The latest material added to the Australian Institute of Family Studies library database is displayed, up to a maximum of 30 items. Where available online, a link to the document is provided. Many items can be borrowed from the Institute's library via the Interlibrary loan system.
Strawberry Hills, N.S.W. : Office of the Children's Guardian, 2021.
The New South Wales Office of the Children's Guardian is reviewing accreditation criteria for statutory out-of-home care and adoption service providers. As part of this, consultations were held with Aboriginal out-of-home care providers, as well as Aboriginal workers working in non-Aboriginal agencies. This paper summarises the key themes raised. The discussions looked: practices critical to promoting the safety, welfare and wellbeing of Aboriginal children and young people in the out-of-home care system; agencies' experiences of the accreditation system; how assessment and monitoring processes could be improved; how regulatory burden could be reduced; and sector-wide challenges facing out-of-home care providers. The overwhelming message was that the safety, welfare and wellbeing of Aboriginal children and young people is fundamentally compromised if family and community connections are not maintained. Opportunities were also identified to the improve the current NSW Child Safe Standards for Permanent Care.
Canberra : Productivity Commission, 2021.
The National Agreement on Closing the Gap was developed in 2020 in partnership between Australian governments and the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations. It replaces the 2008 National Indigenous Reform Agreement, known as Closing the Gap, which aimed to address the disparity in the social, health, education and employment outcomes of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Australia. This new data report series will present a snapshot of progress under the Agreement. This first report provides baseline data on the 17 outcome areas and 18 associated targets. It also explains how the progress of the Agreement's Priority Reforms will be monitored, for the next edition. Outcome areas relate to life expectancy and health, early childhood education and development, youth employment and education, employment, housing, overrepresentation in the criminal justice and child protection systems, social and emotional wellbeing, culture, and informed decision-making and participation.
Medical Journal of Australia 7 Jun 2021: Advance online publication
Cultural devastation and loss is held to be a factor in the high suicide rates of Indigenous people - but conversely, does community empowerment and cultural connectedness play a protective role? This study compares community level data from Queensland on language, cultural activities, social networks, support, health, and wellbeing with statistics on the suicide deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 10-19 from 2001-2015. The study found that Indigenous suicide mortality rates were influenced by community level culturally specific risk and protective factors: rates were higher in areas with low levels of cultural social capital - such as community participation in cultural events, ceremonies, organisations, and community activities - than in areas with high levels of cultural social capital. Rates were also higher in communities reporting high levels of discrimination.
Brisbane : yourtown, 2021.
This magazine-style publication highlights the work of Kids Helpline in 2020 and summarises findings from an analysis of callers. Kids Helpline provides online and telephone counselling and referral for children and young people with mental health and wellbeing concerns, and 2020 was a particularly challenging year - with major bushfires, the covid pandemic, and a move to home-based learning for many. Contacts rose by more than 20% in 2020, and first-time callers about mental health issues were up 38%. Visits to the website also rose by 50%. Different issues and calls by different age groups are also discussed, as are new initiatives implemented during the year. A more detailed report is also available.
Santa Monica, CA : RAND Corporation, 2021.
This report evaluates the implementation of a range of family violence interventions in Indigenous communities, with insights for both program administrators and evaluators. The interventions were a key priority of the Third Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children. This Action Plan called for more evidence-based services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and provided funding to 14 different services to deliver trauma-informed therapeutic services, perpetrator services, intensive family case management, or legal victim support services. As part of the initiative, implementation support and process evaluation were also funded. This report provides the learnings of the evaluation, assessing what implementation processes worked best rather than the efficacy or effectiveness of the programs. It also discusses the limitations of the study, as a randomised controlled study of outcomes had initially been intended.
Fitzroy, Vic. : SNAICC, 2021.
Peak-body SNAICC has been monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families all year, and has been concerned about the impacts on wellbeing, connection to culture, and ability of the early childhood education and care sector to respond. To provide further insights, they conducted a survey in October-November 2020 with 243 child and family sector organisations regarding the short- and long-term impacts. This paper presents the findings and makes several recommendations to government, including increased investment into telecommunications to improve and upgrade infrastructure in remote communities and provide families and children with access to essential education and support services and contact with communities. The findings highlight the ongoing effects of the pandemic on the wellbeing of children and families, both increases and decreases in attendance at child care, the issue of the technological divide for both accessing services and maintaining family connections, and the exposure and exacerbation of existing weakness within the early childhood education and care system.
Canberra, ACT : Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, 2020.
This paper provides further evidence on the link between Indigenous languages and wellbeing. Using data from the 2014-15 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS), it examines range of wellbeing indicators and areas where Indigenous languages as spoken as a first language and areas where most people speak English as a first language and Indigenous languages are spoken as a second or subsequent language. It finds that Indigenous language is significantly associated with greater cultural attachment, social connectedness and positive emotional wellbeing, and a greater participation in cultural activities. However, Indigenous language use is also associated with increased experiences of discrimination and difficulties accessing services. The findings suggest that speaking Indigenous languages is strongly associated with indicators of wellbeing relating to actions over which Indigenous individuals, families and communities can exert agency and self-determination.
Brisbane : yourtown, 2020.
This magazine-style publication highlights the work of Kids Helpline in 2019 and summarises findings from an analysis of callers. Kids Helpline provides online and telephone counselling and referral for children and young people with mental health and wellbeing concerns. The data shows that mental health and emotional wellbeing are the key issues for counselling support, followed by family relationship issues and suicide concerns. A more detailed report is also available.
Brisbane : yourtown, 2020.
Kids Helpline is a counselling service for Australian children and young people aged between 5 and 25 years. It provides support 24 hours a day, with access by phone, email, or the website, as well as the Kids Helpline @ School program. This report provides insights into the clients of the service and the issues that concern them. It presents 2020 data on service demand, client characteristics, client needs and concerns, client communication preferences, referral to specialist services, and client satisfaction and impact. The report also explains the scope and focus of Kids Helpline's work and its role in supporting and protecting young Australians, both at an individual and systemic level. Though most trends relating to client demographics and issues of concern have been stable over the past decade, the number of calls from boys and young men has been decreasing, while mental health and emotional wellbeing concerns have risen.
BMC Public Health v. 20 2020: Article 1625
This article investigates how well current social and emotional wellbeing programs and services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people align with the principles of the 'National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples' Mental Health and Social and Emotional Wellbeing'. The review found that programs and services incorporated several of the Framework's principles for planning and delivery, though only one incorporated all nine principles. The review also identified three other common guiding principles that aren't covered by the Framework, as well as elements considered critical for improved service delivery. The article concludes by highlighting the value of the Framework and its benefits for program design and implementation. Note, the article originally intended to focus on programs targeting Indigenous young people with severe and complex mental health needs, but the scope was broadened due to the limited evidence available.
St Leonards, NSW : NSW Ministry of Health, 2020.
This policy aims to help improve the mental health and wellbeing of Aboriginal communities in New South Wales. It sets out overarching strategies for NSW Health services over the next five years and will dramatically shift the way NSW Health engages with Aboriginal staff, services, consumers, carers, families and communities. There are three key goals: holistic, person and family centred care and healing; culturally safe, trauma-informed, quality care; and connected care.
Sydney, NSW : Australian Human Rights Commission, 2020.
This project sought to understand what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women consider to be their critical needs - from a human rights approach - and to provide guidance to the Commonwealth Government on how this can be furthered. The project elevates and draws on the voices of 2,294 women and girls on a broad range of subject areas, including trauma, culture, health and wellbeing, education and knowledge, and employment. Topics include community safety, experiences of harmful behaviours, responding to and healing from intergenerational trauma, the impact of poverty and inequality on safety and harm, the drivers of incarceration, child protection, identity and child placement, the right to an adequate standard of living, barriers to housing, homelessness, the rights of persons with disability, disability supports and carers, Country and identity, Native title and land rights, the right to country and culture, service delivery, the need for structural change in service provision, determinants of health and wellbeing, the Closing the Gap Refresh, health services, sexual and reproductive health education, social and emotional wellbeing, youth health, suicide, healing, lifelong learning and education, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of learning and knowledge systems, the need for culturally inclusive formal education and curriculum delivery, formal education from early years to secondary school, valuing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and knowledge within the education system, tertiary and vocational education and training, life skills, the workforce, respect in the workplace, economic participation, intergenerational marginalisation, the cost of living, unemployment and social welfare, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led economic development.
Collingwood, Vic. : VACCHO, 2020.
A Royal Commission is underway in Victoria to set a new plan for the mental health system and enable Victorians to experience their best mental health now and into the future. This report provides an overview of Aboriginal communities' experience with the current mental health system and offers innovative Aboriginal-led solutions to deliver transformative outcomes. It was produced by the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, following community consultation and the release of the Royal Commission's interim report. Section 1 explores the current social and political landscape, Aboriginal mental health, and opportunities for creating meaningful Aboriginal-led changes to the mental health system. Section 2 describes the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social and Emotional Wellbeing Model, as a therapeutic model that emphasises the relationship between mental and physical health, and the role of connection to culture as a vital protective factor. Section 3 discusses flaws within the current service system and presents five Aboriginal-led solutions for creating a more equitable, culturally safe mental health system in Victoria.
Hawthorn, Vic. : Distributed by Australian Policy Online, 2020.
This paper shares the views of Aboriginal people on the child protection system in New South Wales. It summarises findings with consultations with ver 50 Aboriginal young people, families, and carers, as well as practitioners and community members who have had either direct or indirect experiences with the New South Wales Department of Communities and Justice. It also features individual stories that highlight how the system is experienced. The participants raised common themes of the need for Aboriginal family supports, the importance of Aboriginal organisations and practitioners, the importance of culture and identity for wellbeing, and the need to keep Aboriginal children with family and community.
Canberra, ACT : Australian National Audit Office, 2020.
This report presents the findings of an audit into how well the Children and Schooling and the Safety and Wellbeing programs have been administered. These are two programs of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS), through which the Australian Government funds and delivers a range of programs specifically for Indigenous Australians. The objectives of the Children and Schooling program are to get children to school, particularly in remote Indigenous communities, and improve access to further education, and include after-school care, school nutrition projects, mentoring programs and capital works projects. The Safety and Wellbeing program aims to ensure that the ordinary law of the land applies in Indigenous communities, and that Indigenous people enjoy similar levels of physical, emotional and social wellbeing enjoyed by other Australians. It includes activities to reduce violence and alcohol and substance abuse. The audit finds that, overall, these programs have been effectively administered by the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA), but that some work is needed in grants assessment, data validation mechanisms, and performance measurement.
9 September 2020
This webinar will explore family violence and child wellbeing in First Nations families, drawing on the expertise of First Nations practitioners. It will: outline the complexities faced by First Nations families experiencing family violence; identify principles for practice that are culturally responsive and child-centred in their approach; and explore the importance of having community-controlled and locally relevant responses to family violence. The presenters will also share perspectives on what these considerations might mean for mainstream services working with First Nations families, and for cross-cultural partnerships between services and practitioners. Family violence is a major health and wellbeing concern affecting all Australians, including First Nations communities. Practitioners working in health, education and community services often report feeling ill-equipped to work with First Nations families in culturally responsive ways when family violence is a concern, particularly when tasked with supporting the social and emotional wellbeing of children. Services that are welcoming, inclusive and non-threatening stand to gain a better understanding of families' lived experiences and the impact of social disadvantage and intergenerational trauma on First Nations communities; and to then respond more sensitively.
Sydney : ANROWS, 2020.
This paper highlights the key findings and policy implications from a recent study into the role Aboriginal law and culture could play in addressing family violence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Consultations were held with communities and organisations about current responses to violence and related problems under Aboriginal law and their perceived helpfulness and transferability. The study found that a greater focus on prevention, healing and diversion from the criminal legal system is needed. Policy and service responses are most effective when they acknowledge the link between violence and issues that stem from colonisation and intergenerational trauma, rather than focusing solely on gender inequality and male power.
Sydney : ANROWS, 2020.
Family violence within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is shaped by the specific and historical context of colonialism, systemic disadvantage, cultural dislocation, forced removal of children, and the intergenerational impacts of trauma. As a result, it requires a distinct and tailored set of responses across multiple fronts and nested in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural values and worldviews. This report explores the role Aboriginal law and culture could play. It presents findings from a review of current literature and policy and consultations with communities and organisations in Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland. Participants were asked about how law and culture influence behaviour in communities, current responses to violence and related problems under Aboriginal law, punishments and supports and their perceived helpfulness, mechanisms that could be adapted for other communities, cases where non-Indigenous law is preferred, whether Elders could work alongside non-Indigenous justice personnel, treating the whole family, and healing conflict and trauma. The consultations highlighted that though regions varied in the extent to which Aboriginal forms of law continued to operate, it remains a feature of daily life and forms the basis for maintaining social order and harmonious relation. The report concludes with recommendations for practitioners and policymakers.
Children Australia v. 45 no. 1 Mar 2020: 40-47
This article explores conceptions of child rearing and development among urban dwelling Nyoongar/Aboriginal people in Perth, Western Australia. It presents findings from the Ngulluk Koolunga Ngulluk Koort (Our Children Our Heart) project, which aims to identify priorities and values associated with early childhood development for children under 6 years of age, incorporating an Aboriginal worldview and knowledge framework. 138 parents, grandparents and family members of Aboriginal children have participated in community forums and focus groups, and nine Aboriginal Elders are co-researchers in the project. The project has identified a number of common attitudes, values and beliefs about the things that are deemed important in raising healthy, confident and proud Aboriginal children, as well as the things that might get in the way of Aboriginal kids growing up solid. The findings highlight differences in beliefs from those of mainstream western society in Australia and challenge assumptions underpinning a range of early childhood development policies.
Brisbane, Qld. : Queensland Productivity Commission, 2020.
The recent Queensland Productivity Commission inquiry into service delivery in remote and discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities called for fundamental structural and economic changes to improve outcomes, which would need to be supported through independent monitoring and reporting on progress. More broadly, communities, government and service providers are more likely to achieve progress when there is a shared understanding of outcomes. The paper discusses existing methods and elements and presents an approach for measuring progress using a wellbeing framework, which can be further subdivided to provide a more detailed analysis of the key drivers of change. Note, the results are preliminary and experimental - this work is only a starting point and an attempt to measure progress in a way that has not been done before in Australia.
Australia : Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee, 2020.
This report highlights the urgent need to address the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Australia. It highlights the importance of culture and empowerment for wellbeing, and describes successful initiatives and programs by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations. These include: collective action by the Coalition of Peaks; Law Yarn, the health justice partnership at the Wuchopperen Health Service; Miwatj, the Mawaya Health Justice Program in East Arnhem Land; research at the Lowitja Institute; the Mayi Kuwayu National Study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing; the NuunaRon art group developing identity and belonging through cultural connection; the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives, embedding cultural safety rather than cultural competence in the new codes of conduct; and the Country Needs People campaign.
International Journal of Intercultural Relations v. 74 Jan 2020: 80-93
Research suggests that a strong sense of cultural identity has a positive impact on a range of outcomes for Indigenous people. This article investigates the cultural engagement of Indigenous parents also has a positive impact on their young children's development. Using data from the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC), it compares child health, wellbeing, and cultural experiences and the parent's views on what aspects of their culture they'd like to pass on to their child at 4 years of age. Overall, the findings add to the evidence that a strong sense of cultural identity promotes wellbeing and positive socio-emotional adjustment. The articles concludes by calling for Indigenous cultures and Indigenous Australians' identification with those cultures to be supported and celebrated.
Adelaide, S. Aust. : Early Intervention Research Directorate, 2019
The South Australian Government is establishing a new system of intensive support services for families and children at risk of child protection involvement. In order to create meaningful and sustainable change, it was agreed that the new system must be informed and co-designed by the people who need the services and the people who deliver the services. This paper summarises the findings from the co-design project. Agreed values include that the system will be designed with Aboriginal families and communities, involve trauma-responsive practice to create a healing system, establish mechanisms for early help and support, ensure equitable access to help for regional and rural families, and support and strengthen the workforce.
Developing Practice: The Child, Youth and Family Work Journal no. 52 2019: 25-39
'Woon-yah Ngullah Goorlanggass' - which means 'Caring for Our Children' in the Nyungah language - is an innovative therapeutic kinship care program to support Aboriginal kinship carers that is delivered by the Australian Childhood Foundation in south-west Western Australia. The number of Aboriginal children and young people living in kinship care has grown dramatically over the last decade, and kinship care is now the fastest growing form of out of home care for Aboriginal families across Australia. Children and young people coming into care often present with a complex matrix of needs and challenges that to date have neither been well understood nor responded to. The intergenerational trauma that has so deeply impacted Aboriginal families and communities also contributes to Aboriginal kinship carers experiencing a range of vulnerabilities and unique challenges. Their cultural obligation to care for children who are family and extended family places further pressures on them. This paper explores the use of trauma-informed approaches embedded within a cultural framework and highlights the positive outcomes this way of working has had for Aboriginal children, young people and their families.
Alice Springs, NT : Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women's Council, 2019.
The Uti Kulintjaku Watiku Project is an innovative program for Anangu men in Central Australia, and part of a broader initiative to promote healing and prevent family violence by developing community capacity and resilience. The project brings respected senior and younger Anangu men and non-Aboriginal health professionals together to learn from each other and identify ways to strengthen Anangu identity and increase Anangu wellbeing to prevent family violence. It is not an intervention but rather a long-term community development initiative for sustainable, transformative change. 11 workshops have been held so far between late 2016 and mid 2019. This report describes the project and presents findings from an evaluation of its outcomes. It discusses the key features of the Uti Kulintjaku Watiku Project, how it relates to the women's component of the initiative, key developments and achievements, factors contributing to success, strengths and challenges, and how the project is contributing to family violence prevention. An important component of the project has been the positioning of Anangu men's voice within the dialogue and sharing of ideas to prevent family violence and to strengthen young people's wellbeing, as well as strengthening Anangu men's confidence and capacity for healthy intergenerational relationships.
Casuarina, NT : Menzies School of Health Research, 2019.
This biennial report series will profile the wellbeing of children in the Northern Territory, from the antenatal period to young adulthood. It presents statistics against the 48 indicators of The Nest framework of the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY), in the six domains of: being loved and safe; having material basics; health; learning; participation; and having a positive sense of identity and culture. Statistics are presented as total figures for all children, with regional profiles, and case studies and stories of young people and services are also included. This inaugural report presents the latest statistics to 2019.
Penrith, NSW : Western Sydney University, 2019.
NAPCAN has developed a trauma-informed respectful relationships education program in the Northern Territory for young people experiencing complex challenges. The program aimed to address a gap in the field of prevention education: young people with complex challenges are at high risk of abuse and yet have least access to educational experiences that can teach them to navigate relationships more effectively. The program provides training and resources to practitioners in the youth services sector and is adapted from its Love Bites school-based program to provide a more flexible-approach in informal settings. This report describes the development of the program and the evaluation findings. Drawing on consultations with practitioners from a variety of services, the development project investigated the specific needs of the youth sector, evaluated the perceived effectiveness of the program, assessed the program against current research literature, and reviewed the extent to which the program met the social and cultural needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community organisations. The report concludes with recommendations for further development.
British Journal of Social Work v. 49 no. 4 Jun 2019: 1059-1080
This article describes a new program for Aboriginal survivors of institutional child sexual abuse who had also experienced cultural abuse and disconnection. This healing program was designed, developed and delivered by an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation, and provides a culturally informed approach to healing that is lacking in mainstream services. The article discusses the development, implementation and evaluation of the program, and highlights the views of participants and program facilitators. It concludes with learnings to help inform the design and implementation of similar social work programs.
Children Australia v. 44 no. 2 Jun 2019: 84-90
Child protection workers are at risk of traumatic stress, but research has found many are reluctant to seek support. This article looks at the experiences of Indigenous child protection practitioners based in Queensland and barriers to seeking support. Interviews were conducted with 13 practitioners, regarding their experiences of traumatic stress and ongoing impact and experience of seeking support within their workplaces. Together, the participants' describe an organisational culture of bullying, intimidation and retribution, where not coping is seen as incompetence. These findings are part of a broader PhD study on Indigenous practitioners, and issues about cultural background will be discussed elsewhere. However, the participants' experiences are consistent with findings from other studies, regardless of background.
Children Australia v. 44 no. 2 Jun 2019: 55-59
This article describes the Turn 'em around Healing (TeaH) therapeutic model of practice, which was developed for children experiencing trauma in remote Aboriginal communities. The model incorporates Aboriginal concepts of healing and spirit within a creative therapeutic framework, and is built upon community involvement and a recognition of the trans-generational trauma present within Aboriginal communities. This article explains the development of the model, outlines how it was implemented in one community, and highlights the key learnings so far.