What is Healthier Wealthier Families?

Healthier Wealthier Families is a collaboration that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of families with young children by reducing financial hardship.

We work with community-based health services to support families experiencing financial hardship, by connecting them with financial wellbeing services in their community. 

We’ve shown that the model is feasible, acceptable and beneficial in a pilot study, which is adapted from a successful model used in Glasgow, Scotland. Next steps are to deliver the benefits to more communities and understand the cost-benefits of the model in Australia.


Client stories                                   

Why is this issue important?

The financial security of families is central to children’s wellbeing. It helps families to access safe and healthy housing, nutritious food, healthcare and education, and enables children to grow up in environments with less financial stress. 

Unfortunately, at least 1 in 6 children in Australia live in poverty and 1 in 3 experience deprivation due to financial hardship, missing out on:

  • Proper nutrition
  • Housing stability
  • Supportive personal relationships. 

Poverty can harm children’s future health, learning, economic productivity and participation in society. Without help, poverty can persist across generations. Our collaborative, service systems approach to reducing poverty and inequity aims to help our whole society be healthier and wealthier. 


Our impact and achievements

A successful Healthier Wealthier Families pilot study from 2019-2022 revealed that the approach:

  • Reduced family stress
  • Improved financial knowledge
  • Improved mental health
  • Increased annual income by an average of $6,504 from benefits that the family was otherwise missing. 

Our team presented at the International Congress of Evidence-based Parenting Support 2023 at a symposium called 'The road to equity needs to be paved with more than good intentions: Using research to advance the equity agenda'. You can view the conference recording after clicking the link and registering for free. 

Our Combatting child poverty resources explore the impacts of financial hardship and evidence-informed strategies to reduce financial hardship and poverty for families.


Our approach

We’re implementing and evaluating Healthier Wealthier Families with more communities to demonstrate how health and social sector partnerships can improve the financial and mental health experiences of Australian families with young children. 

In addition, we’re analysing implementation, cost and benefits of Healthier Wealthier Families. This is building our understanding of how to best adapt and scale the approach for other services that support children and families.


Our team

  • Dr Anna Price, HWF Lead and Principle Investigator
  • Prof Sharon Goldfeld, Collaborator

Partners and funders

Healthier Wealthier Families is led by the Centre for Community Child Health, at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and The Royal Children’s Hospital.


  1. Explore our Combatting child poverty resources
  2. Read our client stories snapshot 'Reducing money worries to improve caregiving, and health and wellbeing'
  3. Watch our presentation at the International Congress on Evidence-Based Parenting Support (I-CEPS)



  • Price AMH, White N, Burley J, et al. Feasibility of linking universal child and family healthcare and financial counselling: findings from the Australian Healthier Wealthier Families (HWF) mixed-methods study. BMJ Open. 2023;13(11):e075651.


  • Price, A., Zhu, A., Nguyen, H., Contreras-Suarez, D., Schreurs, N., Burley, J., Lawson, K., Kelaher, M., Lingam, R., Grace, R., Raman, S., Kemp, L., Woolfenden, S., Goldfeld, S. (2021). The Healthier Wealthier Families (HWF) pilot randomised controlled trial: testing the feasibility of delivering financial counselling to families with young children who are identified as experiencing financial hardship by community-based nurses. BMJ Open,11:e044488. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2020-044488.


  • Burley, J., Samir, N., Price, A., Parker, A., Zhu, A., Eapen, V., Contreras-Suarez, D., Schreurs, N., Lawson, K., Lingam, R., Grace, R., Raman, S., Kemp, L., Bishop, R., Goldfeld, S., Woolfenden, S (2021). Connecting healthcare with income maximisation services: A systematic review on the health, wellbeing and financial impacts for families with young children. PubMed. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-056297.


  • Burley, J., Price, A., Parker, A., Samir, N., Zhu, A., Eapen, V., Contreras-Suarez, D., Schreurs N., Lawson K, Lingam, R., Grace, R., Raman, S., Kemp, L., Chota, S., Goldfeld, S., Woolfenden, S. (2021). Assessing the impact of healthcare - income maximisation models of care for families of children aged 0-5 years experiencing financial difficulties, on family finances, and parent/caregiver(s) or children’s health and wellbeing: A systematic review protocol. 


  • Johansson N, Sarkadi A, Feldman I, Price AMH, Goldfeld S, Salonen T, Wijk K, Isaksson D, Kolic E, Stenquist S, Elg M, Lönn E, Wennelin J, Lindström L, Medina M, Aberg S, Viklund J, Warner G. Ameliorating Child poverty through Connecting Economic Services with child health Services (ACCESS): Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial of the Healthier Wealthier Families model in Sweden. BMC Public Health 22(1):2181 25 Nov 2022, https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-022-14424-x.


  • Price AMH, Contreras-Suarez D, Zhu A, Measey MA, Schreurs N, Woolfenden, Burley J, Bryson H, Efron D, Rhodes A, Goldfeld S. Associations between ongoing COVID-19 lockdown and the financial and mental health experiences of Australian families. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 2022;00:1–21. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajs4.252.


  • Imbulana DI, White M, Hiscock H, Price AMH. The feasibility of identifying financial hardship in a tertiary paediatric setting, and associations with caregiver and child mental health. Journal of Affective Disorders Reports. 2023;12:100485.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadr.2023.100485.

    The Australian HWF trial registration

    Registration: https://www.anzctr.org.au/Trial/Registration/TrialReview.aspx?id=378514

Contact us

Get in touch with Dr Anna Price to bring Healthier Wealthier Families to your community, learn more, or to join the research collaboration.