Empowering Aboriginal families in parenting: Jandu Yani U ‘For All Families’

Empowering Aboriginal families in parenting: Jandu Yani U ‘For All Families’ Conference Paper

14th National Rural Health Conference: A World of Rural Health

  • Author(s): McIlduff, C, Ridley, C
  • Secondary Author(s): Coleman, Leanne
  • Published: 2017
  • Publisher: National Rural Health Alliance

Abstract: During the population-based (Lililwan) study of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) prevalence in the remote communities of the Fitzroy Valley in Western Australia, families and teachers reported challenging child behaviours as a major problem for all children. In response, Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre initiated a partnership with clinician-researchers to bring the Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) to the Valley. In other Australian Aboriginal communities Triple P has been found to be effective for increasing carer confidence and parenting skills resulting in improved child behaviour. In April 2016, a workshop was held in Fitzroy Crossing with the local Advisory Group to ensure community understanding and consent for the program. The group selected Triple P level 4, which includes all 17 core parenting skills and an additional 7 skills relevant to children with complex needs. This was based on recognition of the complexities of family life in the Valley, similar to those in other remote communities. With the imperative to building community capacity, 20 women (18 residents, 12 Aboriginal, from 10 local organizations) were trained in July 2016 by an Aboriginal implementation consultant and a trainer with experience in diverse Aboriginal communities. Following weekly support, consultation and team-building with 18 local trainees, all were accredited as “Parent Coaches” in August 2016. Training and accreditation provided a safe space for women to share past historical trauma and parenting experiences and reflect on how they have impacted their own parenting skills. Parent Coaches are very motivated to share their skills: 3 parent groups have commenced and 2 parents have completed the program. Feedback from trainees is excellent. One Parent Coach wrote: ‘…I’m glad we’ve been taught the Positive Parenting Way I can’t wait to tell my countrymen and hear what they got to say. I hope they feel like I do and practice it everyday ‘Cause it makes you feel real deadly when bringing up kids this way….’ One employer of a Parent Coach acknowledged the program empowered women and built self-esteem, stating: ‘This training and support has been the making of her.’ The strategy of engagement through extensive consultation; gaining support of key Aboriginal community organisations; collaboration; and the provision of ongoing trainee support by an experienced Triple P Practitioner has been essential for the successful implementation of the program. An approach that ensures that Aboriginal communities are equal partners in program delivery and evaluation is imperative for efficacy, engagement and sustainability of programs.

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Suggested Citation
McIlduff, C, Ridley, C, 2017, Empowering Aboriginal families in parenting: Jandu Yani U ‘For All Families’, Conference Paper, viewed 22 November 2019, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=12134.

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