Evaluation of the Bringing them home and Indigenous mental health programs
11.3.7 Provide additional funding for complementary programs
In order to make the Link-Up and BTH Programs operate more effectively, it would be beneficial to have three additional programs funded: a national Aboriginal SEWB program; the Innovative Grants Program; and funding for Stolen Generations groups. As discussed in Chapter 7 all OATSIH-funded programs are also eligible to apply to OATSIH for Enhancement and Expansion funding, and funding under the Quality Improvement initiatives under the SDRF.
A national Aboriginal SEWB programThere is a clear need to significantly increase the general SEWB services available to Aboriginal people, particularly through ACCHSs. OATSIH could fund additional, ear-marked positions in these services for this purpose. Alternatively, a separate national Aboriginal SEWB program could be established to provide general SEWB services to the whole community. This program would work closely with the BTH Counsellors to ensure effective referral as required and that the BTH Counsellors focus on Stolen Generations clients only. This would assist the BTH services to focus better on their core business, and address the considerable unmet need for such services in the Aboriginal community.
This program would need to be aligned with the National Framework (SEWB).
Innovative Grants ProgramOATSIH could re-establish the Innovative Grants Program which it administered between 2001-2002 and 2003-2004. This program supported small one-off innovative projects that aimed to address the needs of those affected by the forced removal of children from their families. Priority should be given to projects which complement the work of Link-Up and BTH services and meet the needs of first generation Stolen Generations members eg back-to-country reunions, activities conducted in collaboration with Stolen Generations groups etc.
Funding for Stolen Generations groupsIt was apparent from the consultations for this evaluation that:
- Stolen Generations groups play an important role in identifying, bringing together and emotionally supporting members of the Stolen Generations, especially first generation members.
- In areas where these groups are absent, it is much harder for services and others to identify members and target them for service delivery. For example, it was apparent that it was not possible to find efficient mechanisms to bring Stolen Generations members together for research consultations in the absence of such groups.
Funding could also be provided to assist Stolen Generations organisations to participate in regular Regional Committee meetings (see above), and establish specialist advisory committees relating to trauma and grief (with representatives with mental health expertise, Elders etc), to provide advice to Link-Up and BTH services. The recently established Victorian Stolen Generations organisation conducts both these activities.