Potential of the family well being empowerment program as a core component of health and well being reform in Cape York communities

Haswell-Elkins, Melissa, Tsey, Komla, Gibson, Teresa, and McEwan, Alexandra (2008) Potential of the family well being empowerment program as a core component of health and well being reform in Cape York communities. Working Paper. James Cook University & University of Queensland, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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The Family Wellbeing (FWB) Program is an empowerment tool designed to address social and emotional wellbeing issues. Developed in 1993 in Adelaide by a group of Aboriginal leaders who were members of the stolen generation, the FWB Program intends to bolster individuals’ self-confidence and to promote acceptance of responsibility for family, work, and community life. The program sought to achieve these goals by developing their participants’ communication, problem solving, conflict resolution, and other general living abilities. The underlying principles of the FWB program are 1) all humans are capable of healing irrespective of their race, culture, and country, 2) human needs and values are universal, and 3) no matter how dire one's circumstances are, there are always choices that can be made. FWB assumes that an individual’s growing empowerment will have positive effects on themselves and people they interact with. Further, personal growth and empowerment is an ongoing process.

The Program has been utilised in a range of Aboriginal settings throughout Australia as a framework to engage communities, train Aboriginal people in SEWB issues and life skills, and/or as a change management tool. The skills developed in the FWB program are readily applicable to personal, organisational and community issues. In north Queensland, FWB was adapted and implemented as a two-step participatory action research program. In its first stage, the program focused on enhancing individual empowerment as a preparation for tackling broader structural and organisational issues. This stage involved 30 hours of structured personal development training workshops. The second stage of the program focused on addressing the issues raised in the personal development sessions and promoting the value and safety of group activities to resolve these issues. Completion of the program provides participants with a nationally accredited qualification.

Details about the implementation of the FWB program in its diverse range of settings have been meticulously documented since 1998 through collaborations with various organisations (see Appendix 1 and 2 for listing of partnerships, grants, publications and reports on the FWB and related initiatives). There is an increasing level of awareness about the value of this program for addressing SEWB issues and the demand for implementing this program across Australia is rising.

Item ID: 31408
Item Type: Report (Working Paper)
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Apunipima Cape York Health Council

Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2016 03:35
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 > 920301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Determinants of Health @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920208 Health Inequalities @ 50%
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