Too many children are born into circumstances that do not provide them with a reasonable opportunity to make a good start in life.

For some, this experience is part of a persistent cycle of intergenerational disadvantage. Enormous investment and effort is being applied across the Australian service sector ecosystem to address this, but outcomes remain inadequate.

Restacking the Odds aims to establish an evidence-based measurement framework that can be used by participants across the children and family services system to sharpen the targeting of their work, and to improve the effectiveness of their action.

SVA is delivering Restacking the Odds through a collaboration with Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (Centre for Community Child Health) and global strategy firm Bain & Company, to address this.

SVA support

In 2016 the project focused on laying out the evidence base for five foundational services and strategies that centre on the early years of a child’s development:

  • Antenatal care
  • Sustained nurse home visiting
  • Early childhood education and care
  • Parenting programs; and
  • School-based early intervention.

We believe that by ‘stacking’ these fundamental interventions effectively (i.e. ensuring they are all applied) there will be a cumulative effect, amplifying the impact of the interventions and sustaining their benefit.

2017 objectives 

Restacking the Odds will focus on supporting service delivery organisations and funders to understand how to deliver evidence-informed services that reach the targeted population. The research will apply a structured quantitative lens to the issues and simplify the challenging task of identifying priorities for action across a complex ecosystem.