Education Institute

Community Connections

  • Exploring Families' Social Connections in Footscray


    Strong community connections with early years services such as child care and play groups not only play a crucial and significant role in promoting social networking and support to families, but also serve as a defence mechanism for vulnerable families and provide children with significant social and psychological development opportunities. Given the vulnerability in diverse and multicultural communities, the Community Connections project is exploring where ‘community’ exists within the suburb of Footscray, how people use their community connections and social networks to gather information about early childhood development and education services and how their ‘community connections’ can be utilised to improve access to and utilisation of these services.


    The project is drawing together data from eight open ended focus groups with parents of children between birth and 10 years. Participants in the study were purposively sampled geographically to include a diverse range of experiences and social backgrounds in order to achieve a broad representation of diversity and multiculturalism in Footscray.


    The executive summary is now available, Making Community Connections: Researching factors that impact community engagement with a multicultural suburb

    Summaries are also available in EnglishArabicDinkaKaren and Vietnamese.

    Project partners

    The research is led by Dr. Liza Hopkins and Ayuba Issaka at the Education Institute, in collaboration with Centre for Community Child Health.