Footprints in Time: The Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC)
Footprints in Time: The Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC) is a study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children selected from different locations across Australia.
LSIC aims to improve understanding of the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, their families and communities. It also aims to improve the support provided by government policies and programs.
LSIC quantitative and qualitative data provide insight into how a child’s early years affect their development. This information can inform Closing the Gap initiatives supporting improved life outcomes for Indigenous Australians. Collected information includes:
- family relationships
- child and parent health
- culture; and
By tracking children and young people over time, the study can determine factors that give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children the best start in life to grow up strong.
The study started in 2008. It involves two groups of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children who were aged 0 to 24 months and 3.5 to 5 years in 2008. In Wave 1, we interviewed over 1,680 families. Interviews occur annually. More than 1,200 parents and children were followed up in each wave by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander interviewers up to Wave 12. In 2020 and 2021, the response was impeded by Covid-19.
Sample size and response rates
|Wave response rate
|Retention rate of wave 1
- Response rates are calculated as a percentage of the in-scope participants at the commencement of fieldwork for each wave. Response rates are not provided for wave 1.
- Retention rates are calculated as a percentage of the Wave 1 participants who completed each wave. They do not account for participants who are no longer in-scope (e.g. moved overseas, passed away) or new sample members recruited in subsequent waves. Therefore, they only partially reflect the full response picture.
- In-scope population excludes respondents who withdrew from the survey prior to the wave or were removed for administrative reasons.
- Respondents excludes those who asked to be removed from the data or were removed for administrative reasons.
The study is guided by the Footprints in Time Steering Committee. The Steering Committee is Indigenous-led and has majority Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander representation.
The Committee provides expertise in:
- survey content
- collection methods
- community engagement
- cultural protocols
- data analysis and interpretation.
Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Administration Officers (RAOs) conduct the interviews.
Roy Morgan Research programs the surveys and does the initial data storage and cleaning.
Data is available to approved researchers from government, academic institutions and non-profit organisations. Data documentation such as a data dictionary, user guide and marked up copies of the questionnaires can be downloaded without prior approval.
Access the LSIC data and documentation through Dataverse.
LSIC data has improved our understanding of what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, young people, families and communities need to live healthy, strong lives.
For further information, contact LongitudinalStudies@dss.gov.au