Enhancing family and relationship service accessibility and delivery to culturally and linguistically diverse families in Australia

Enhancing family and relationship service accessibility and delivery to culturally and linguistically diverse families in Australia

Pooja Sawrikar and Ilan Katz

AFRC Issues No. 3 — June 2008

Family relationship services span a diverse and extensive range of interventions that aim to support and nurture family relationships, and so provide an important source of support to families in Australia. However, there is a dearth of research and information on service accessibility and the effectiveness of interventions in the family relationship services sector across different cultural groups in Australia. That "the needs of ethnic minority people have often been neglected or marginalised in the provision of social care services" (Butt, 2006, p. v) has led to a gap in the literature is widely acknowledged among researchers and practitioners in the field of family relationship and other related service delivery (e.g. Box, Bignall, & Butt, 2001; Katz & Pinkerton, 2003). Therefore, examining how to improve access to and delivery of family relationship services for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities is an important line of critical inquiry, given Australia's multicultural milieu.

Research into the needs of CALD families has only recently garnered attention. Butt (2006) and Page, Whitting, and McLean (2007), in particular, have offered comprehensive frameworks for understanding the barriers CALD families experience. However, their research focused on ethnic minority families in the UK. This paper builds on and synthesises the emerging international and national literature to develop a practice and policy framework that can be used to help overcome inequities in access to or culturally inappropriate service delivery of family relationship services for CALD families in Australia.


Authors and Acknowledgements

Professor Ilan Katz is the Director and Dr Pooja Sawrikar is a Research Associate at the Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales, tel: 02 9385 5504

We would like to thank Muktesh Chibber and Fiona Arney for their valuable insights and constructive feedback.


Publication details

AFRC Issues
No. 3
Published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, June 2008.
20 pp.

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