Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit: Superu (Legally known as the Families Commission)

We are the Families Commission and operate as Superu (the Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit), an autonomous Crown entity governed by the Crown Entities Act 2004. We provide an independent perspective with regard to Government policy.

We were established by the Families Commission Act 2003 (amended 2013) to act as an advocate for the interests of families generally, and now also have responsibility to monitor and evaluate programmes and interventions in the social sector and to provide social science research into key issues.

40 results found

Research projects

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17 Apr 2015
This paper summarises what we know about the link between alcohol and family violence – specifically intimate partner violence (IPV) and child maltreatment. Increasingly international approaches include reducing alcohol harm as a specific action point in preventing family violence. Dealing with alcohol harm could lessen the risk of family violence. No single intervention can address family...
30 Mar 2015
 Many parenting programmes are effective and support family wellbeing by improving parenting practices and thereby reducing the risks associated with child maltreatment. The review found: There are many effective parenting programmes and these share common characteristics. Evidence on the effectiveness of parenting programmes in New Zealand, including what works with Maori and...
12 Feb 2015
This report highlights the impact obesity has on our economic, social, cultural and environmental well-being. At an individual and family level it can affect our income levels, educational achievement, self-esteem and social participation. As a society it affects how our taxes are used in government subsidies and even infrastructure. The report also sets out some areas of focus for the future...
16 Jan 2015
Policymakers in New Zealand have been concerned by the teenage birth rate for many years. Cross-country comparisons indicate that New Zealand has a higher rate of teenage births than other comparable countries, except for the United States (see section 2 below). In 2012, in response to a ministerial request, the Families Commission contracted the National Institute of Demographic and Economic...
Jan 2015
Many New Zealand families are on a low income; some of these families manage to meet their everyday needs while others do not. For example, less than a half of those in the bottom income decile, and a third in the second lowest decile, report that their income is inadequate to meet their everyday needs. The purpose of this research was to better understand why some low income families report...
25 Nov 2014
The research seeks to understand the kinds of services, support and information that Christchurch families and whānau affected by the earthquakes need to maintain resilience and aid their psychosocial recovery. It also focuses on identifying the most effective channels, access points and referral pathways required to reach families in need. The research aimed to gather new information...
6 Jun 2014
In mid-2013 the Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit (SuPERU) within the Families Commission commenced an assessment of the Children’s Team’s model. The Children’s Teams are a key component of the Government’s multi-year Children’s Action Plan (CAP). This report provides an assessment of the design and implementation of the Children’s Teams model. The report addresses the overarching...
14 Apr 2014
This report reviews the evidence on the effectiveness of parenting programmes, as a way of reducing the risk of maltreatment of vulnerable children aged 0-6 years. We looked at both national and international evidence to identify parenting programmes that work and those that do not work, including for Māori and Pacific peoples. The urgent need to address New Zealand’s high rate of child...
5 Mar 2014
Good quality, reliable outcome indicators can be used to monitor trends, identify emerging problems, create awareness, guide legislative and policy reforms, and ensure adequate provision of services.  This report assesses whether the administrative data sources collected by the Ministries of Health, Justice, Social Development (CYF) and the Police are suitable for providing outcome...
25 Nov 2013
International evidence reviews have indicated that school-based relationship violence prevention programmes are one of the few strategies with proven evidence for preventing intimate partner violence. The Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit (SuPERU) within the Families Commission commissioned a rapid review of the evidence and relevant literature on ‘what works’ in school-based...

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