There is an urgent need for culturally appropriate ways of assessing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kinship carers for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children entering into out‐of‐home care in the Australian statutory child protection system. The Winangay Aboriginal Kinship Carer Assessment Tool (the Winangay Tool) has been developed to address this need. A key factor in the success of new ways of working is the fit of the new practice within the context in which it is introduced.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the social and cultural acceptability of the Winangay Tool to practitioners responsible for assessing kinship carers.
‘Evaluate[s] the social and cultural acceptability of the Winangay Kinship Carer Assessment Tool to practitioners responsible for assessing kinship carers’
A total of 84 practitioners completed a questionnaire prior to training and 83 practitioners completed a questionnaire on completion of training in the use of the Winangay Tool. Responses on questionnaires completed pre‐ and post‐training in the Winangay Tool suggest a high level of acceptability to practitioners. Both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non‐Aboriginal practitioners rated the Winangay Tool as culturally appropriate and acceptable overall, describing it as user‐friendly, collaborative and innovative.
The favourability of the Winangay Tool to practitioners compared to their existing approach to assessment suggests that it is likely to be well endorsed and implemented by practitioners completing kinship carer assessments.
Key Practitioner Messages
- Preserving and enhancing the cultural identity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in care is fundamental to their wellbeing.
- The Winangay Tool is designed to be a culturally appropriate method of assessment of Aboriginal kinship carers.
- Aboriginal and non‐Aboriginal assessors rate the Winangay Tool highly on cultural acceptability and see it as an improvement on existing mainstream approaches or tools.