Vulnerable children & families
We are working with at-risk families and communities on tools and techniques to support them during and beyond the crisis. Those who are already experiencing significant challenges because of drugs and alcohol, poverty, illness, isolation, refugee status and more are at risk of an even greater impact from COVID-19.
Australia’s public health measures to limiting the spread of COVID-19 have been spectacularly successful in comparison to other countries. But they have not come without additional burdens.
Our community health team will conduct a qualitative longitudinal study using existing cohorts to evaluate the impact of these measures on the physical and mental wellbeing, risk of family violence and substance abuse and financial stability of children and their families in the community at large in Victoria.
Combined with our existing longitudinal cohort studies, new school-based surveys and online community polls will form a ‘virtual observatory’ to identify the immediate, and potential medium and long term societal, mental health and economic impacts on children and families that can help inform policy responses now and in the recovery phase.
Crucial to the success of this observatory will be the addition of the GenV project, to monitor the health and wellbeing of every child born in Victoria. GenV starts later in 2020, head to the website to find out more.
Professors Vicki Anderson and Harriet Hiscock are undertaking in depth mental health research to understand the impact of COVID-19, subsequent recovery processes and factors that confer resilience on Victoria’s most vulnerable children and their families. Groups include children with chronic illnesses, existing mental health conditions, disabilities, intellectual disability and refugee children.