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by Bowes J, Grace R
||Closing the Gap Clearinghouse
||Issues paper no 8
This publication provides a review of over 50 research reports focused on improving outcomes for Indigenous children in the early years.
The paper aimed to:
- bring together up-to-date information about the range of evaluated intervention programs for Indigenous children and their families
- to review research on the programs' effectiveness in bringing about positive change in the lives of Indigenous children and their families
- to access the quality of published or publicly available research and evaluation of early intervention programs.
The intent was to assist practitioners and policy makers in their choice of intervention programs for use in Indigenous communities.
The research found programs that involved active-skills education for parents and a culturally sensitive approach have positive outcomes for child behaviour. Further, community-embedded maternal and infant health programs delivered measurable improvements in mother's and babies health.
A key message from the research was that it was not only how a program was implemented but also what was delivered were equally important.
The paper also found that establishing a relationship with the community and running programs in a culturally safe environment were key strategies for program implementation. The research found that programs with positive outcomes had Indigenous workers involved and focused strongly on attracting and retaining Indigenous families.
Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract