New guidelines promote activity, safety and community strengths to address Indigenous child injury
Collaborators from the Australian Health Services Research Institute, George Institute for Global Health, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, Kidsafe NSW, and the Australasian Injury Prevention Network are today (Friday 14 June 2019) releasing a NSW Health funded set of guidelines, ‘Active and Safe: Preventing Unintentional Injury to Aboriginal Children and Young People in NSW: Guidelines for Policy and Practice’.
The guidelines were developed from research undertaken in 2016 and bring together findings from a review of current literature, interviews, focus groups and a roundtable discussion with injury researchers, policy makers and practitioners and Aboriginal community members in NSW.
In the past 15 years the injury mortality rate for Aboriginal children in NSW has not changed while the rate for non-Aboriginal children has halved in the same time period. Australian and NSW data show rates of injury to Aboriginal children to be consistently higher than for non-Aboriginal children, with the mortality rate for Australian Indigenous children from injury-related causes almost five times higher and hospitalisation rates two times higher than the rate for non-Indigenous children.
The Active & Safe guidelines recognise that effective injury prevention among Aboriginal children requires a much better understanding of how to engage Aboriginal communities and involves many groups working collaboratively to ensure coordination, leadership and sustained commitment.
The guidelines are intended to assist a number of stakeholder groups working in Aboriginal child injury prevention including: Aboriginal community controlled organisations, non-government organisations; researchers and government policy makers.
“We need the government to work alongside and be guided by Aboriginal communities to build on community strengths and promote the resilience of Aboriginal children, families and communities in injury prevention,” said Keziah Bennett-Brook, report author and Executive Member of the Australasian Injury Prevention Network.
“The new guidelines have a strong focus on practical implementation and will be a valuable tool for policy makers, researchers and practitioners,” she said.
The guidelines were also developed and designed to complement the Australia edition of the Child Safety Good Practice Guide which provides practitioners, decision-makers, and legislators with an evidence-focused resource on which they can base their work, funding and recommendations.
The Active and Safe Guidelines are being released today to coincide with the launch of the Ngarruwan Ngadju: First Peoples Health and Wellbeing Research Centre located within the Australian Health Services Research Institute at the University of Wollongong and led by Professor Kathleen Clapham.