Family Life

An open and liberal society is characterised by a flourishing civil society, of which strong families are a fundamental part. The family unit should be valued and subject to minimal government interference, but there are challenges to this principle. To what extent should the state support the family? Is paternalistic intervention in dysfunctional families justified? How and when should the state act to strengthen the family? CIS research on family life works to address these issues.


Resetting the Pendulum: Balanced, Effective, Accountable Child Protection Systems and Adoption Reform in Australia
Jeremy Sammut
11 November 2017 | RR33

The national significance of the NSW child protection and adoption reforms cannot be overstated. The changes to child protection services in NSW not only constitute a blueprint for genuine systemic change across the full service spectrum, designed to address the unsustainable trajectory of OOHC services.…

UBI – Universal Basic Income is an Unbelievably Bad Idea
Simon Cowan
05 November 2017 | RR32

The idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI), paid by the government to its citizens with few restrictions, has been around for a long time. One of the main justifications for introducing a UBI is the impending changes to the labour market as a result…

Welfare reform beyond decades of dependence, ‘dole bludgers’ and ‘double dipping’
Simon Cowan
31 May 2017 | OP156

Recent attempts to reform welfare have focused on the wrong elements of the system. In some cases, advocating tightening eligibility for unemployment benefits and single mother payments while simultaneously increasing the scope and cost of family benefits and pension payments. Blaming ‘dole bludgers’ will never…

Ending the Violence in Indigenous Communities
Jacinta Price, Marcia Langton, Josephine Cashman
05 December 2016 | OP152

Urgent action is need to address the epidemic of violence in Indigenous communities. Aboriginal women are between 37 and 80 times more likely to experience family violence than non-Indigenous women. For too long, the voices of the victims of domestic violence have been oppressed and…

Early Childhood Intervention: Assessing the evidence
Trisha Jha
20 September 2016 | Research Report 19

Early childhood interventions are programs that aim to improve a child’s development trajectory over the longer term. In the context of increasing disadvantage in welfare-dependent communities in Australia, governments spend considerable sums on these programs. The rationale is that investment, in theory, will reduce the…

Media & Commentary

Marriage a la mode and how infidelity became everyday
Barry Maley

Marriage as an institution has changed greatly since the introduction of no-fault divorce in 1975. Quite apart from the recent advent of same-sex marriage, the facts of heterosexual marriage reveal…

Even a magic nanny would struggle with childcare policy
Eugenie Joseph
12 February 2018 | THE SPECTATOR: FLAT WHITE

The threat by childcare union, United Voice, to strike next month over low wages reflects a bizarre belief that government is a Mary Poppins who can miraculously produce a 30%…

Adoption not the ‘fast resort’
Jeremy Sammut
17 November 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

The NSW Government has introduced new rules making it mandatory for all children in ‘out-of-home’ care to find a permanent home within two years of entering state care. This means…

More adoption does not mean more 'stolen' children
Jeremy Sammut
14 November 2017 | DAILY TELEGRAPH

If there’s one area in which NSW clearly leads the rest of the nation, it’s highlighted as we celebrate National Adoption Awareness Week. When it comes to recognition of the…

New CIS paper: Rest of nation must follow NSW adoption reforms to protect children
Jeremy Sammut
11 November 2017 | MEDIA RELEASE

(National Adoption Awareness Week Nov 13-20) Within 10 years, the number of Australian children living in state care — and suffering the resultant poor life outcomes — will have nearly…