Parent-child contact and post separation parenting arrangements

8 July 2004

In Australia, as elsewhere, not a great deal is known about the 'nuts and bolts' of parent-child contact after separation. This report from the Institute's Caring for Children after Parental Separation Project, sheds light on a range of issues related to parent-child contact after parental separation.

Using information gained from a series of focus groups and the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey, the report identifies five patterns of parenting after separation; factors that facilitate or impede contact, particularly contact between fathers and their children, and how these factors interact to influence different patterns and levels of care.

The report contains the stories and quotes of many study participants who revealed much personal information about themselves and their post-separation arrangements, in the hope that this would make a difference to the lives of others.

Several key insights emerged:

The issues addressed by the study are complex, and no easy solutions can be expected. However, empirical evidence on 'what happens' and 'what works' will help ensure that policy and practice best support child and family wellbeing.


Parent-child contact and post-separation parenting arrangements, edited by Bruce Smyth. AIFS Research report no.9, 2004.



Bruce Smyth - Research Fellow
Phone: (03) 9214 7889
Mobile: 0407 093 767