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Integrated services for Aboriginal children and families

  • Year: 2013
  • Author: Libby Lee-Hammond
  • Journal Name: Australasian Journal of Early Childhood
  • Journal Number: Vol. 38 No. 1
  • Publisher: Early Childhood Australia
  • Published Location: Deakin West, A.C.T.
  • ISBN: 1836-9391
  • Country: Australia
  • State/Region: Western Australia

This paper discusses an empirical research study based on a community consultation process for the development of an integrated children and families centre. Conducted in Western Australia in 2009, the consultation was designed specifically for the Noongar Aboriginal community, drawing on Indigenous research methods and sociocultural theory. The paper discusses the study's findings, considers its Australian policy and international contexts, and explores challenges to providing integrated child and family services for Aboriginal families. It identifies key elements of successful service delivery and highlights the significance of consultation and collaboration in developing culturally appropriate services. The paper concludes that the widely recognised need to 'close the gap' in Indigenous health and education services is not being met with sufficient funding, and notes the ever-widening gap between purported policy imperatives and the process of addressing inequalities.

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