Evaluation of an Aboriginal empowerment program

Tsey, Komla, and Every, Anne (2000) Evaluation of an Aboriginal empowerment program. Report. Menzies School of Health Research, Alice Springs, NT, Australia.

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[Extract] A Family WellBeing course was held in Alice Springs between March 1998 and April 1999 in response to increased suicides and attempted suicides among Aboriginal youth in Alice Springs and the surrounding region.

Family WellBeing is a personal empowerment course designed to assist people to take greater control over the conditions affecting their lives. It places particular emphasis on quality parenting and relationship skills. Developed by a group of Adelaide-based Aboriginal people, the course specifically aims to address the effects of settler colonization on the emotional health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians.

Philosophically, the Family WellBeing course is premised on the notion that all humans have basic physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs, the denial of any of which may result in behavioural problems. The course uses a range of learning techniques that assist participants to develop the skills required to ensure that their basic needs are met. Participants develop their ability to work their way out of unhealthy relationships (and other situations they consider unhealthy for themselves and those around them), and to form healthier relationships.

A nationally-accredited course that provides participants with formal qualifications in counselling each stage of the Family WellBeing course had high completion rates. These increased from 68% at stage 1, which began with 31 participants, to 100% at stage 4, which began with 12 participants. Most participants were: Aboriginal (more than 80% at each stage); women (nearly 90% at each stage); and employed (more than 70% overall), mainly in human services delivery including alcohol rehabilitation, youth work, mental health and education.

This evaluation used a range of methods, including a brief but critical literature review; participant observation, which involved the principal evaluator participating in the course; analysis of standard Family WellBeing course evaluation sheets completed by the course participants; and analysis of narratives, or storytelling, through which graduates reflected on the specific ways in which they had used Family WellBeing skills, knowledge and attitudes. The evaluation includes a discussion of the methodological challenges in this area of research.

Item ID: 30321
Item Type: Report (Report)
ISBN: 1-876831-06-5
Funders: National Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy Program for Parents (NYSPSPP), Menzies School of Health Research (MSHR), Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal and Tropical Health (CRCATH)
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2016 04:58
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920303 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Health System Performance (incl. Effectiveness of Interventions) @ 100%
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