Advocacy & research


Baptcare Social Policy - Abuse and violence in family

Baptcare Social Policy Paper: Abuse and Violence in Family and Other Carer Relationships (2016)

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Disability Conversations: The Dignity of Choice and Risk (2015)

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Mental Health and Family Resilience (2014-15)

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Baptcare Social Policy Paper: Affordable Housing (2014)

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Peeling Back the Layers: Kinship Care in Victoria (2014)

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Aged Care for​ All Series:​ Safe, Inclusive and Person-centred Care for LGBTI Seniors (2015)​

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Baptcare Advocacy and research - Aged care for all 2013

Aged Care for All Series: Older Australians who are Financially and Socially Disadvantaged (2013)

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Baptcare Social Policy Paper Asylum Seekers (2012)

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Disability Gateway Services Client Satisfaction Report (June 2012)

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Baptcare Submission to the Inquiry into Dementia: Early Diagnosis and Intervention (2012)

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Baptcare Response to the Protecting Victoria's Vulnerable Children Inquiry (2011)

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Baptcare Submission to the Select Committee on Child Protection, Tasmania (2010)

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Understanding disadvantage, poverty and adversity

Baptcare responds to community need through advocacy on behalf of those who have a limited voice in Australian society. We recognise that it matters how governments, the community sector, churches and local communities understand poverty, disadvantage and adversity, as this impacts how we determine solutions.  We engage in policy and advocacy issues crucial to the needs of people with whom we work – drawing on evidence from research we conduct with the services we run, the people that use those services and other external resources. Where possible, we join with other organisations within the community services, aged care and allied sectors. This gives us the opportunity to speak on issues of concern.  We also make submissions and presentations to Government Inquiries, conferences and forums on issues where we have relevant experience and expertise.

Baptcare’s Research and Policy Unit’s aim is to conduct original research and support researchers internally and externally that benefit the people Baptcare works with and the community.

We conduct research and policy projects to increase understanding of the issues that affect children, families, disability, aged care and asylum seekers. We aim to improve practice delivery, inform debate and work in partnership with others at influencing social and economic policy in Victoria, Tasmania and across Australia.

Our goal is to deliver evidence-based advice and contribute to the development of state and national social policy on children, families, disability, aged care and asylum seekers.

Our research and policy priorities for 2015-2016:

  • social impact measurement
  • case management
  • local area coordination
  • out of home care
  • dementia care

For all research and policy enquiries please contact: Rachel Breman, Baptcare Head of Research, Policy and Advocacy.

More about our research and social policy papers

Abuse and Violence in Family and Other Carer Relationships (2016)

This Baptcare Social Policy Paper examines the issue of abuse and violence in caring relationships, with particular reference to Baptcare’s vulnerable client groups as well as the wider Australian society. Drawing on research and experience from across Australia, this Paper examines abuse and violence in family and other carer settings.  It focuses on family violence with an emphasis on the vulnerability of women, children, people with disabilities and the aged.  It examines a range of types of abuse including physical, sexual, emotional, social, spiritual, and financial abuse. This Paper seeks to draw attention to the cost to individuals, families and the community of domestic abuse and violence; and to challenge society and the church to take action against attitudes perpetuating both acceptance or apathy. This Paper outlines Baptcare’s stand against abuse and violence as an Aged Care and Family and Community Services (FACS) agency of the Baptist Union of Victoria (BUV).  It includes our organisational commitments to being a safe and supportive workplace and to providing safe, person-centred and empowering care in the community.

Disability Conversations: The Dignity of Choice and Risk (2015)

As the National Disability Insurance Scheme is rolled out across the country, more Australians with disabilities are experiencing greater choice and control over their lives. With this comes risk, but this should not automatically limit choice. Rather risk is to be managed. This paper seeks to raise the issue of choice and risk and promote a conversation on choice, personal control over one's life and the dignity we all seek – within the context of person-centred care.

 Aged Care for All Series: Safe, inclusive and person-centred care for LGBTI Seniors (2015)

Baptcare believes that access to quality aged care according to need is the right of all Australian seniors. However, the LGBTI community faces some particular challenges in accessing aged care. These seniors have lived through an era where declaring their sexual and gender identities was often unsafe and exposed them to discrimination and abuse. This paper examines the barriers and concerns that LGBTI seniors face in respect to aged care, their health needs and how ageing has impacted their lives, and Baptcare's response in seeking to provide safe, inclusive and person-centred care for all.

 Mental Health & Family Resilience (2014-15)

This Social Policy Paper looks at the importance of good mental health for adults and children, and the interplay between mental health and resilience for individuals, families and communities. It argues that Australia cannot afford to ignore the impact of poor mental health on individuals and our society - particularly the impact on vulnerable children and families, with implications for child protection. It advocates early intervention - early in the onset of mental illness among youth and parents, early in a child's life and development, and early in the child protection cycle. Baptcare is committed to supporting vulnerable families struggling with these issues and encourages all levels of government, churches and community groups, and the wider society to provide support free of stigma.

 Baptcare Social Policy – Affordable Housing (2014)

Baptcare believes that safe, secure, appropriate and affordable housing is foundational to the wellbeing of individuals, families and sustainable communities. Launched in May 2014, the Baptcare Social Policy Position Paper: Affordable Housing examines the factors that have led to high housing costs (mortgage and rents) in Australia and the impact of these on disadvantaged older people and vulnerable families in Victoria and Tasmania. It aims to encourage all levels of government, churches, community groups and the public to understand housing affordability as a national issue and to take appropriate action.

As a member of both the Victorian Council of Social Services and the Community Housing Federation of Victoria, Baptcare also supports the call by seven peak bodies for a new vision and strategy to address Victoria’s social housing shortages, outlined in Making Social Housing Work: Better homes for low-income Victorians, launched March 2014.

 Peeling Back the Layers – Kinship Care in Victoria ‘Complexity in Kinship Care – Research Report (2014)

Baptcare’s research report, in partnership with OzChild and Anchor, explores the range and impact of the complexity surrounding statutory kinship care placements. One hundred and thirty children and carers in statutory kinship care in Victoria were randomly selected to participate in the study. The research involved secondary analysis of pre-existing service data, with practitioners extracting de-identified data taken from case notes and included range of demographic, placement, child and carer variables. The research revealed substantial breadth and intensity of complexity among kinship care arrangements. The evidence indicates that the needs of the children and carers are more complex than has been previously recognised in the current kinship service model.

 Aged Care for All Series: Older Australians who are Financially and Socially Disadvantaged (2013)

This Social Policy Paper is one of a series that Baptcare is undertaking in 2013–2015 on the theme of ‘Aged Care for All’. This Paper examines the impacts of poverty and disadvantage on older Australians, the challenges for government and the aged care sector in ensuring that disadvantaged seniors have equal access to aged care, and Baptcare’s commitment to service provision to those who are disadvantaged.

 Baptcare Social Policy – Asylum Seekers (2012)

Arising out of our experience in providing support to asylum seekers since 2008 through our Baptcare Sanctuary program in Melbourne, this paper calls on the Australian government, churches and the community to work towards a more welcoming, compassionate and just solution to the needs of those seeking asylum among us.

 Submission to the Inquiry into Dementia, House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health & Ageing (2012)

Australia's population is ageing and over the next 20 years the number of people with dementia is predicted to more than double. Our experience as one of the leading Aged Care providers informed Baptcare's Submission to the Inquiry into Dementia: Early Diagnosis and Intervention (PDF). Special thanks go to clients, families, staff, and the Baptcare Dementia Reference Committee.

 Disability Gateway Services Client Satisfaction Report (2012)

Baptcare’s latest research report evaluates Client Satisfaction levels of Baptcare’s Gateway Disability Services model, currently run in Tasmania.

The study used a multi-stage approach.  The first stage of the research involved focus group discussions held in Hobart and Launceston. The second stage of the research consisted of 250 telephone interviews, covering: awareness and usage of disability services, intake experience, assessment processes, referral processes, local area coordination and current engagement and perceptions of Disability Gateway services.

The report indicates a high satisfaction rate from clients across the areas of intake, assessment, referral and Local Area Coordination (case management) of the model.

Research outcomes will be used as to assess the programs strengths and applied to ensure continuous improvement strategies are put in place to maximise future benefits for clients and professionals accessing the service. The current findings have also provided a strong case for the federal government to benchmark our service as a basis for the recommended National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) model.

 Submissions to Government Inquiries re Vulnerable Children (2011 & 2010)

Victoria: Baptcare provides Integrated Family Services in Victoria, with a range of family preservation programs as well as statutory programs for vulnerable children. Based on this experience, we submitted a Baptcare Response to the Protecting Victoria's Vulnerable Children Inquiry 2011.

Tasmania: Baptcare plays a pivotal role as a lead agency in the Intergrated Family Support Services Alliance and the Gateway program which is responsible for delivering a major part of a large reform agenda in family services in Tasmania. In the 2010 Tasmanian parliamentary process, we provided a Baptcare Submission to the Select Committee on Child Protection.

 Baptcare Social Policy Position Paper: Social Inclusion, Social Exclusion, Disadvantage (2010)

Poverty is when someone's income is so inadequate that they can't have an acceptable standard of living. A lack of resources prevents people from accessing the goods and services that society regards as essential. However, social exclusion is when people do not participate in key activities in society. This Baptcare Position Paper (PDF) explains why socially inclusive activities and services that directly seek to alleviate disadvantage and social exclusion matter to Baptcare.