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FAMILY AND COMMUNITY
These themes are commonly held social values in many different communities and cultures. They can define 'family' rather than blood, marriage, or geographic location alone. A community, like a family, can contribute to a person's wellbeing e.g. support and care for individuals or by helping give a sense of identity and security. Like 'family', a definition of 'community' can vary greatly. A community can be based on:
The boundary of a community extends beyond a physical location. For example, the continued growth and innovation in ICT has allowed virtual communities to flourish as people connect freely with others around the world. Regardless of how a family or community is defined, their core purpose is to support and enhance the wellbeing of individuals and society as a whole. Within communities there are organisations and institutions supporting it, shaping and guiding. Such organisations can be part of formal or informal communities.
Information on current family and community conditions and historical trends can be monitored using information on:
FAMILY AND COMMUNITY AND OUR WELLBEING
In a national consultation conducted by the ABS in 2011-12, Australians said that positive, close relationships have benefits for individuals and society overall (MAP 2013, ABS). Positive relationships were seen to be caring, strong, healthy and loving ones, that function well and protect all members.
An individual's family is often their most fundamental source of emotional, physical and financial care and support. The immediate family and the wider community are the context for individual achievement in other areas of social concern. They are the arenas in which children become socially responsible adults, and individuals gain a sense of belonging.
Both positive and negative examples of behaviour may be set within families, and some family environments can compromise a child's ability to become socially capable, or may contribute to depression, suicide or other health damaging behaviours. Conversely, some family environments boosts a child's sense of self, the ability to achieve, and help them become a valuable, productive member of society.
Individuals and families also receive support and care from the wider community. A community has the potential to have a significant impact on the wellbeing of these individuals and families. Where a family does not have the resources to provide the necessary care for an individual, community networks and organisations can step in to assist:
FAMILY AND COMMUNITY AND OUR CHANGING WORLD
There are a range of events, pressures and drivers of change that have the potential to substantially affect wellbeing. In relation to family and community, these include:
FAMILY AND COMMUNITY AND ACTIONS SUPPORTING WELLBEING
There are many ways that people, community groups, governments and other institutions can work to improve peoples connections to family and community in Australia. Improving an individual's capability to take command over their connections and related decisions that affect their lives is particularly important:
BUT THIS IS NOT THE WHOLE STORY...
To gain a better understanding of family and community in Australian society, look through the pages on:
Need some more information on family and community? This section can point you in the right direction.
Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2014, Family, Household and Income Unit Variables (cat. no. 1286.0) - The Family, Household and Income Unit Variables provide a statistical picture of the structures of families in society. The standards aim to achieve this by providing standard definitions of concepts, methods of data collection, derivation procedures and output formats for use in all relevant ABS and external statistical collections. The standards are underpinned by a consistently defined concept of the family
Australian Institute of Family Studies (Qu, L., & Weston, R.), 2013, Australian households and families (Australian Family Trends No. 4) - This facts sheet outlines the extent and nature of various changes that have been occurring in households in Australia, with particular attention given to households consisting of families of different forms.
Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2012-13, Family Characteristics and Transitions (cat. no. 4442) - Family Characteristics provides data about families, including couples living in de facto and registered marriages, step and blended families, one parent families and visiting arrangements of children with parents who live elsewhere. It provides information about the composition of households and families, and the characteristics of people within them.
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Time Use Surveys - A portal to resources on time use surveys from UNECE and other agencies.
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), 2013, Guidelines for Harmonizing Time-Use Surveys - Aims to a) help statisticians and policymakers understand the importance of time-use surveys, (b) provide guidance in the design and implementation of time-use surveys, and (c) improve the international comparability of their results. The Guidelines include recommendations of preferred or best practice, based on the experience of member countries.
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), 2011, Measurement of emerging forms of families and households
Two or more persons, one of whom is at least 15 years of age, who are related by blood, marriage (registered or defacto), adoption, step or fostering, and who are usually resident in the same household. The basis of a family is formed by identifying the presence of a couple relationship, lone parent child relationship or other blood relationship. Some households will, therefore, contain more than one family.
The differentiation of families based on the presence or absence of couple relationships, parent-child relationships, child dependency relationships or other blood relationships, in that order of preference.
The classification of families according to whether they are either intact families, step families, blended families, other couple families, or one parent families.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (2013), Measures of Australia’s Progress, 2013 (cat. no. 1370.0)
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 2013, How’s Life? 2013 Measuring Well-being
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4160.0.55.001 - Frameworks for Australian Social Statistics, Jun 2015
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