Prof Alan Hayes

Professor Alan Hayes heads to Sydney for the 16th annual Helping Families Change Conference

3rd Dec, 2013

One of the Australia's leading child and family researchers will advocate the need for a more balanced approach in evidence-based intervention at the Helping Families Change Conference in Sydney next year.

Director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies Prof Alan Hayes will point out that researchers who have continued to work in areas other than early childhood have struggled to have their voices heard in recent years.

Prof Hayes' keynote address at the HFCC, to be held at the Sheraton on the Park in Sydney from February 20-21, will draw on data from six major Australian longitudinal studies conducted by the AIFS.

In his abstract, Prof Hayes points out that early childhood has recently taken centre stage in work in this area.

"While the early years are fundamentally important and the longer-term benefits of a good start in life are obvious, life course perspectives in mainstream developmental research also highlight the need for a balanced focus on the significance of middle childhood and adolescence.

These longitudinal studies show the power of parenting and positive family functioning in influencing a range of programs to support, strengthen and sustain families, including those that focus on promoting effective parenting practices."

The 16th annual HFCC has been designed to maximise opportunities for delegates to connect with world leaders in both research and practice in what is widely regarded as a leading international scientific event.

While Prof Hayes' AIFS study will reveal the latest science on aspects of Australian families, leading international experts such as Prof Patricia Howlin from Kings College, London, and Dr Patricia Kohl, from Washington University, St Louis, will also present their work on the complexities of working with complex and varied families.

Triple P founder and director of the Parenting and Family Support Centre, Prof Matt Sanders will also present on the past, present and future of parenting research.

To register now, go to