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4442.0.55.001 - Microdata: Family Characteristics, Australia , 2009-10 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/04/2012   
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ABBREVIATIONS

SE standard error
RSE relative standard error
RADL Remote Access Data Laboratory
MPS Monthly Population Survey
MPHS Multi-Purpose Household Survey
FCS Family Characteristics Survey
ERP Estimated Resident Population
CURF confidentialised unit record file
CAI computer assisted interviewing
ABS Australian Bureau of Statistics


GLOSSARY

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Adopted child
a child permanently placed with a parent or parents other than their birth mother or father, by a formal legal arrangement. In this survey, a child classified as being adopted is as reported by the respondent.

Blended family
A couple family containing two or more children aged 0-17 years, of whom at least one is the natural or adopted child of both members of the couple, and at least one is the step child of either member of the couple. Blended families may also include other children who are not the natural children of either parent.Child
A child is:
  • any person under 15 years old in the household.
  • a person of any age who is a natural, adopted, step or foster son or daughter of a couple or lone parent, usually resident in the same household, and who does not have a child or partner of their own usually resident in the household.
  • in the 2003, 2006-07 and 2009-10 surveys, a person aged 15-17 years who was reported as being under the guardianship (see guardian) or care of another person aged 15 years and over in the household.
Child Support
Cash or in-kind payments towards the financial well-being of children. These payments are made by the non-resident parent to the parent who has care of the children.

Child Support arrangement
An arrangement that can be a registered assessment with the Child Support Agency, a court directed arrangement, or a private verbal arrangement between parents. It can include situations where no money is exchanged, such as a shared care arrangement where children stay with each of their parents approximately half of the time and each provides half the care. It can include circumstances where a lump sum payment (including transfer of property) is part of a separation settlement in place of regular child support payments.

Another valid arrangement is where a parent does not provide regular child support payments but provides contributions towards such items as clothing, school fees or other related expenses, private health insurance etc.

Cohabitation
Cohabitation refers to members of a couple, both aged at least 15 years, who are in a registered or de facto marriage and are usually resident in the same household.

Contact arrangement
An arrangement concerning the frequency and duration of a child's contact with a natural parent who is not usually resident in the same household.

Couple family
A family based on two persons who are in a registered or de facto marriage and who are usually resident in the same household. The family may include any number of dependent children, non-dependent children and other related or unrelated individuals. It is not necessary for a parent-child relationship to be formed, thus a couple family can consist of a couple without children present in the household.

Child Support Agency
The Child Support Agency is part of the Australian Government Department of Human Services. The Child Support Agency's role is to register child support cases, assess the level of child support payable based on a legislated formula (Child Support Scheme) and collect child support payments where requested.

Child Support
Cash or in-kind payments towards the financial well-being of children. These payments are usually made by the non-resident parent to the parent who has primary care of the children.De facto marriage
The relationship between two people who live together in a consensual union who are not registered as married to each other. A de facto marriage may exist between a couple of the opposite sex or of the same sex.

Dependent child
A dependent child is a person who is a child (see child) aged under 15 years, or aged 15-24 years and a full-time dependent student (see dependent student).

Dependent student
A child who is 15-24 years of age and who attends a secondary or tertiary educational institution as a full-time student and who has no partner or child of his or her own usually resident in the same household.Employed
Employed persons comprise all those aged 15 years and over who, during the reference week:
  • worked for one hour or more for pay, profit, commission or payment in kind, in a job or business or on a farm (comprising 'Employees', 'Employers' and 'Own account workers'); or
  • worked for one hour or more without pay in a family business or on a farm (i.e. contributing family workers) or were employees who had a job but were not at work and were:
    • away from work for less than four weeks up to the end of the reference week; or
    • away from work for more than four weeks up to the end of the reference week and received pay for some or all of the four week period to the end of the
      reference week; or
    • away from work as a standard work or shift arrangement; or
    • on strike or locked out; or
    • on workers' compensation and expected to return to their job; or
    • were employers or own account workers who had a job, business or farm, but were not at work.
Employed full-time
Persons who usually worked 35 hours or more a week (in all jobs) and those who, although usually working less than 35 hours a week, worked 35 hours or more during the reference week.

Employed part-time
Persons who usually worked less than 35 hours a week (in all jobs) and either did so during the reference week, or were not at work in the reference week.Family
Two or more persons, one of whom is at least 15 years of age, who are related by blood, marriage (registered or de facto), adoption, step or fostering; and who are usually resident in the same household. The basis of a family is formed by identifying the presence of a couple relationship, lone parent-child relationship or other blood relationship. Some households will, therefore, contain more than one family.

Family composition
The differentiation of families based on the presence or absence of couple relationships, parent-child relationships, child dependency relationships or other blood relationships, in that order of preference.

Family structure
The classification of families according to whether they are either intact families, step families, blended families, other couple families, or lone parent families. In this publication family structure is only presented for families with children aged 0-17 years.

Foster child
A person who lives with a person or persons who are not his or her natural, adoptive or step parent(s). The definition of foster child includes dependent and non-dependent children. If the foster child is no longer dependent, but still regards his or her relationship with appropriate members of the household as a parent-child relationship, then he or she remains a foster child.

Foster family
A family which has at least one foster child. There may be other children in the family who are the natural, adoptive or step children of the parent(s).Grandparent family
A family in which the guardians (see guardian) or main carers of children aged 0-17 years are the grandparents of the children.

Group household
A group household is a household consisting of two or more unrelated people where all persons are aged 15 years or over. There are no reported couple relationships, parent-child relationships or other blood relationships in these households.

Guardian
A person aged 15 years and over who is reported as being the guardian or main carer of any child(ren) aged 0-17 years, regardless of the existence of any legal arrangement. Throughout this publication, the use of the term 'parent' also refers to guardians.Household
A person living alone or a group of related or unrelated people who usually live in the same private dwelling.Intact family
A couple family containing at least one child aged 0-17 years who is the natural or adopted child of both members of the couple, and no child aged 0-17 years who is the step child of either member of the couple. Intact families may also include other children who are not the natural or adopted children of either parent, such as foster children.Labour force status
A classification of the civilian population aged 15 years and over into employed, unemployed or not in the labour force.

Lone parent
A person who has no spouse or partner usually resident in the household but who forms a parent-child relationship with at least one child usually resident in the household.Marital status
For this survey, a person's marital status refers to their current living arrangements, that is whether or not they are living with another person in a couple relationship either in a registered marriage (see registered marriage) or a de facto marriage (see de facto marriage).Natural child
A child who is related to his or her parents by birth.

Natural parent
A parent who is related to his or her child(ren) by birth.

Natural parent living elsewhere
One of a child's natural parents who is not usually resident in the same household as the child.

Non-dependent child
A natural, step, adopted or foster child of a couple or lone parent usually resident in the household, aged 15 years and over and who is not a full-time student aged 15-24 years, and who has no partner or child of his or her own usually resident in the household.

Non-family households
A household that consists of unrelated persons only. Non-family households are classified to one of the following categories:
  • Group household - a household consisting of two or more unrelated persons where all persons are aged 15 years and over. There are no reported couple relationships, parent-child relationships or other blood relationships in these households.
  • Lone person household - a household consisting of a person living alone.
Non-family member
A person for whom there is no identified couple relationship, parent-child relationship, or other blood relationship with any of the other usual residents of the household. They may live within a family household, or they may form a non-family household either as a lone person or a group household.

Non-resident parent
Persons aged 15 years and over who have one or more natural children aged 0-17 years living elsewhere.One parent family
A family consisting of a lone parent with at least one dependent or non-dependent child (regardless of age) who is also usually resident in the household.
Examples of one parent families include:
  • a 25-year-old parent with dependent children; and
  • an 80-year-old parent living with a 50-year-old child.
Other Child Support Arrangement
A Child Support Arrangement which does not have to be a 'formalised' written arrangement. A valid arrangement can include a verbal arrangement between parents, or it can be a court directed arrangement.

Other family
A family of other related individuals residing in the same household. These individuals do not form a couple or parent-child relationship with any other person in the household and are not attached to a couple or one parent family in the household. For example, if two brothers are living together and neither is a spouse, a lone parent or a child, then they are classified as an 'other family'. However, if the two brothers share the household with the daughter of one of the brothers and her husband, then both brothers are classified as other related individuals and are attached to the couple family.

Other related individual
An individual who is related to members of the household, but who does not form a couple relationship or parent-child relationship (see child). He or she can be related through blood, step and in-law relationships and include any direct ancestors or descendants. Relatives beyond first cousin are excluded.
Other related individuals can form their own family type or can be attached to an already existing family. Those related individuals who reside in the same household and who do not form a couple or parent-child relationship with any other person in the household are classified as an 'other family'. In cases where a couple family or one parent family has been formed, any persons who are related to members of these families and are usual residents of the household are other related individuals.Parent
A natural, step, adoptive or foster mother or father of a child usually resident in the same household. In the 2003, 2006-07 and 2009-10 surveys, any individual aged 15 years and over who was identified as being a guardian (see guardian) of a child aged 0-17 years was also classified as being a parent.

Partner
A person in a couple relationship with another person usually resident in the same household. The couple relationship may be either a registered or a de facto marriage.

Proportion of nights with other parent
The proportion of nights a child stays with their non-resident parent is derived from information on how often a child stays overnight with this other parent (e.g. weekly, fortnightly, etc.) and the number of nights the child usually stays overnight with the other parent during that period. For example, if a child stays overnight once a week with the other parent and usually stays for 2 nights when they visit, this would equal two sevenths, or 29% of nights with the other parent.Registered marriage
A marriage between two people, usually resident in the same household, that has been registered.Same sex couple
Two persons of the same sex who report a de facto partnership, and who are usually resident in the same household.

Spouse
A marital or de facto partner.

Step child
In a couple family, a child who is either the natural child of one partner but not of the other, or who was reported as being the step child of both parents. As a consequence of relationship breakdown or the death of a spouse, some one parent families may also have children reported as step children.

Step family
A couple family containing one or more children aged 0-17 years, none of whom is the natural or adopted child of both members of the couple, and at least one of whom is the step child of either member of the couple. A step family may also include other children who are not the natural children of either parent.Unrelated individual living in a family household
A person who lives in a family household, but who is not related to any person in any of the families in the household.

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