Strengthening Aboriginal family functioning: What works and why?

Families Aboriginal Australians Australia

There is widespread recognition that strong family relationships and good family functioning are essential for individual, family and community wellbeing, as well as providing long-term benefits to broader society. This is certainly also true in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, although there are considerable differences in the structures of Aboriginal families and their functional dynamics. Despite the importance of good functioning, there remains a limited evidence base to describe how well Aboriginal families function or the factors that support family harmony or contribute to dysfunction. This paper discusses the contemporary evidence base, including case studies of programs that work, to provide insights into the protective effects and risks that influence forms of functioning among Aboriginal families.

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