depends on solid research. In this case, the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs is working with the Australian Institute of Family Studies and a group of leading experts in child development.

The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children has been underway for four years. Following initial contact with the families, two main waves and two mail-out surveys have been conducted. Information collected covers areas such as parenting, family relationships, early childhood education, child care and health. This information is vital to identify opportunities for early intervention programs where they are needed.

Their work provides the data that researchers need to explore developmental pathways and the reasons for differences in individual outcomes. It is a window on how Australian children are raised and helps us understand what works best to give our children the best chance at life.

This study also demonstrates the value of partnerships between policy makers and researchers. This continued collaboration ensures the data and research is high quality and policy relevant.

I would like to acknowledge and thank all the children and families who are taking part in this valuable study.

Jenny Macklin
Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

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