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.

Publications

The Age Old Problem of Old Age: Fixing the Pension
Matthew Taylor, Simon Cowan
03 May 2015 | Research Report 3

In this TARGET 30 Research Report CIS modelling shows that reforming the pension could deliver income gains of more than $5,900 a year to almost 98% of pensioners. These reforms would also reduce the cost of the pension by $14.5 billion a year. “With four…

The Kinship Conundrum: The Impact of Aboriginal Self-Determination on Indigenous Child Protection
Jeremy Sammut
08 December 2014 | PM144

This report argues that mainstreaming revolution in Indigenous policy should be extended to Indigenous child protection policy, and that Aboriginal exceptionalism—typified by the operation of Aboriginal Child Placement Principle (ACPP)—must cease. To help ‘Close the Gap’ in social outcomes between Indigenous and other Australians, Indigenous…

Regulating for Quality in Childcare: The Evidence Base
Trisha Jha
05 November 2014 | PM142

The National Quality Agenda (NQA) endorsed by all states and territories in 2009 regulates childcare systems across Australia. It mandates increased minimum standards in various aspects provision of care and a ratings system with the goal of improving quality. The NQA mandates substantial and costly…

Complex Family Payments: What it Costs the Village to Raise a Child
Trisha Jha
06 August 2014 | PM141

In 2013–14, $32 billion was spent on family payments, amounting to 7.7% of total federal expenditure in that year, and 22% of total federal spending on social security and welfare. Family Tax Benefits (FTB) and child care fee assistance are the two areas in which…

Fairer Paid Parental Leave
Matthew Taylor
07 July 2014 | T30.11

Australia spends just under $1.4 billion (2012–13) on statutory Paid Parental Leave (PPL) to provide more than 130,000 parents with up to 18 weeks of parental leave paid at the full-time minimum wage. The Abbott government proposes to pay primary carers at their pre-birth wages…

Media & Commentary

We decide
Peter Kurti
14 August 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

The issue of marriage equality will now be put to the country at the next election, rather than a plebiscite before then. And this is exactly what should happen. While…

Should there be a conscience vote on gay marriage?
Peter Kurti
13 August 2015 | Daily Telegraph

Tony Abbott has promised to take the question of same sex marriage to the country at the next election. It was “the democratic and fair thing to do,” he said.…

Queering their pitch
Peter Kurti
17 July 2015 | The Spectator

In the wake of the Irish referendum in May and the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Obergefell v Hodges, same-sex marriage proponents in Australia have the winds of…

Time to focus on the family
Trisha Jha
17 July 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

The developmental impacts of quality childcare for children who have a deficient home environment are well known. This fact is used by many universal childcare advocates as fertile ground to…

Cases for more local and overseas adoptions are different, but the same
Jeremy Sammut
21 April 2015 | ABC The Drum

International adoptions of foreign-born children in Australia have fallen to record lows. And the reasons are clear to pinpoint. Overseas adoptions are lengthy, costly and these seemingly interminable delays cause…