Launch of the National Framework for Health Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Families

The National Framework for Health Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Families will help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to get a better start in life.

Page last updated: 14 December 2016

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14 December 2016

The National Framework for Health Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Families will help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to get a better start in life. It provides a guide for culturally appropriate maternal health care, pregnancy care and early childhood – setting children and families up for better health throughout their lives.

Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Ken Wyatt AM, MP today launched the new Framework, which is part of the Implementation Plan for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023.

“This work was developed in collaboration with community leaders and a cultural advisory group. We also have consulted widely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across the country, listening to what they need, so we can deliver the services that they require in the way that best suits different communities,” said Assistant Minister Wyatt.

“We needed to ensure this Framework spells out how to provide the right care at the most critical time of life for our children - from pre-conception and maternity care services through to eight years of age and the family unit that supports those children,” he said.

The focus of the Framework is on bringing a more holistic approach to health and wellbeing that draws on the strengths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures to inform how high quality, evidence-based child and family health services are delivered.

“Closing the Gap is a number one priority for the Government, and we know that the most successful programs, the ones achieving outcomes, are those developed and driven by the community themselves,” said the Assistant Minister.

“Providing the right care from the very beginning, from the health of mothers before they conceive, to caring, supportive and appropriate care through pregnancy, to postnatal care, and through to the early days of school – this Framework is about ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families have the services, and information they need to set children up for better health outcomes for the rest of their lives.”

The Framework will be embedded at the Commonwealth level in Funding Agreements, raising awareness through Aboriginal Health Partnership forums and including the principles in our policy design and program implementation. For example, the Department of Education and Training has agreed to incorporate the Framework into the implementation of Connected Beginnings, building the same principles and shared vision for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s health across disciplines and jurisdictions.

“The social and cultural determinants of health are one of our key priorities in Closing the Gap, and this means addressing the range of factors that impact on health, such as racism, cultural exclusion and economic status,” said Assistant Minister Wyatt.

“The holistic and consultative approach is the way forward.”

The Framework was endorsed by the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council in August 2016.


For more information, contact the Minister's Office on 02 6277 4707

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