Social Futures workers have outlined how to make family support services more culturally appropriate for First Nations participants at a key conference for not-for-profit organisations. Family Connect and Support Manager Fiona Halligan joined the (Acting) Manager Aboriginal Leadership and Engagement, Kylie Maunder, at the annual FAMS conference.
Social Futures workers have outlined how to make family support services more culturally appropriate for First Nations participants at a key conference for not-for-profit organisations.
Family Connect and Support Manager Fiona Halligan joined the (Acting) Manager Aboriginal Leadership and Engagement, Kylie Maunder, at the annual FAMS conference.
FAMS is the peak NSW body supporting non-government and not-for-profit community organisations supporting vulnerable children, young people, and families.
Kylie and Fiona spoke about how they had developed the ‘Working with Mob’ plan.
Kylie explained that the plan took into account the kinship and community systems of First Nations people, including cultural obligations, relationships, spirituality and protocols.
“The Working with Mob plan also acknowledges the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait local groups,” she said.
“The plan also encourages understanding of cultural sensitivities and how past events, legislation and policies have impacted First Nations people.
Fiona said the plan also guides workers to move away from clinical language.
“We are mindful that we are not asking First Nations families to change to fit into our programs, instead the emphasis is on us changing how we engage,” said Fiona.
“Our aim is to see situation from the family’s viewpoint – how the parent and the child see their circumstances.
“This will deepen our team’s understanding of culture and they will also feel more confident and comfortable working with First Nations families.”
Kylie said listening and building trust was vital.
“The next steps are to deliver support tailored to each family and with the family agree on goals that will lead to read change,” she said.
Fiona said the family workers also seek to meet First Nations families in places where they are comfortable.
“That may be parks or schools or community hubs or on Country and in places of cultural significance, again we will listen to what the family wants.”
“It’s also important to build relationships with the community, so we know when there is Sorry Business and other community events happening,” said Kylie.
“We also allow for staff with existing relationships to provide advice and on protocol, community events and potential red flags.
“This means we can be respectful towards community needs.”
Fiona said another priority was building strong relationships with First Nations-led organisations so as to offer First Nations families the best support.
The presentation was well received at the FAMS conference.
PHOTO Family Connect and Support Manager Fiona Halligan with the (Acting) Manager of Aboriginal Leadership and Engagement, Kylie Maunder.