- What is the purpose of the study
- Study Members
- Key summary reports and community booklet
- Who is undertaking the study
- How to access the data
- Data documents
- Wave 5 data collection
- Staff contact details
Footprints in Time is the name given to the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC), an initiative of the Australian Government. Footprints in Time is conducted by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) under the guidance of the Footprints in Time Steering Committee, chaired by Professor Mick Dodson AM. The study aims to improve the understanding of, and policy response to, the diverse circumstances faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, their families and communities.
The main objective of the study is to provide high quality quantitative and qualitative data that can be used to provide a better insight into how a child’s early years affect their development.
The study's quality declaration provides further detail about data quality.
Update your contact details
Please keep in touch! If you have changed your contact details please let us know by:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: free call 1800 106 235
Providing feedback to us
We have received some very positive feedback from parents who are involved in the study, and also some great stories. If you have any feedback about being in the study that you would like to pass on please contact us or free call 1800 106 235.
The parents and carers of two groups of children, typically aged between 6 to 18 months (B cohort) and 3½ - 5 years (K cohort), were interviewed in 2008 for wave 1.
Initially over 1,680 interviews were conducted with a parent or primary carer of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child, usually the mother, and over 265 interviews were conducted with fathers or other significant carers. Subsequent waves experienced strong support from these initial interviewees. To date Footprints in Time interviewers have successfully contacted and interviewed upwards of 1200 of these original families for subsequent interviews. Further families were also introduced within our wave 2 interviews and have shown a similar strong commitment to Footprints in Time. These interviews have formed the basis for the annually released LSIC key summary reports:
Community feedback sheets 2012 for Wave 4:
Remote Western Queensland Community Feedback Sheet [314KB] - Web Accessible version [906KB]
Highlights from the individual Waves:
Wave 1: Initial topics included: maternal and child health, family life, growing up strong, learning and doing, strong souls and safe communities.
Wave 2: New topics included: child support, stolen generations and pre-school. Changes in family life structure were also included as part of ongoing data collection.
Wave 3: New topics included: schooling, physical activities, money issues and homelessness. Experience with racism and its impact was also explored in detail.
Wave 4: New topics included: reading practices, exercise routines of the child/parent and involvement with camping and religious services. The implementation of an English reading comprehension test, for the older cohort (K cohort), was also a key addition to the study.
Interviews are primarily conducted by FaHCSIA-employed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Administration Officers. Interviews are also conducted by other National Office Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff when required. The information collected is the property of FaHCSIA.
Release 4.0 of the LSIC data is now available. It contains data from waves 1 to 4 of LSIC. Prospective users will be required to complete a deed of licence for the Release 4.0 data. Users who have earlier releases of the data also need to re-apply for Release 4.0 data.
Ordering the data
In order to apply for the LSIC data users should read the following Manual for the access and use of FaHCSIA Longitudinal Survey Datasets to understand how to obtain access to the dataset.
Users affiliated with these organisations need to contact their Organisational Data Manager and obtain and sign a Deed of Confidentiality. If you are a Data Manager and wish to obtain the Organisational Licence forms please contact FaHCSIA.
Users from all other organisations will need to sign an Individual Deed of Licence for Australian Academic and Government Users - PDF [128 KB]
- Honours students will only be granted access under an Organisational Licence.
- Students will only be granted access if their supervisor has access.
- Research assistants may only be granted access if a senior research officer from the same project has access.
Further questions regarding the data access can be directed to email@example.com.
LSIC data documentation
Questions regarding these documents can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Requests may also be made to this address for access to Mark-Up Questionnaires used within the study.
- Wave 2 Report on Who Am I and the Renfrew Word Finding Vocabulary Test - PDF [126Kb]
- A Measure of Global Social and Emotional Wellbeing at Wave 1 - PDF [240Kb]
- Implications of the study design for analysis and results - PDF [1.1MB]
- Implications of the study design for analysis and results - DOCX [1.1MB]
Wave 5 data was collected between March 2012 and December 2012. Wave 5 includes new measures on life satisfaction, parenting empowerment and efficacy, the child’s peers and Dad’s access to paternity leave. From previous waves, repeated questions returned about social and emotional wellbeing, major life events, general and dental health of the child, schooling, temperament and the stolen generations.
Wave 6 and beyond
Wave 6 interviews commenced in February 2013. In addition to repeated measures collected in other waves, Wave 6 has new questions on fruit and vegetable intake, sharing food, community safety and wellbeing. The K Cohort will also have a new mathematics assessment introduced alongside additional questions about school.
Planning for Wave 7 survey content will commence in March 2013. Suggestions are welcome, please contact us at email@example.com.
Footprints in Time have provided pivotal resources for research within understanding the factors behind growth and development of Indigenous children. Publications relating to the study’s development can be found here:
- Occasional Paper 20 – Stories on 'growing up' from Indigenous people in the ACT metro/Queanbeyan region - 2008
- 2006-07 Directions for Footprints in Time - A Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children – 2007
- Occasional Paper 17 - Growing up in the Torres Strait Region – 2006
- Occasional Paper 16 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander views on research in their communities - 2006
- Occasional Paper 15 - The 'growing up' of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children - 2006
For further bibliographic details of research material using data from LSIC you can access FaHCSIA's Longitudinal Surveys Electronic (FLoSse) Research archive, which contains information related to all longitudinal surveys conducted by FaHCSIA’s.