Learning from Central Australian Aboriginal women’s experiences: Reflections on participation in the CAAC Family Partnership Program in Alice Springs

This project evaluated the perception of Aboriginal women’s experiences as participants of the CAAC Family Partnership Program (FPP) in Alice Springs. The evaluation aimed to add to the knowledge and evidence base of what Aboriginal women consider is an effective program and improve the capacity of the FPP and ultimately improve the health outcomes for Aboriginal women and children.

The project addressed the importance of gathering, exploring and analysing the expressed views, perspectives and opinions of the women utilising or withdrawing from the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (CAAC) Family Partnership Program (FPP). Feedback about the FPP from the clients interviewed during the evaluation was very positive, especially about the education and support role played by the nurse home visitors.

Some key findings included:

  • Women engaged in the program to be ‘a better mum’
  • A strong relationship between mothers and home visitor nurse was highly rated because that allowed mums to discuss personal issues
  • Mums’ knowledge and skills improved through advice from nurses on breastfeeding, child development, nutrition and goal setting
  • Retention of clients was identified as one of the big challenges of the program.

The evaluation has led to a full audit and actions to improve the program, along with further monitoring, and evaluation with the University of South Australia.

For further information contact Central Australian Aboriginal Congress at research@caac.org.au

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