The CNAHS Aboriginal Family and Community Healing Program has been recognised externally by experts in the field for its excellence, innovation and success. It addresses family violence by building community capacity to support safe families. It comprises a complex and dynamic set of group activities for Aboriginal women, men and youth.
The Program was developed and delivered by Terry Stewart and colleagues through the CNAHS regional Aboriginal health team and externally evaluated using a participatory action research approach. Its strengths include an evidence-based design, holistic approach, clinical focus, committed staff, inter-sectoral linkages, peer support, mentoring, and Aboriginal cultural focus.
Clients and workers overwhelmingly support the Program, and their stories illustrate its beneficial impacts on wellbeing of clients, families and the community, and increased capacity of services and workforce to address family violence effectively. The Program is clearly a successful model for family and community healing. Appropriate resources to sustain these benefits are recommended.