Edith Cowan University
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Psychology and Social Science
We assessed the activities / events run by the Indigenous Parenting Support (IPS) program in the Dampier Peninsula, from July – December 2013. We evaluated their impact against the Communities for Children – IPS Program Guideline Deliverables, and include the strengths, challenges, and recommendations for each deliverable; along with our general observations and recommendations, and recommendations for activities and methods for the first 6 months of 2014.
- Continue with Current Activities: The IPS has overcome major risks and engaged the communities in a range of community bound diverse activities. We observed a diverse range of activities which have had a positive impact on communities and met primary guideline deliverables and increased positive family functioning.
- Early Years and Parenting: IPS activities should increasingly target early intervention approaches particularly through the new Family and Early Learning Centre (FELC). The FELC is a key hub for the IPS to focus on the early years alongside parenting and, perhaps, a space for the development of Deliverable 5.
- Elders and Traditional Learning: We strongly recommend the increased inclusion of Elders in activities and events. In particular, continue to include the traditional activities we observed in several events over the past 6 months which build child development, family functioning, and creating safe environments; in culturally appropriate ways.
- Engagement with Schools: The IPS has been increasingly involved with schools and is well placed to build on recent Commonwealth discourses of having parents involved in school attendance and early intervention for school readiness.
- Continue to Support Local Workers: We recommend that the IPS continue with programs/activities focused on empowering the local workers; to ensure that they have both short and long term support, in light of the dynamic nature of their roles.
- Utilise the Evaluation Defined Reporting Template: To ensure that the evaluation team has access to as much information as possible, we recommend the use of our evaluation defined reporting template (Appendix B) and have set a plan for methods of evaluation for the next 6 months.
- Work to Secure Funding to Build on Investment: The IPS must work to secure adequate funding to continue its aspirations and build on the momentum, dedication, and investments made by the workers, community members, partner agencies, and Save the Children and maintain current activities on a regular basis; maintaining trust with communities and avoiding any loss of trust that withdrawal from the community might invoke.