Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Report finds most programs ineffective for Aboriginal children

24.11.2006
The largest survey ever undertaken of Aboriginal children and families has thrown new light on why most existing intervention programs are failing to produce results needed for overcoming the present levels of Indigenous disadvantage.

The finding is contained in the fourth volume of results from the Western Australian Aboriginal Child Health Survey, launched in Perth today.

The survey, undertaken by researchers at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, analysed data from more than 5000 children in 2000 families across Western Australia.

Chief Investigator Professor Steve Zubrick said the report "Strengthening the Capacity of Aboriginal Children, Families and Communities" unpacked the reasons why there had been little or no improvement in the health and well-being of Aboriginal children despite a large number of intervention programs.

"What these results clearly show is the successive failure of programs that are simply delivered too little, too late," Professor Zubrick said.

"The programs generally start too late in the child’s development, are delivered for only a short time and are often too broadly targeted to have sustainable impact.

"What's desperately needed is high quality, high frequency early intervention programs that directly increase the capacity of Aboriginal parents and others caring for children – teaching them how to prepare their very young children so that when they start at school, they are ready and able to match it with other children."

Professor Zubrick said that only an intense focus in the early years could begin to break the inter-generational cycle of disadvantage.

"There are just 1800 Aboriginal babies born in WA each year – that makes targeted ‘head-start’ programs to help them onto a strong path for life, a very practical and viable investment."

Associate Professor Colleen Hayward who heads the Institute's Indigenous study group, the Kulunga Research Network, said the survey showed that 60% of Aboriginal children were already significantly behind non-Aboriginal children by the time they started Year one.

"What this shows is that our children are very disadvantaged even before they start school – so action must be taken before they enter the formal education system," she said.

"Aboriginal parents, like all parents, want the best for their children. However many Aboriginal parents have not had a positive experience of early education themselves, so they need support in building the skills to help their children learn effectively.

"We know that early experiences, particularly stress, can affect brain development, so it's critical that we get it right for children from the very start of their lives."

The survey also found that:

24% of Aboriginal children have significant emotional and behaviour programs
16% live in poor quality housing
60% are below average academically by Yr 1
Aboriginal children live in families where:
28% have teenaged mums
31% are in sole parent families
20% of teens are not living with either parent
there is four times the levels of extreme stress
Professor Zubrick said it was unacceptable that on the United Nations Index of Human Development, which reflects aspects such as life expectancy, literacy and standard of living, Aboriginal Australians were ranked at 103 compared with Australia’s overall population which is ranked number four.

"Indigenous people in Canada, the US and New Zealand are all faring better than our Aboriginal people – that tells us we can and must take urgent action," he said

Assoc Professor Hayward said the effects of disadvantage were being passed down the generations.

"What's happening is that the Aboriginal adults who are caring for the children are burdened with an enormous number of factors that affect their ability to raise the children," she said.

"There are three adults to every child in the non-Aboriginal population, but in Aboriginal communities there is only one adult per child – and many of those are very young, or constrained by ill-health, high stress and low education levels.

"There is much talk about community development – but that can't happen until there is support and development for the individuals within those communities."

The report makes 23 recommendations to address a broad range of issues including housing, financial strain, stress and how to boost capability within the Aboriginal community.

Tammy Gibbs | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ichr.uwa.edu.au

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

Im Focus: New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater

Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions

It's possible to produce hydrogen to power fuel cells by extracting the gas from seawater, but the electricity required to do it makes the process costly. UCF...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study suggests oysters offer hot spot for reducing nutrient pollution

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

17.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

World first for reading digitally encoded synthetic molecules

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>