Aboriginal Injury Prevention and Safety Demonstration Grants Program

Aboriginal Injury Prevention and Safety Demonstration Grants Program

NSW Health

Duration: December 2013 – June 2015

Background

The Aboriginal Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Demonstration Grants Program was established by NSW Health to improve the well-being of Aboriginal people in NSW by funding promising, evidence-informed intervention projects that aim to prevent the occurrence of injury; and to build knowledge, through evaluation of demonstration projects, about effective approaches for reducing injury in Aboriginal populations. CHSD researchers received funding to evaluate the Illawarra Aboriginal Medical Service (IAMS) Safe Homes Safe Kids program, a home visiting model of early intervention as an injury prevention program for Aboriginal children aged 0-5 and their families.

What we did

The program which has been operating since 2005 focuses on families with new babies, first time parents and teenage parents and is part of the holistic health service offered by the IAMS. Aboriginal family workers conduct home visits and provide intensive family assistance to vulnerable at-risk families utilising a locally produced safety promotion package. The 18-month evaluation of the program provided an opportunity to determine its effectiveness in reducing and preventing child injury.

The evaluation included processes, impact and outcomes components. A program logic model and evaluation framework was developed in collaboration with the IAMS Aboriginal family workers. A targeted literature review on Aboriginal child injury was completed and service mapping of the regional network of relevant child and family sector referral agencies undertaken. Program data was collected in addition to qualitative data from nine semi-structured interviews with IAMS staff, eleven semi-structured interviews with external stakeholder organisations and nine clients. All data was uploaded to NVivo software and framework analysis applied to the interview data.

The evaluation found that the Program addresses an important need for a safety education program delivered by Aboriginal family workers for vulnerable families. Clients expressed a high degree of satisfaction with the family workers’ delivery of the program and the holistic model of service provision offered by the IAMS. Improvements were recorded for each of the main participant groups in line with the expected outcomes in the logic model. Key results included: increased engagement in safety programs; Improved child safety knowledge (parents/carers, children, family workers); improved child safety skills (parents/carers, family worker); increased accessibility for parents/carers, children and families to services; improved attitudes to home and community safety. Parents/carers reported child injuries being prevented and changes in the home environment were observed. Limitations include the small number of clients and the primarily qualitative nature of the evaluation. The evaluation provided opportunities for capacity building in injury prevention, research and evaluation for the Aboriginal family workers. The IAMS ‘Safe homes Safe kids’ program offers a promising program for addressing complex family issues in urban areas.

Evaluation results demonstrate that the Program clearly addresses an important need for a safety education program delivered by Aboriginal family workers for vulnerable families. Clients expressed a high degree of satisfaction with the family workers’ delivery of the program and the holistic model of service provision offered by the IAMS. Improvements were recorded for each of the main participant groups in line with the expected outcomes in the logic model. Key results were: increased engagement in safety programs; Improved child safety knowledge (parents/carers, children, family workers); improved child safety skills (parents/carers, family worker); increased accessibility for parents/carers, children and families to services; improved attitudes to home and community safety.

Last reviewed: 26 February, 2016

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