The Let’s Start project was initially funded by the Commonwealth government with funding for an extension of the project provided by the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health (CRCAH), and carried over to the first year of CRC for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and the Lowitja Institute. The CRC funding was critical in the implementation of the project and extension from the initial two remote communities participating in the project to the current eight communities on the Tiwi Islands and in the Vic Daly Shire. The expansion project also enabled full redevelopment and adaptation of the original approach to ensure its suitability and effectiveness for Indigenous people in diverse language and community contexts.
The Let’s Start Parent-Child program is a targeted group parenting program to help parents and children deal with emotional and behavioural challenges. It is an evidence-based approach to early intervention specifically developed for Aboriginal children and families. It has an integrated focus on child development, early learning and parenting and particularly on maternal and child wellbeing. Let’s Start works with parents to develop their strengths and capacities through engagement with their children in collaborative play and learning.
Based on the initial investment in research and development by CRCAH, the project team is trying to implement the program in the Torres Strait and more Northern Territory communities including and Maningrida. To achieve this, training materials and resources to enable health services, community schools and childcare services require consolidation.
This project produced resources to support the Let's Start implementation:
- A manual and videos for the Let's Start Program and the Let's Start interactive workshops
- Training resources for Let's Start mentors and supervisors providing training for community organisations
- Videos of practice scenarios for training of mentors and Indigenous community-based group leaders