Knowledge Circle Practice Profiles
Knowledge Circle collects information from service providers and other agencies who are dedicated to keeping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children safe and happy in their families and communities. These profiles provide a snapshot of culturally appropriate approaches that have been shown to work, or show great promise in delivering positive outcomes to children and families. Each profile has been reviewed in the context of what is described as effective service delivery practice.
Every care has been taken to ensure that the information in the Profiles is accurate. However, this material is made available on the understanding that users exercise their own skill and care with respect to its use. For further information, see the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) disclaimer.
Before relying on the material in any important matter, users should carefully evaluate the accuracy, completeness and relevance of the information to their particular circumstances, and users should obtain appropriate professional advice as needed.
The term ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’ is used interchangeably with the terms ‘Aboriginal’, ‘Indigenous’, ‘Indigenous Australians’ and ‘Traditional owners’ depending on the terminology used in the information submitted to the Practice Profiles.
This program is aimed at healing intergenerational trauma through play therapy and counselling. Parental support services, intensive family therapy and community mediation are also delivered with a focus on responding to issues of domestic violence and drug and alcohol misuse.
Target group: Indigenous children (3-12 years), parents
The Alive and Kicking Goals program aims to reduce the high suicide rate among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth in and around Broome WA through educational suicide prevention workshops run by Indigenous staff, one-on-one mentoring and professional counselling within a culturally appropriate environment.
Target group: Indigenous young people (12-25 years)
The Baby Baskets program is intended to engage Indigenous women with the health system by encouraging early and frequent attendance at antenatal clinics and regular postnatal check-ups. The program aims to achieve better maternal health, reduce complications during and after pregnancy and increase the proportion of normal weight babies and thriving infants.
Target group: Indigenous mothers
AIME provides a structured educational program, delivered in partnership with several universities, that aims to give Indigenous high school students the skills and confidence to finish school and transition into university, further education or employment. AIME is delivered through targeted courses, tutoring programs and one-on-one coaching and career support.
Target group: Indigenous high schools students (13-18 years)
The aim of the Balunu Foundation is to support Indigenous youth by reconnecting them to culture and identity. The Healing Camps facilitate this by providing safe, culturally appropriate experiences for Indigenous youth between 12-17 years of age who present with a host of complex issues from suicide and self-harm to drug and alcohol abuse.
Target group: Indigenous young people (12-17 years)
The Boomerangs program aims to alleviate the stress Aboriginal families (particularly mothers and children) experience during the early years of raising children.
Target group: Aboriginal families
BoysTown's Graffiti Removal Social Enterprise program provides on-the-job training and paid employment opportunities for socially-excluded groups of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people living in social housing to improve their work readiness for the open labour market. (NOTE: BoysTown is now known as YourTown);
Target group: Indigenous young people (12-17 years)
BoysTown Social Enterprises invest heavily in a whole-of-community consultation approach to devise and deliver culturally appropriate responses to assist youth to gain employment or qualifications. (NOTE: BoysTown is now known as YourTown)
Target group: Indigenous young people (15-25 years)
Bubup Wilam is a childcare and parenting service that focuses on child and adolescent development (particularly cultural education) and their transitions through preschool, primary school and high school.
Target group: Indigenous children and young people (4-18 years), parents
The BTPS program is a therapeutic preschool home visiting service that provides counselling and education for families, parents and carers of children aged 3-5 years who are at risk of or have experienced child abuse. It aims to increase resilience in children and address symptoms of psychopathology and problematic behaviour following harm caused by child abuse.
Target group: Indigenous and non-Indigenous families, parents/carers of young children (3-5 years)
The aim of the program is to enhance and develop strong parent-child relationships, improve child health and development and parenting skills.
Target group: Indigenous women and families
The Centre provides a full range of primary health care, substance misuse and mental health services as part of a holistic approach to service delivery that is led and guided by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Target group: Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals
The Creative Arts Program aims to enhance the recovery process for children who have been sexually abused. The program uses creative arts classes as an adjunct to therapy.
Target group: Indigenous and non-Indigenous children and young people (4-18 years)
The Foundation delivers a range of school retention, employment and health and wellbeing programs exclusively for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people using a mentoring approach aimed at empowering and building the capacity of Aboriginal individuals, their families and their communities.
Target group: Indigenous young people
The DIDGE program aims to divert Aboriginal boys from pathways that would lead them to risky and criminal behaviour by instilling a stronger respect for, and connection to, culture through playing the didgeridoo and learning traditional stories and dances.
Target group: Indigenous boys and young men
The Diploma is delivered exclusively for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who want to gain a qualification in counselling and group work. It aims to reduce the educational disadvantage of Indigenous Australians by increasing the number of Indigenous counsellors with a professional counselling qualification who can work with their own communities and in mainstream services.
Target group: Indigenous people
The Early Reading program delivers literacy and numeracy education to children and young people that can be adapted for use across a wide range of contexts in safe and non-stigmatising settings. The aim is to improve literacy and numeracy outcomes for preschool and early school children and for children with specific learning needs.
Target group: Indigenous and non-Indigenous preschool and primary school children
The FAST NT program works with local schools and Indigenous communities in urban and remote Northern Territory locations with the aim to strengthen young families and improve children's engagement with school.
Target group: Indigenous families in vulnerable communities
This early learning program is delivered exclusively to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families with children from birth to school age. It aims to provide early literacy and numeracy foundations for young Indigenous children and improve school-readiness.
Target group: Indigenous families with young children (0-3 years)
The Family Wellbeing Empowerment Program (FWB) was delivered by two Aboriginal male community workers from the Central Coast NSW Medicare Local (now known as Central Coast Primary Care).
The Gippsland CommUNITY Walk was a once-off series of grassroots community actions that aimed to raise awareness and change attitudes among the local community towards family violence in Aboriginal communities.
Target group: Local community with a focus on service providers
This promising practice focuses on the use of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Liaison Officer positions to help promote the Helping Children with Autism Package in remote areas of Queensland.
Target group: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families living in remote areas
The Holding Children Together program is a therapeutic counselling service for Aboriginal children aged 5-12 years who have experienced interpersonal trauma, and to assist their families/carers in supporting the children to provide safety and relational stability in their recovery.
Target group: Indigenous children (5-12 years)
This mentoring program aims to support youth in contact with the juvenile justice system, lack family or support and/or who have been socially excluded from the community. Mentors provide guidance to young people in making effective choices for their future.
Target group: Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people
The Indigenous Parenting Support Service provides intensive family support for families with children who are at risk of abuse or neglect. It aims to build strong and supportive community networks for Aboriginal children and families.
Target group: Indigenous parents and families with children aged 0-12 years
The service uses culturally relevant approaches to deliver parenting programs, advice and support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents of children aged 0-12 years.
Target group: Indigenous parents
Kids, Cops and Karts is a program run by South Australia police that uses go-karting to engage disadvantaged, vulnerable and at-risk children and youth. It aims to teach children and young people respect, self-worth and discipline, while building enhanced relationships with local police.
Target group: Indigenous and non-Indigenous children and young people
LEAP provides legal advice, advocacy, representation and support to vulnerable women in prison with high and complex needs who are at risk of re-incarceration. It employs Indigenous staff in advocating for Indigenous women in the prison system while facilitating appropriate care arrangements for their children and families.
Target group: Indigenous and non-Indigenous women in the prison system
The Let’s Start Parent-Child Program works with parents to develop their strengths and capacities in managing their children’s behaviour. It focuses on supporting children’s social-emotional development during the period of transition to school (ages 4-7).
Target group: Indigenous parents
The Marumali Healing program provides advice and training to service providers on how to work effectively with Aboriginal people affected by intergenerational trauma.
Target group: Aboriginal people and services providers working with Aboriginal people
MoneyMob Talkabout aims to provide relevant and accessible financial education and counselling for Aboriginal people to increase financial literacy and prevent further financial crises. It aims to foster two-way learning, so that non-Aboriginal staff gain an understanding of Aboriginal culture in order to effectively communicate financial knowledge to communities.
Target group: Indigenous people in remote communities
The My Moola program provides culturally relevant and accessible financial education to Indigenous people in order to assist them in increasing their financial literacy. The program addresses the financial vulnerability of Indigenous Australians and attempts to contribute to improving individual, family and community wellbeing by building their financial capacity and resilience.
Target group: Indigenous individuals, families and communities
The Ngala Nanga Mai pARenT Group Program aims to improve the social connectedness of parents and families with Aboriginal children and improve their access to health and education services.
This program trains non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander early childhood educators to understand the relevance of culture and incorporate it into their daily teaching routine. The broader aim is to contribute to the healing process through a shared understanding.
Target group: Non-Indigenous early childhood educators
The "Not Just Kids Play" is a program model designed specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities. This model informs Playgroup Queensland's "Locational Supported Playgroups" and community capacity building services, where communities are assisted to establish their own playgroups.
Target group: Indigenous families
The Reaching Out team at Southern Health delivers paediatric services exclusively to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to provide cultural connections and intensive support for children aged 0-18 as well as pregnant women who require access to hospital treatment.
Target group: Indigenous children and young people (0-18 years), pregnant women
The program aims to improve outcomes for families and children by funding a suite of early childhood and other family support services. It aims to give the community a stronger 'voice' in the program, to strengthen support services and to coordinate delivery of culturally appropriate programs that are identified by the community.
Target group: Families with children (0-12 years)
This program provides services and support for parents and families with Indigenous children aged 0-19 years and to other community members in order to facilitate enhanced engagement with education providers and/or early learning services.
Target group: Indigenous children and young people (0-19 years)
The program provides child abuse prevention education with a focus on the prevention of exposure to pornography and cyber-abuse for children aged 2-17 years.
Target group: Community groups and services, local government agencies
Southern VACCA's supported playgroups are delivered exclusively to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families with children aged 0-5 years and other community members who take an interest in the safety and wellbeing of children. The playgroups are part of an integrated early intervention program that is delivered alongside a range of other VACCA services as part of a holistic approach to service delivery.
Target group: Indigenous families with children aged 0-5 years
This parental education program was part of an existing playgroup service, where Indigenous Elders involved children and families in various cultural activities and traditions, group excursions and community days.
Target group: Indigenous families with young children (0-5 years)
A range of integrated family services providing specialised programs for vulnerable and disadvantaged families. The programs address multiple needs and operate across communities, sectors and other common environments, such as education, health and early years settings.
Target group: Indigenous children, families and communities
Winangay provide training and capacity-building support through the development of specialist materials and assessment tools that are specifically designed for services and staff to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
Target group: Carers and staff working in the out-of-home-care, mental health and social support sectors
The program offers women exiting the prison system with a community mentor who provides social support and guidance in order to reduce the likelihood of reentering the criminal justice system.
Target group: Indigenous and non-Indigenous women
Wyndham Early Learning Activity Centre (WELA) is a multicultural family centre for parents or primary care givers to provide and facilitate early learning opportunities for their children. The aim is to encourage the promotion of children’s social, emotional, physical and cognitive development as well as providing a source of support for their parents and carers.
Target group: Indigenous and non-Indigenous parents/carers and children
This program is an intensive community self-support service delivered by the Malpa Project involving the whole community. It is delivered principally to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders but, where appropriate, also involves non-Indigenous young people.
Target group: Indigenous children (7-10 years)
A mentoring program that aims to build the capacity of young people to be connected to their culture and community. The approach is intended to produce future community leaders who can further facilitate community capacity building.