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The Returning Home Back to Community from Custodial Care (RHCCC) pilot project was designed to build an improved understanding of the most appropriate model of care that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women can expect from community-based service providers who are focused on improving their health outcomes, especially those related to mental health. In addition, the evaluation team was asked to identify the best approach in primary health care service delivery to enable improved transition arrangements for this client group; and learnings that can lead to developing a model of care arrangement for the wider cohort of post-custodial care clients.

In order to support and add value to this important project, the Muru Marri evaluation team undertook a series of related activities. A literature and program review examined existing evidence. Communication and learning was supported across all three sites stimulated through an initial face-to-face meeting, progress report teleconferences and two information-sharing Newsletters. In each setting, the evaluation team in some cases supported, and in all cases documented, the project’s efforts through case studies using data collected through in depth interviews with teams and key stakeholders as relevant. A cross case analysis of the case studies highlighted diversities across settings and experience, identifying key barriers and enablers at structural and organizational levels, and examining the rich array of program learnings and activities developed by the teams. The final activity, articulated in this report, was a metasynthesis, utilising an Aboriginal framework, Ngaa-bi-nya, to integrate learnings from all the activities to create a culturally-informed evaluation framework capable of assisting program planning, monitoring progress and evaluation program quality, impacts and outcomes.

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