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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin
 
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Footprints in time: the longitudinal survey of Indigenous children

 

Overview

Footprints in time is a longitudinal survey comprised of interviews with around 1,700 Indigenous children and their parents and carers in 11 remote, rural and urban sites across Australia.

The focus is children aged between six months and five years. The children will be followed yearly from 2008. The survey forms an important part of the data gathering for the Closing the gap strategy, and aims to improve the understanding of, and policy response to, the diverse circumstances faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, their families and communities.

Highlights/focus topics from the individual waves of interviews include:

  1. maternal and child health, family life, growing up strong, learning and doing, strong souls and safe communities
  2. child support, Stolen Generations, pre-school, and changes in family life
  3. schooling, physical activities, money issues, homelessness, and experience with racism and its impact
  4. reading practices, exercise routines of the child/parent, involvement with camping and religious services, and English reading comprehension
  5. measures of life satisfaction, parenting empowerment and efficacy, the child's peers, and access of fathers to paternity leave
  6. fruit and vegetable intake, sharing food, community safety and wellbeing, schooling, and mathematics assessment
  7. oral health, after-school activities, puberty, and bullying.

Wave eight interviews are taking place in 2015. Topics focused on are parents' and carers' family history and connection to places and people, teaching study child to deal with being angry and sad, learning to manage money, information technology and mobile phone use. Children in the older cohort have new questions about what is good about school, family relationships and friendships. Planning for wave nine survey content is also underway.

Abstract adapted from the Department of Social Services

Contacts

Department of Social Services
National Office
Tuggeranong Office Park
Soward Way (cnr Athllon Drive)
Greenway ACT 2900
PO Box 7576
Canberra Business Centre ACT 2610
Ph: 1300 653 227
Email: dssfeedback@dss.gov.au

Related publications

Department of Families Housing Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (2009)

Finding our feet : first findings from Footprints in Time.

Canberra: Department of Families Housing Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Department of Families Housing Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (2009)

Footprints in time: the longitudinal study of Indigenous children - key summary report from Wave 1.

Canberra: Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Ey C (2010)

Footprints in Time: the longitudinal study of Indigenous children [ppt].

Paper presented at the NatStats 2010 Conference. 15-17 September, Sydney

Longitudinal Surveys Section Strategic Policy and Knowledge Branch, Family and Community Services (2004)

Footprints in time: the longitudinal study of Indigenous children, revised consultation paper.

Canberra: Family and Community Services

Longitudinal Surveys Section Strategic Policy and Knowledge Branch, Family and Community Services (2004)

Footprints in time: the longitudinal study of Indigenous children: an overview of the study.

Canberra: Family and Community Services

Department of Families Housing Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (2011)

Footprints in Time: the longitudinal study of Indigenous children: key summary report from Wave 2.

Canberra: Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Footprints in Time (2012)

Footprints in Time: the longitudinal study of Indigenous children: key summary report from Wave 3.

Canberra: Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Footprints in Time (2013)

Footprints in Time: the longitudinal study of Indigenous children: report from Wave 4.

Canberra: Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

This report is the fourth in a series of reports produced for each wave of the data collection from a longitudinal study following the development of a group of Indigenous children and examining the factors contributing to their individual and collective outcomes.

Beginning in 2008, the study aims to provide quantitative and qualitative data that can be used to improve the understanding of, and policy response to, the diverse circumstances faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, their families and communities.

The range of topics covered in this report includes:

Wave 4 features new questions about children's educational and recreational activities and the use of computers and the internet.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Footprints in Time (2015)

Footprints in Time: the longitudinal study of Indigenous children: report from Wave 5.

Canberra: Department of Social Services

Footprints in time is the name given to the longitudinal study of Indigenous children, an initiative of the Australian Government. The study is conducted by the Department of Social Services under the guidance of the Footprints in Time Steering Committee, chaired by Professor Mick Dodson AM. The study aims to improve the understanding of, and policy response to, the diverse circumstances faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, their families and communities. The initial report (wave one) covered topics including maternal and child health, family life, growing up strong, learning and doing, strong souls and safe communities.
In this report, wave five, new topics included: measures of life satisfaction, parenting empowerment and efficacy, the child's peers and access of fathers to paternity leave. From previous waves, questions about social and emotional wellbeing, major life events, general and dental health of the child, schooling, temperament and the Stolen Generations were repeated.

Abstract adapted from Department of Social Services

Skelton F, Barnes S, Kikkawa D, Walter M (2014)

Footprints in time: the longitudinal study of Indigenous children: up and running.

Family Matters; 95: 30-40

Department of Families Housing Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (2006)

Growing up in the Torres Strait region: a report from the Footprints in Time trials.

Canberra: Department of Families Housing Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Department of Families Housing Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (2010)

Two feet on the ground – standing proud: findings from Wave 2 of Footprints in Time.

Canberra: Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Links

 
Last updated: 11 May 2015
 
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