Youth programs in remote Indigenous communities: Context matters

Flouris, Anna, Crane, Philip R., & Lindeman, Melissa (2016) Youth programs in remote Indigenous communities: Context matters. Rural Society, 25(1), pp. 37-54.

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A diversity of programs oriented to young people seek to develop their capacities and their connection to the communities in which they live. Some focus on ameliorating a particular issue or ‘deficit’ whilst others, such as sporting, recreation and youth groups are more grounded in the community. This article reports a qualitative study undertaken in three remote Indigenous communities in Central Australia. Sixty interviews were conducted with a range of stakeholders involved in a diversity of youth programs. A range of critical challenges for and characteristics of remote Indigenous youth programs are identified if such programs are to be ‘fit for context’.

‘Youth centred-context specific’ provides a positive frame for the delivery of youth programs in remote Central Australia, encouraging an explicit focus on program logic; program content and processes; and relational, temporal, and, spatial aspects of the practice context. These provide lenses with which youth program planning and delivery may be enhanced in remote communities. Culturally safe service planning and delivery suggests locally determined processes for decision-making and community ownership. In some cases, this may mean a community preference for all ages to access the service to engage in culturally relevant activities. Where activities are targeted at young people, yet open to and inclusive of all ages, they provide a medium for cross-generational interaction that requires a high degree of flexibility on the part of staff and funding programs. Although the findings are focused in Central Australia, they may be relevant to similar contexts elsewhere.

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ID Code: 95442
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Aboriginal Australians, Program logic, Youth services, Youth centred., Youth development
DOI: 10.1080/10371656.2016.1150197
ISSN: 1037-1656
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIAL WORK (160700) > Social Work not elsewhere classified (160799)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Deposited On: 10 May 2016 01:38
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2017 02:10

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