This paper describes and evaluates the process, impacts and outcomes of an Aboriginal Family and Community Healing (AFCH) Program based in metropolitan Adelaide, South Australia. The evaluation used participatory action oriented methodology, mixed methods and multiple data sources. The AFCH comprised complex and dynamic activities for Aboriginal men, women and youth built around community engagement, and hosted by the regional primary health care Aboriginal outreach service. The AFCH Program was designed to develop effective responses to family violence that took into account the complexities within Aboriginal families and communities. The evaluation identified strengths of the program including: evidence-based design, holistic approach, clinical focus, committed staff, intersectoral linkages, peer support, mentoring, Aboriginal cultural focus, strategic partnerships and creative use of resources. Clients and workers were unanimous in their enthusiastic support for the program; their stories highlight beneficial impacts on Aboriginal clients, families and community. Other services may be able to adapt strategies from this AFCH to address the needs of their Aboriginal communities.
Authors: Inge Kowanko, Terry Stewart, Charmaine Power, Rosalie Fraser, Ida Love and Trevor Bromley.