State of the Family Report

Anglicare Australia has been providing valuable insights into the changing nature of families in Australia since 2000 with the annual State of the Family report.

Our Better Selves

2019 State of the Family Report - Our Better Selves

Our Better Selves: Appreciating and Re-Imagining Our Work to Create Change has been the culmination of an eighteen month project. It was made up of five separate teams from across the Anglicare Australia Network.

These teams conducted appreciative inquiries into their services, discovering the best of what they do how they make strong connections and build change in their communities. Anglicare Australia thanks to Anglicare Southern Queensland, Samaritans Foundation, Anglicare NT, St John’s Youth Services and Anglicare WA for leading their inquiries and investing in the project. The story of each inquiry is at the heart of this report.

Our Better Selves brings together the overarching themes from the five inquiries and uses them to re-imagine how we go about our work. It offers a number of actions the Anglicare Australia Network can take to draw on deep knowledge in the network to build a powerful and positive culture of development and change.

The Real Story

2018 State of the Family Report - The Real Story

The 2018 State of the Family report explores attitudes towards people experiencing poverty. It also reflects on what these attitudes mean for how we as advocates communicate and persuade.

The real story: What Australians think about poverty and how we shape the debate features a literature review on poverty in Australia at Chapter 1, the results of a nationally representative survey of attitudes at Chapter 2, and a language analysis drawn from the Anglicare Australia Network at Chapter 3.

We have also included a series of stories or ‘portraits’ where people who use our network’s services describe, in their own words, their experiences of poverty. These are featured throughout Chapter 3.

The overarching finding from this study has been that attitudes are not fixed. They are shaped and reshaped through persuasion and debate. It also shows that Australians are more sympathetic to those in poverty then even they realise.

SOTF 2017

2017 State of the Family Report - The Meaning of Home

The Meaning of Home is Anglicare Australia's 17th State of the Family report. It explores the importance of home, or particular qualities of home, to the people the Anglicare network works with and in the services it provides.

It features articles from Anglicare network members that explore the significance of home in the nature and design of a range of services – from aged care to community mental health – from all across the country, and for people of different ages and backgrounds.

It also includes a series of stories or ‘portraits’ where people who use our network’s services tell us, in their own words, what home means to them.

The experiences and the insights shared in this report provide a strong sense of what people want from their lives and underscore the importance of working with people to design and provide the services they need.


2016 State of the Family Report - Positions Vacant: When the Jobs Aren't There

Positions Vacant? When the Jobs Aren’t There is informed by Anglicare Australia's first Jobs Availability Snapshot.

The findings from the Snapshot show that only 13 percent of all advertised jobs in May 2016 were at the entry level (which assumes year 10 education or equivalent).  

In May there were 21,812 entry level jobs advertised in Australia. That same month there were 138,044 people registered as disadvantaged job seekers, in a total of 732,000 people unemployed. That is about six people in need of an entry level job for every job advertised.

The report shows evidence from our network agencies that people are facing barriers to employment as a result of widespread economic upheaval. We have nine stories that make up the report from Anglicare network members in almost every state of Australia detailing a breadth of challenges to finding work.

State of the Family report 2014 Being apart

2015 State of the Family Report - Who is being left behind?

At the heart of this year’s State of the Family report, Who is being left behind, is a set of stories on some of the people with whom we work with across the Anglicare network. These are people whom Australians overall, through their economic and political decisions, appear comfortable about leaving behind.They are all stories that cast a light on the work that we do.

Sometimes,through the right combination of our care, government support and the right opportunity, we can provide the scaffold that helps people keep connect to the buoyant and affluent society that is evident around us. At other times the services, housing or educational investment just isn’t there, and more or less the same people find themselves excluded from mainstream society, living in
continuing hardship and deprivation.

This report was framed by a research paper Anglicare Australia commissioned from the University of Canberra’s National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM). Left Behind: living standard trends (2015) looked at the relative living standards of different household types over the last few years in Australia and where they are heading in the next ten. The findings of that paper confirm the growing inequality and inequity that Anglicare services confront every day


2014 State of the Family Report - Being a/part

Being a/part is a national research collaboration that looks at the contribution a sense of belonging might make to the outcomes for young people using Anglicare services.

Being a/part surveyed young people aged between 17 and 21 accessing Anglicare services, many of them homeless or in insecure housing and with a history of hardship, asking for their view of how social support, belonging and connection help them transition into early adulthood and independence.

State of the Family report 2013 Paying Attention

2013 State of the Family Report - Paying Attention

Paying Attention explores how agencies respond in new ways to the needs of their clients - people in poverty and hardship, and in answering that question, the importance of their mission as the base of that relationship.

As social services are changing right across Australia, this publication is a reminder that we are all in it together. And that building those services on the recognition of our common humanity benefits us all.

State of the Family report 2012 When there is not enough to eat

2012 State of the Family report - When there's not enough to eat

When there’s not enough to eat is based on the Anglicare network’s first national research project - a study into food insecurity among people seeking Emergency Relief at Anglicare services across Australia.

The survey found that around 45,000 households using the services didn’t have enough money to adequately feed their families. Of this group, adults in 22,000 households went without food for a whole day, most weeks.

When there’s not enough to eat also looked at the social cost of food insecurity. Going hungry affects people’s ability to function in everyday life. They become depressed, socially isolated and experience poorer health. Adults find it harder to get work and children struggle at school.

Produced in two volumes, the first  explores the key findings of the study through essays and  the second volume is the full research report of that study.

2011 State of the Family report - Staying Power

Staying Power features the Brotherhood of St Laurence's new Social Exclusion Monitor which provides a national measure of exclusion, and three other Anglicare agencies' views of that lived experience: in and around Alice Springs, in Central Queensland and at the edge of Bendigo.

The report talks about the two speed economy, and the often assumed benefits that that fast speed will trickle down to others. In fact, the parts of an economy traveling fast do a lot of damage to those in their wake.

2010 State of the Family report - In from the Edge

The 2010 State of the Family report, In from the Edge, features five strong and engaging essays that explore the barriers leading to social exclusion. They are the personal views of key contributors to the work of the Anglicare Australia network.

These essays are about people living on the edges of society. Some of those edges need to be folded in to the centre, in other cases those of us in the centre need to become more comfortable at the edge.

2009 State of the Family report - Beyond Economics

The challenges we face go well beyond the niceties and pieties of financial, economic, let alone party political argument, to take in the deeper questions of life: ultimately, what it is to be human, what it takes to create a civil society, and, in particular, what responsibilities we have to those with whom we share the planet.

The 2009 State of the Family report, Beyond Economics, is a modest attempt to consider these deeper questions with specific reference to some of the issues with which Anglicare agencies deal in their everyday work.

Like all Anglicare’s endeavours, it is based on an ultimately optimistic view of humankind, even as we confront the harsh realities of social disadvantage and vulnerability.

For as Professor Alex Tan of the University of Canterbury has put it: "Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in a while, so that we can see life with a clearer view again."

2008 State of the Family report - Creative Tension

The 2008 State of the Family report, Creative Tension, contains Anglicare Australia's views on the federal government's social inclusion agenda, with particular reference to the priority areas of workforce participation, housing affordability and early childhood development. Its title refers to the natural tension between economic and social policy, especially in difficult economic times.

Creative Tension raises key questions about market failure and the need to balance social, ethical and economic policies and practices. It highlights the precarious situation for many in our communities who live with an illusion of prosperity, but who are struggling every day.

2006 State of the Family report - Life on a Low Income

The 2006 State of the Family report, Life on a Low Income, examined why, in a time of increasing prosperity for many Australians, so many people – including families with children – needed to supplement their income with "emergency relief" like food, clothing and help to pay the bills.

Just what is life like for families on a low income? And is Australia's welfare safety net really working? If not, what needs to change? Life on a Low Income drew on the experience of the Anglicare member agencies to offer some insights and answers.

2005 State of the Family report

2005 State of the Family report

The 2005 State of the Family report explores the dramatic changes that Australia’s families, and the social and economic world in which they live, have undergone over the last 30 years.

The report reflects on the implications of the changing nature of families in Australia today – on our communities and social fabric, and in particular, on those individuals and families who experience particular disadvantage, risk, stress or marginalisation.

Drawing from the work of the Anglicare Australia agencies, this report explores the challenges, struggles, hopes and new possibilities for families at a time of critical change.

2004 State of the Family report

2004 State of the Family report

The 2004 State of the Family report examines the situation of young people in Australia today.

Over the past year, there has been a significant focus on the ageing of Australia’s population and the likely impact this will have on tax payers in the future. As the number of older Australians increases rapidly, the number of children and youth is static or declining slightly.

Meanwhile, young Australians can face obstacles that call for our compassion and support.

2003 State of the Family report

The 2003 State of the Family report highlights the lack of access to affordable housing as a major consequence and reinforcing cause of poverty.

It focused on the fact that disadvantage was increasingly taking on a locational aspect as some areas grew and prospered while others were left behind, and the search for affordable housing often reinforced locational disadvantage. The report looked at nine different localities across Australia, painting a picture of what life was like in those areas, particularly for the most disadvantaged and vulnerable members of the community.

2003 State of the Family

2002 State of the Family report

In Australia at the beginning of the 21st century, 676,800 children were growing up in jobless families. All faced a significant risk of living in poverty.

The 2002 State of the Family report painted a clear picture of why Australians should be concerned about an increasing unequal society, and the growing proportion of children affected by poverty, unemployment, poor health, lack of education, disability, inadequate housing and homelessness.

The report raised fundamental questions about the future Australian society. It challenged government and the community, and identified key problems needing to be addressed in order to provide a stronger future for all Australian families.

2003 State of the Family

2001 State of the Family report

The 2001 State of the Family report focused on the way individuals and families found themselves excluded from paid work. It traced how this leads to families living without adequate housing and described how poverty results in people being unable to enjoy social relationships and cultural activities.

The report explained the full ramifications of low incomes on family life. It becomes clear this does not happen just to ‘them’, but  can easily befall any one of us.

2003 State of the Family

2000 State of the Family report

The 2000 State of the Family report draws on the experience of Anglicare agencies around Australia, identifying issues affecting families and those providing services to families in need, as well as highlighting stories of family struggles.

This inaugural report focuses on three broad areas of Anglicare’s work: supporting families in their caring role; helping families in conflict; and assisting families who are struggling just to make ends meet.