Children participating in research: Experiencing from the Children and Young People in Separated Families Study

Research with children and young people
Friday 27 July, 1155 – 1215


Rachel Carson
Australian Institute of Family Studies

Research in Australia provides insight into parents’ reflections on the experiences of their children post-separation (Kaspiew et al., 2015; Qu et al., 2014; Qu et al., 2010; Kaspiew et al., 2009). However, reforms to the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) intended to facilitate greater consistency with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, have been identified as having limited impact on the extent to which the views of children and young people themselves are raised in legal matters (Kaspiew et al., 2015). Research has identified dissatisfaction with practices associated with the representation of children’s best interests in family law proceedings in Australia (Kaspiew et al., 2013).

This paper will consider the contribution of AIFS most recent Children and Young People in Separated Families Study, which sought to address a significant gap in knowledge by generating a better understanding of the experiences of children and young people when their families are engaging with family law services, on the basis of data from children and young people themselves. The paper will focus on the challenges encountered in undertaking this research and will highlight the contributions of this research to the existing body of family law research in Australia.