Objective: KidsMatter identified a need for resources to support the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal children. This case study describes the intercultural processes underpinning the development of the KidsMatter Aboriginal Project.
Method: The project was guided by the principles of participatory action, narrative therapy, and critically reflective practice and aimed to define Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing from the perspective of Aboriginal peoples. Workshops were held with Aboriginal cultural consultants across two phases. The consultants worked collaboratively with the project team to develop a series of animations and supporting resources for Aboriginal families, and early childhood and primary school educators. Workshop outcomes and themes were provided to Indigenous psychologists for comment and comparison with the available literature. Separate consultations were held with school, early childhood, and health and community professionals, and Aboriginal family group members to consider use of the resources in professional settings.
Results: The project resulted in the development of a suite of culturally relevant and professional learning tools to support the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal children. The tools are designed for use by Aboriginal families, schools, early childhood, and health and community services and are reflective of key themes raised by relevant literature and community representatives.
Conclusion: The principles of participatory action, narrative therapy, and critically reflective practice can guide culturally safe practice and project outcomes when working with Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing. The combination of first-hand community knowledge and evidence-based literature assists align projects with National Practice Standards in Mental Health.