In this section
The Centre for Community Child Health is supporting several communities across Victoria to improve Maternal and Child Health services to Aboriginal families.
Commissioned by the Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET), the Centre will evaluate the Aboriginal Maternal and Child Health Initiative (AMCHI) in nine sites across Victoria.
Aboriginal families access the Maternal and Child Health Services at a lower rate compared to non-Aboriginal families — 2014/15 data indicates a gap that increases from 4.8 per cent at the initial home visit to 18 per cent at the eight month consultation. The AMCHI funding package aims to reduce this gap and deliver more culturally responsive and high quality Maternal and Child Health services.
DET is providing one-off grants to local governments, Aboriginal Community-Controlled Organisations and through integrated partnerships, to trial the AMCHI service model across Victoria.
The AMCHI model comprises five service
principles which support the delivery of a high quality,
culturally safe MCH Service to Aboriginal families:
The Centre is working with the nine successful sites — City of Darebin (in partnership with VACCA), Latrobe City Council (in partnership with Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation), Mallee District Aboriginal Services - Swan Hill, Njernda Aboriginal Corporation, Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative, Gunditjmara Aboriginal Co-operative (in partnership with Warrnambool City Council), Wyndham City Council (in partnership with VACCA), City of Whittlesea and Mitchell Shire Council — to evaluate a range of strategies tailored to each local community. These may include employing Aboriginal health workers, increased coordination between organisations, improving referral processes, and access to outreach services.
The evaluation aims to understand what is working well, why, and to what extent the AMCHI trial improved Aboriginal families’ participation and experience of the MCH service. The project will hear from staff, families, and community members in an effort to identify activities and processes that could be used in other locations in the future.
For more information visit Aboriginal MCH Initiative or contact Catriona Elek.
The Centre for Community Child Health is a department of The Royal Children’s Hospital and a research group of Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.