The Stronger Families in Australia (SFIA) Study: Phase 2

Ben Edwards, Killian Mullan, Ilan Katz, Daryl Higgins

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


The Stronger Families in Australia (SFIA) Study: Phase 2
Ben Edwards, Killian Mullan, Ilan Katz and

Research Report No. 29 — September 2014
Read full publication
The Stronger Families in Australia Study: Phase 2
Key messages
CfC has had some of the desired effects on parents and children, but these were not strong or sustained for long enough to make statistically significant differences over the long term.

Over the five waves of SFIA, the vast majority of findings indicated that the wellbeing of children and parents in CfC communities was better than in comparison communities, even if these differences did not reach statistical significance.

Very few studies of early intervention services follow children for six years and provide the depth of information that SFIA has been able to deliver.

Many other studies of early intervention services have also failed to find sustained positive effects over the longer term (e.g., NESS Team, 2012).

Whether another model, a more intensive version of CfC or a set of evidence-based interventions would have had a greater effect is not known.

This report presents a medium- to long-term evaluation of the Communities for Children (CfC) initiative. This Australian Government initiative aims to improve services for young children and their families and the communities they grow up in. The evaluation, known as the Stronger Families in Australia (SFIA) study, looks at the impact of CfC on child, family, and community outcomes. Phase 1 of the evaluation, published in 2009, found a small but positive impact of the initiative. This new report presents findings from Phase 2 of the study, which followed up 1,927 of the original study families, with the children now aged from 8-10 years old. Phase 2 also introduced a new cohort of 1,800 families and four new "contrast" sites.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMelbourne
ISBN (Electronic) 978-1-922038-62-3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series

NameAIFS Research Report

Bibliographical note

© Commonwealth of Australia 2014
With the exception of AIFS branding, the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, content
provided by third parties, and any material protected by a trademark, all textual
material presented in this publication is provided under a Creative Commons
Attribution 3.0 Australia licence (CC BY 3.0) <
by/3.0/au>. You may copy, distribute and build upon this work for commercial
and non-commercial purposes; however, you must attribute the Commonwealth
of Australia as the copyright holder of the work. Content that is copyrighted
by a third party is subject to the licensing arrangements of the original owner.


Dive into the research topics of 'The Stronger Families in Australia (SFIA) Study: Phase 2'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this