NACCHO Aboriginal Childrens Heath : Ngaoara set to improve child and adolescent wellbeing

ngiare

We believe that repeated traumatic experiences in childhood – including exposure to violence, abuse, removal, neglect – contribute to a significant proportion of the disparities in morbidity and mortality experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. But we can do something about it.”

“We want to end violence against children.

There is no greater privilege than a child. Our children may be our future, but they are also our present and our most sacred responsibility “

Senior Aboriginal clinician and researcher, Professor Ngiare Brown.

A passion to improve Aboriginal child and adolescent wellbeing is the key driving force behind the launch of Ngaoara, a not-for-profit recently established by senior Aboriginal clinician and researcher, Professor Ngiare Brown.

Ngaoara is committed to supporting Aboriginal communities, organisations and service providers to develop and deliver child centric, trauma informed and whole of community responses to complex social issues, and to work to eliminate violence against children.

“Whilst there is a growing rhetoric around trauma and trauma informed care, there are too few Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations supported to lead the discussion, or deliver tangible responses,” says Ngaoara Founding Director, Professor Ngiare Brown.

Statistics confirm that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and adolescents continue to experience higher rates of poor health, community violence, removal and incarceration than other Australian children. Ngaoara was established to help stop these trends.

See NACCHO TV for recent interview with Dr Ngiare Brown when she worked at Winnunga

“We know that adverse exposures during childhood can significantly affect how our children grow up, and can significantly impact outcomes across the life course – from bonding and attachment; emotional and behavioural regulation; learning; and social engagement and interpersonal skills; through to school performance; risk taking behaviours and chronic disease (including cancers, heart disease and mental health issues).”

“We believe that repeated traumatic experiences in childhood – including exposure to violence, abuse, removal, neglect – contribute to a significant proportion of the disparities in morbidity and mortality experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. But we can do something about it.”

“We want to end violence against children. We find that the conversations about family violence are usually focused on adults, with the voice of children being largely absent from discussions. Ngaoara’s focus is on Aboriginal children and adolescents and prioritising support for their social, cultural and clinical needs.”

“Ngaoara is willing to provide a platform whereby we can give voice to the very difficult conversations and not be afraid to talk about the hard issues when it comes to childhood wellbeing. We want all of our children to know what it is to grow up being loved and valued unconditionally.

“Utilising strength based approaches, Ngaoara aims to connect and reconnect our children and young people with their culture in order to promote a positive sense of self and identity, build resilience, and improve outcomes for health, education and social participation,” says Professor Brown.

Ngaoara was established in 2015, and in 2016 was successful in receiving Department of Health seed funding to begin work on the Trauma Assessment, Referral and Recovery Outreach Teams (TARROT) project, a ‘lighthouse’ initiative currently being modelled in the ACT, northern NSW, and SA/NT. The TARROT modelling involves establishing multidisciplinary in-reach and outreach teams to provide primary care, allied health and specialist services, and intensive case management to children and their families through local schools and Aboriginal Health Services.

“The Ngaoara team is working in partnership with community members and service providers to build locally responsive, child centric programs with the support of qualified specialists, and the TARROT project has been developed to provide more timely access to specialist teams with expertise in trauma; to provide children and carers with individualized care and support plans; and to develop whole of community wellbeing partnerships to manage the impacts of trauma.

“We aim to be able to translate best research into best practice. We also hope that over time the TARROT modeling activities will help build the evidence base for clinical, social and cultural best practice approaches for at risk children and their families, and be better placed to inform policy, resourcing and service delivery decision-making.”

“There is no greater privilege than a child. Our children may be our future, but they are also our present and our most sacred responsibility.”

For more information on Ngaoara and its programs, visit www.ngaoara.org.au.

You can also sign up to the Ngaoara newsletter.

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