Children’s Ground: Evidencing system and service reform led by First Nations families

Children’s Ground: Evidencing system and service reform led by First Nations families
Wednesday 25 July, 1130 – 1210

Abstract
This symposium will present two papers that demonstrate how “what works and matters for Aboriginal families” is being identified by families, is informing service design by families and is being implemented and evaluated by families.
Children’s Ground (CG) is delivering a 25-year, comprehensive, evidence-informed strategy for service systems reform, with Aboriginal families and the community making the decisions, delivering and evaluating the system.
CG systems reform is delivered as a platform of prevention that integrates culture, early childhood and primary learning, health promotion, social/emotional wellbeing, environmental health, employment and community empowerment.
Presented by Aboriginal and Western CG staff, the first presentation will demonstrate how CG is designing and evidencing systems reform that is engaging families who current services are unable to reach. It will also show how CG is disrupting the status quo by privileging Aboriginal culture and backing families as the decision-makers and leaders of their own solutions.
The second presentation will describe how, when given voice and opportunity, Aboriginal people have developed an early childhood Arrernte (culture/language) curriculum and are teaching their children the way they know will make the difference — children are taught by Aboriginal and Western educators, in their first language, on their country and by their family and cultural teachers — a right rarely afforded in mainstream services.
Each presentation includes evidence from the participatory action research longitudinal evaluation that demonstrates how the CG system reform is engaging children and families who have been systematically excluded from mainstream learning, health, wellbeing, employment and social services.