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Title: What is Neuroscience Telling Us about Supporting Families?
Contributor(s): Sims, Margaret  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2011
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Abstract: There is clear evidence that what happens to children in the early years of life can shape their lives forever (Irwin, Siddiqi, & Hertzman, 2007, p. 67; United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation, 2010). Children growing up in disadvantaged families and communities have poorer outcomes across all health, development and wellbeing indicators. We can see this with indigenous Australians (Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision, 2009). Indigenous teenagers are 4 times more likely to become pregnant than non-indigenous teenagers. The rate of notifications for child abuse has increased 4-6 times faster for Indigenous families than for non-Indigenous families over the past 10 years. Indigenous adults are 13 times more likely to be in prison than non-Indigenous adults, and Indigenous juveniles 28 times more likely than non-Indigenous juveniles. Differences in outcomes are identifiable when children start school. Children living in the most remote parts of Australia and children living in the most disadvantaged communities are much more likely to be developmentally vulnerable on all dimensions of the Australian Early Developmental Index at school entry (Centre for Community Child Health & Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, 2009). Developmental vulnerability on one or more domains is evident in 23.4% of all Australian children, 31.8% of children from the most disadvantaged communities and 47.3% of Indigenous children. Heckman (2006) argues that gaps in outcomes between children from advantaged and disadvantaged backgrounds become evident in the early years of life and that these gaps in outcomes continue to widen until about age 8. After that age the gap remains relatively constant: not narrowing but not widening further.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Building Integrated Connections for Children, their Families and Communities, p. 8-22
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Place of Publication: Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
ISBN: 1443832774
Field of Research (FOR): 160702 Counselling, Welfare and Community Services
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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School of Education

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