Clearinghouse recently commissioned a paper to address the issues regarding providing services to Indigenous Australian children that have suffered domestic violence in the home. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare joined up with the Australian Institute of Family Studies to implement the Clearinghouse.
Services intended to provide assistance to Indigenous Australian children are still in their infancy. These services are discussed in this paper in order to figure out where there are gaps and how to help do more in these communities. Many indigenous children grow up in safe communities but unfortunately some do not have safe communities or safe homes. The families and communities are often unable to help with dealing with past incidences of abuse as well as society issues such as displacement from Country and institutionalisation. In Indigenous populations, the Stolen Generations also represent a major cause of the trauma.
Indigenous children also have serious incidents occur in their lives such as the death of family members, family break up in addition to the violence that they may have experienced at home. Childhood trauma is a major case of negative effects in children with regard to mental health.
However some evidence is being shown that more aware Indigenous individuals are trying to help with healing and recovery efforts for these children that have experienced trauma and violence in the home so that they do not go on to have mental health issues later in life. A number of organisations have been set up to help children recover from these issues.
The first of these organisations is the The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation which is a healing program that is community-based and gains its support from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation. This organisation’s aim is to help Indigenous people recover emotionally especially those of the Stolen Generations, and to train individuals of the Indigenous community to delivery healing.
The next recovery initiative is the Renewal of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social and Emotional Wellbeing
Framework which is being lead by the The Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing and will be finalised in late 2013. The Social and Emotional Wellbeing Program will help to enhance service delivery to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities by increasing the ability to meet service demands and also develop new methods of delivering services to the community.
These services are general services while they are others that are specifically focused on treating trauma. The paper calls for an initiative to recognise that all services provided to Indigenous populations need to be trauma informed and that they must provide a specific framework or plan for helping individuals to recover from trauma. The document also includes a host of resources that are geared towards trauma treatment in the Indigenous population and aims to include as many of these services as possible.