Back It’s all in the family

It’s all in the family

GenV is a unique research project with an inclusive proposition. Every family in Victoria with a newborn baby from 2021 – 2023 is invited to be a part of GenV. 

This means that GenV is open to babies and their parents – mothers, fathers, other parents and guardians. The aim of GenV is to include all babies and parents in this world-leading medical research project, no matter who they are or where they live. This will help provide future researchers with a more complete picture of the health and wellbeing of an entire generation and enable solutions to common child and adult health problems. 

In particular, fathers play an important role in their children’s lives, but in the past have often been underrepresented in child and parent health research initiatives, explains GenV Cohort Coordinator Alisha Gulenc. 

“Inclusion of all parents, particularly dads, in research is a passion of mine. There are many gaps in our understanding of father’s health and wellbeing across the state. Many research studies have focused on negative impacts or outcomes, rather than the positive influence fathers have in children’s lives. 

“GenV has a real opportunity to not only include fathers but also improve health and wellbeing for generations to come. Without dads, we only have part of the picture. The more dads that take part, the clearer our picture becomes.  

“GenV is starting to address this past imbalance, with more than 1,100 fathers joining GenV from around the state alongside their families so far,” she said. 

Alisha, whose role with GenV involves leading GenV participant experience, engagement and retention, as well as supporting the GenV field team in inviting families to join the project, said the low-burden nature of GenV was particularly appealing to busy parents who want to be involved in helping improve health outcomes for families but are worried about the time commitment involved. 

 “If you agree to take part in GenV, we collect some information and swabs from you and your child when you sign up to GenV in the hospital, and then as your child grows up. Then, with your permission, we add information and samples already collected by other services.  

 “This means that GenV takes little effort on behalf of the fathers, mothers and children involved while also helping to create meaningful change in health and wellbeing for families over time. We are so happy to see so many fathers joining GenV across Victoria,” she concluded.