Annette Michaux

Biography

Annette Michaux is responsible for leading a number of the Parenting Research Centre’s (PRC) major research, development and implementation projects. She has 16 years’ senior executive experience in child and family services across the government and non-government sectors. Annette is PRC lead on the QAF implementation trial in NSW.

Annette’s role at PRC includes promoting the implementation of evidence-based policy in Australia and she directs a number of government funded national and multi-year projects. She is responsible for leading a team of researchers, implementation, communication and knowledge translation specialists. Annette has extensive experience in child and family policy.

ABSTRACT

NSW is leading Australia in the development and trial of a framework – the QAF – to reliably and consistently measure individual outcomes for children and young people in statutory out-of-home care and provide this information to caseworkers to drive their practice.

Since presenting at the 2016 Child Aware Conference significant progress has been made and the NSW Department of Family and Community Services, the Parenting Research Centre, Burran Dalai Aboriginal Corporation, Key Assets Fostering NSW and Mackillop Family Services are working in partnership to trial the QAF across three sites in NSW.

This presentation will focus on what we have learnt so far from the implementation trial, including facilitators and barriers, and highlight the collaborative work being undertaken. This includes identifying and integrating valid and reliable wellbeing measures into casework practice, development of self-survey instruments and work to progress the wellbeing domain of cultural and spiritual identity for Aboriginal and culturally and linguistically diverse children and young people.

Abstract

Early childhood presents a critical window of opportunity for enhancing learning and development and highlights the importance of prioritising prevention and early intervention to maximise individual and community potential, and to minimise costly and less effective interventions later in life. Driving Change: Intervening Early – the Third Action Plan of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children – identifies the role of increasing community awareness of the importance of child development and parenting as key areas for action. The Third Action Plan commits to awareness raising activities focussing on parenting practices to enhance safe and supportive environments. This project was commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Social Services to inform the development and dissemination of messages to raise community awareness of parenting and contribute to creating safe environments in which children can thrive. We conducted a desktop search and contacted stakeholders across Australia to identify initiatives with messages about parenting in the first 1000 days. Of the 125 initiatives identified, 14 were shortlisted for further analysis. Following an assessment of their strengths and an analysis of the evidence for communicating and messaging with parents, six initiatives were found to be exemplar. Drawing on the identified initiatives and the evidence, we present recommendations for the development of messages, messaging about parenting, campaign development and further communications research. These recommendations can be used to inform the development of community awareness raising initiatives about the importance of parenting and the early years.
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