Footprints in Time - The Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC)
Are you part of the Footprints in Time family?
Keeping in touch
Please keep in touch! If you have moved, are going to move or have changed your contact details please let us know by:
- Contacting your local RAO (Research Administration Officer)
- Emailing email@example.com; or
- Calling our free call number 1800 106 235.
Providing feedback and sharing stories
We have received some very positive feedback and great stories from parents involved in the study. If you have anything you would like to share with us about being in the study, please contact us using the details listed above.
About the study
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 Social Services (DSS) under the guidance of the Footprints in Time Steering Committee, chaired by Professor Mick Dodson AM. LSIC is one of a suite of longitudinal studies within the National Centre for Longitudinal Data (NCLD) in DSS.
The study includes two groups of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children who were aged 6 to 18 months (B cohort) and 3½ - 5 years (K cohort) when the study began in 2008.
In wave 1, over 1,680 interviews were conducted with the children’s parents or primary carers (usually the mothers) 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 over 1,200 of these original families in each subsequent wave. Additional families were introduced within our wave 2 interviews and have shown a similarly strong commitment to Footprints in Time.
Interviews are primarily conducted by Department of Social Services Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Administration Officers (RAOs). Interviews may also be conducted by other National Office Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff when required.
Topics addressed by the study
The study covers a wide variety of topics about children’s health, learning and development, their family and community. For example:
- Children’s physical and mental health and social and cognitive development
- Early childhood learning and education
- Children’s diet, height and weight
- Direct assessments of children’s literacy, mathematics and reasoning
- Child’s access to technology, cyber safety and mobile phone use
- Values and aspirations
- Culture and language
- Parent’s health, social and emotional wellbeing
- Parent’s social networks and support, access to services
- Parental education, work and finances
- Major life events, life satisfaction
- Experience of racism and discrimination
- Family composition and family relationships
- Family history and connection to country and culture
- Child and parent engagement with school
- Parenting styles, parenting empowerment and efficacy
- Substance use
- Housing, housing problems and homelessness
- School, teacher and class characteristics, classroom resources
- Community safety.
Data collection from wave 9
Wave 9 data was collected between February and December 2016. Wave 9 included questions about caring responsibilities of parents and study children, regular health checks, starting high school, children boarding at school/living away from home for school. Children in the older (K) cohort were asked new questions about social and emotional wellbeing (including the Strong Souls questions collected from parents in previous waves).
Wave 10 and beyond
Wave 10 interviews commenced in February 2017. New topics in wave 10 include racism, social skills of the study children, negative social behaviour and contact with the justice system, closeness of relationships, and activities the children do outside of school such as dance, sport, music and learning about culture.
Planning for wave 11 survey content began in January 2017. If you have suggestions for the content for future waves, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LSIC Release 8 is the latest data release available
LSIC aims 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.
Release 8.0 is the latest publicly released version of the LSIC data available. It contains data from waves 1 to 8 of LSIC. The release CD includes Stata, SAS and SPSS datasets with extensive documentation.
Prospective users must complete a deed of licence to access LSIC data. Users of earlier releases of the data (i.e. Release 7.0, 6.0 and prior) wishing to access the latest release will need to re-apply.
Further information on licensing arrangements and ordering the data is available from Access to DSS Longitudinal Datasets web-page.
LSIC data documentation
- Data User Guide [PDF 1.14 MB]
- Data User Guide [DOCX 683 KB]
- LSIC Data Dictionary Release 8.0 [XLSX 811 KB]
Questions about these documents should be directed to email@example.com. Requests to access mark-up questionnaires used within the study may also be made to this address.
- Wave 6 Report on Who Am I and the Renfrew Word Finding Vocabulary Test - PDF [411Kb]
- 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]
Key Summary Report
Key Summary Reports are released annually and provide a selection of research findings from each wave.
LSIC is committed to providing feedback to families and communities participating in the study. This is done through the Community Booklets and the yearly Community Feedback Sheets. The most recent releases of these publications can be found here:
Community feedback sheets 2016 for wave 8:
- Adelaide and Port Augusta Community Feedback Sheet
- Alice Springs and Ntaria Community Feedback Sheet
- Darwin Community Feedback Sheet
- Dubbo and Regional NSW Community Feedback Sheet
- The Kimberley Community Feedback Sheet
- Mount Isa Community Feedback Sheet
- New South Wales Coast Community Feedback Sheet
- Queensland North and Central Coast Community Feedback Sheet
- Regional Victoria Community Feedback Sheet
- Remote and Regional Top End Community Feedback Sheet
- Remote Western Queensland Community Feedback Sheet
- South East Queensland Community Feedback Sheet
- Sydney Community Feedback Sheet
- Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area Community Feedback Sheet
The NCLD publishes Data Highlights and Research Summaries about various topics using LSIC and other longitudinal data sets including:
- Data Highlight No.4/2016: Strengths and Problems in Indigenous Children’s Communities by Deborah Kikkawa
- Data Highlight No.3/2016: Parenting Efficacy of Parents of Indigenous Children by Deborah Kikkawa
- Data Highlight No.1/2014: Financial Hardship in Australia by Laura Bennetts Kneebone
- Research Summary No.7/2016: Housing Conditions and Children’s Health by Anastasia Sartbayeva
- Research Summary No.6/2016: School/Preschool Enrolment of Indigenous Children by Peng Yu
- Research Summary No.5/2016: Parents’ Involvement in Education of Indigenous Children by Anastasia Sartbayeva
- Research Summary No.4/2015: Increased literacy scores for Indigenous children in schools using the cross-curriculum priority by Fiona Skelton
- Research Summary No.3/2015: Partner violence in the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC) by Laura Bennetts Kneebone
- Research Summary No.1/2014: Multiple Disadvantage by Deborah Kikkawa
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
- 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 The Department of Social Services' Longitudinal Surveys Electronic Research archive (FLoSse), which contains information related to all longitudinal surveys conducted by DSS.
For general enquiries about Footprints in Time - The Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children:
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone (free call): 1800 106 235