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Based on the Circle of security and Marte meo programs, the Boomerangs parenting program uses culturally appropriate activities to strengthen and improve the caregiving capacity of Indigenous parents with the view of fostering positive social-emotional child development. Targeting Indigenous families who are experiencing familial discord, the program adopts an early intervention approach seeking to circumvent the incidence of a range of problems including mental health disorders, future drug and alcohol misuse, and domestic violence.
The program content is based on the theory of attachment and includes a combination of parent interviews, video-taping, information sessions, and camps. The inclusion of the video is to improve and strengthen the parents' caregiving capacity through observation and the information sessions seek to enhance the parents' knowledge on brain development and attachment.
Forming an integral component of the program is the inclusion of culturally appropriate therapies and activities. The family camps are an example of this, being a traditional method for bringing families together. The camps provide a safe and nurturing environment for the Indigenous parents to reconnect with themselves and with their children. Various activities are undertaken during the camps such as: parent/child/infant interaction guidance; family games; fathering business; mothering business; and self-care.
The Boomerangs parenting program is delivered over 12 weeks and can accommodate up to six families at once. There is no cost to the families participating in the program.
Abstract adapted from Australian Resource Centre for Healthcare Innovations (ARCHI)
Aboriginal Health, Sydney South West Area Health Service
Ph: (02) 9828 6941