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Support services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families

2-minute read

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families may need to reach out to support services to help them through tough times and family issues.

You can talk to family support services about:

Family health services and community organisations provide support to families and children by offering:

  • nutrition and dietary advice
  • sexual health education
  • literacy support
  • money management training
  • cultural activities and play groups

There are also special support services for separated families.

Child abuse and neglect

Family support services also provide support when there has been child neglect or child abuse. Child abuse can include one or more of the following:

  • physical abuse
  • emotional maltreatment
  • neglect
  • sexual abuse
  • witnessing family violence

Stopping child abuse and neglect is important because they make it hard for a child to grow up happy and healthy. Problems in childhood can lead to problems in adult life like drug or alcohol addiction, crime, poor health, troubles landing a job, depression and suicide.

If you’re worried about children being abused or neglected, you can report them, anonymously if you want. Talk to your doctor, nurse or health worker about how.

When caring for children who have been neglected or abused, it is important to know that with the right care and attention, children can heal. Health and family support services can help build strong and healthy behaviours of children and their parents with:

  • parent education programs
  • treatment for postnatal depression and mental illness
  • support for young and single parents on building strong relationships with their children
  • offering social activities such as community toy libraries and play groups
  • referrals to family counselling services

If you’re worried about the health and wellbeing of family and other community members, you can talk it over with the health clinic. You might get some useful advice on how to support families going through a crisis.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: August 2019


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