A number of initiatives are currently in place across the Fitzroy Valley to respond to the increased understandings and knowledge resulting from what we learnt in the Lililwan prevalence study as well as subsequent professional learning and research conducted in the Fitzroy Valley.
Community led research means that we listen to community members and identify priorities through the community consultations, feedback and lived experiences of families responding to complex needs to inform the way we work.
Community leaders raised concerns about the children in the Lililwan research and wanted us to look at where they were now, what were protective factors and strengths and what challenges are they facing 10 years in from the original study. Some adolescents from the Lililwan cohort are doing well despite difficulties in early childhood. However, others are struggling with poor health and educational outcomes reported incidence of self-harm and suicidal ideation, substance use and contact with juvenile justice. Leaders want to identify supports, what helped in early childhood, what are their needs now and how can we ensure a trajectory to a happy and healthy adolescence. Also, what supports are needed to help them transition into adult life.
Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre (MWRC) partnered with University of Sydney researchers to follow-up the Lililwan cohort at age 17-18 years, ten years after the Lililwan Project. The community have called this project The Bigiswun Kid Project (Bigiswun Kid means “adolescent” in Kimberley Kriol).
The overarching aim is to identify the needs and build knowledge to improve the health and wellbeing of adolescents in the Fitzroy Valley and honour the families that participated in the original study by understanding the changing needs and advocating for appropriate services.
We are committed to ensuring the information gained from parents, carers and the young people themselves who contribute to the Bigiswun Kid research informs services, shapes how we work in the Valley and highlights positive outcomes as well as gaps that we need to create a tailored solution.
Marurra_U means to embrace with love and care. Though our plans were disrupted by boarder closures, we were able to continue delivering capacity building sessions and one-on-one therapy sessions into Yiyili school and are currently finalising an evaluation on the use of telecare into a remote community school. We were also able to continue our work with a visit by the team in the brief period our boarders were open and worked directly with families in Valley communities.
Jandu Yani U for all families
Early Childhood Support (ECS)
A partnership with Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Service (KAMS). This partnership has allowed our team to focus on early intervention and provided direct supports to families early so that they can connect with services and access allied health supports in the early years of a child's development, often before the area of concern is really recognised. We work in a supportive way with families and supports are really appreciated. This is a new program but is having positive impacts as our family support workers are able to stay connected with families between allied health visits.