Situation Analysis and Recommendations: Dampier Peninsula Indigenous Parenting Support Services

Save the Children, Australia

This report, published by Save the Children Australia, analyzes the situation of the parenting support services for Indigenous communities in the Dampier Peninsula of Australia. The paper provides some background information on the Dampier Peninsula and its inhabitants, who are predominantly Aboriginal people belonging to three major settlements and more than 50 family-based outstations. The paper also includes a literature review on the factors affecting optimal Aboriginal family functioning, an analysis of local survey data, the scope of existing programs and their limitations, and a description of the current visiting services provided by non-governmental agencies as well as other current and related services. The report also includes the feedback gathered from community consultations. The consultations were conducted by Local Area Coordinators (LACs) and Indigenous Engagement Officers to gather information from Council and community members about family and children’s issues and to identify the needs of the community.

Among the needs identified in these consultations were: assistance and support for new parents and mothers, training around parenting and health skills, sexual health education for youth, parenting education for mothers and fathers, and child health nurse visits. The report also discussed the community members’ views on the particular harms to their communities including widespread alcohol and drug use. The report concludes with recommendations - based on the data analysis, the literature review, existing services, and community consultations - for implementing a program to strengthen families, parenting, and early childhood support services. These recommendations include: enhancing service delivery by identifying target families and focusing on parents not children, adopting an action-research model in regards to engagement, providing staff skills training, engaging in collaborative work with other agencies and individuals in communities, expanding the scope of service, and working with fathers.

©Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services, and Indigenous Affairs