This is the third and final in a series of Family Wellbeing participatory action research (PAR) evaluation reports prepared by Apunipima Cape York Health Council over the past 5 years. The present evaluation confirms previous FWB evaluation findings across a range of settings and other evidence that the process of empowerment is lengthy, taking years to achieve change beyond the individual level. It also highlights the process of initial engagement and personal capacity development which enhances individual social and emotional wellbeing.
This provides a critical foundation for achieving a healthier life. Many health promotion programs overlook this phase, assuming a level of personal strength and capacity which may not exist in communities such as Cape York experiencing relative powerlessness and social and economic marginalisation due to many things including government policy but specifically those social determinants that impact on health and the destructive effects of alcohol.
The FWB program is being increasingly incorporated into a range of health interventions across northern Australia. These include: mental health, schools health promotion, alcohol and prevention and rehabilitation, workforce empowerment, diversionary and rehabilitation for men entering the criminal justice system as alternative to imprisonment, rehabilitation within prison, reducing family violence, leadership and governance, Job Preparedness and Welfare Reform, and Self-care in Chronic Disease management. Although these are diverse areas of interest, they all share common core components in the need for people to gain greater control over their lives and situations and skills to make and sustain healthier lives.