Health Policy Assignment: Evaluating the Impact of Closing The Gap Policy
Using the material provided in the Resource Bibliography, write a case study report on health policy assignment describing a project or projects that have attempted to address the Closing the Gap targets in ONE of the following areas:
- Community Development
- Imprisonment and Youth Justice
The health policy assignment contains the case study evaluation of the Deadly Kindies program concerning Australia's Closing the Gap Policy. The Deadly Kindies program ensures quality health and proper education to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children through kindergarten pre-primary schools in the country. The forthcoming report identifies the success of the Deadly Kindies program concerning its aim, which shows how the program strives to demolish inequalities in the community. Problems related to the program have been specified where the stress is given upon cultural difference and finance funding for ear diseases treatment within those children. Solutions for the identified problems involve training of educators, funding from non-government sources, and alignment with CTG policy. Discussion related to the positive and negative outcomes of the program concerning CTG policy has helped to provide several recommendations.
“Closing the Gap” policy focuses to make the lives better of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by sustaining their culture, health and education. The Council of Australian Government (COAG) has promoted CTG policy to represent fundamentally new ways to develop and implement policies for the well-being of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders. In March 2019, the COAG committed to commence new working ways to close the gap through the historic Partnership Agreement on CTG policy (Closingthegap, 2020). The emerging and new ways of COAG through CGT policy aim to strengthen the foundation areas. Designing and delivery of services to offer a better life to the Aboriginal through recognizing structural changes have also become the joint venture of NIRA and CTG. However, the building blocks which underpin the target areas are communication, cultural practices, housing, land and water, areas of languages, health, and education.
The Deadly Kindies in Australia promotes health and education assurance for children of Torres Strait Islanders through the supportiveness of the Department of Education and Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) (Dsdsatsip, 2018). The Deadly Kindies aligns with the CTG policies for promoting well-being and education (Health, 2021).
Evaluation of the contribution of the program to the specific CTG target
Identification of the success of Deadly Kindies
The Deadly Kindies Program, with the support of the IUIH, ensures proper funding from the Government of Queensland through the DoE to address the essentials for health care and education of the children of the families. The aim of the program related to education and health correlates with the agenda of CTG policies. Participation in the kindergarten to achieve foundationally and quality education is important where the Deadly Kindies program increases the opportunity for the children belonging to Aboriginal families to achieve an equal level of education as the non-indigenous Queenslanders (Deadlykindies, 2021). Depending upon the agenda of primary education and quality health provision, the Deadly Kindies program provides access to high-quality primary healthcare to the children from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders families (Health, 2021). The program focuses upon the future aspects of children, considering them as future leaders who deserve the best quality of education and healthcare. Despite political exclusion, entrenched disadvantage, institutional racism, and intergenerational trauma, the CTG policy necessitated the urgency to save the culture of Torres Strait Islanders. However, the program supports the children of South East Queensland to access pre-kind health checkups without any payment. After the launching of the Deadly Kindies program in 2016, both the IUIH and DoE have taken the joint initiative to build a successful Deadly Choices brand to support the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (Dsdsatsip, 2018). The Deadly Kindies program has efficiently maintained the successful transition of children from Aboriginal families into kindergarten, where they can receive the right education and quality healthcare. The Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council supported the Deadly Kindies in developing a proper framework to ensure education and health to children. Child ear and hearing health has been successfully maintained through the program in Queensland to keep persistence in the education and health of the Torres Strait Islanders (Health, 2021).
The endeavour of Deadly Kindies has brought success to the agenda. The support of the Government of Queensland is also a significant factor through which the program got fundings to provide free health checkups to the children. The facilities of pre-primary schools are also effective support to the success of the program. Education and health are primary areas of development that build the future (Ratcliff et al. 2021). With proper engagement between the Deadly Kindies members and the Aboriginal families, proper education and health checkups have become possible. However, cultural admixture plays a significant role in managing community development (Purtill, 2018). The Deadly Kindies program also has the support of health service providers and the best doctors of Australia who provide health checks up and ensure ear health and proper hearing capabilities to assure their bright future. Moreover, the success lies in the management of all the requirements and equipment related to education. The aim of equality establishment within the Aboriginal and Queenslanders has also fostered prominent growth to the program's agenda. The accessibility of services and the engagement of Deadly Kindies within the program have led to the success of the Deadly Kindies program. The support of the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council also serves as a path to success. New incorporations in the CTG policy have engaged the Aboriginal to gain feedback for central guidance to the Australian Government and Coalition of Peaks throughout the life of the NIRA agreement (Closingthegap, 2020).
Identification of problems of Deadly Kindies program
The people of Aboriginal have a significant rate of being affected by the disease of middle ear, and problem of ear, hearing are also prevalent in the children belonging to the families of Torres Strait Islander, which have developed significant barriers in proper education to the children (Health, 2021). Due to this problem, the Deadly Kindies program of ensuring pre-primary education to the children of the Aboriginal children has been restricted. Proper education can not be provided to those children without proper hearing capabilities. For that purpose, the expense of quality treatment has been expanded, which can create difficulty for Deadly Kindies to afford high-quality care for hearing problems in children. Lack of fundings from other sources apart from the Government in Queensland has created issues in managing proper equipment and machinery procurement for ear treatment and check-ups of the children belonging from the families of the Aboriginal.For getting the solution of the, problem the Deadly Kindies are trying to make deadly futures for the children by ensuring quality check-ups of the ear (Health, 2021). However, providing education to the children, who are suffering from ear disease, is a challenge itself to the educators of the Deadly Kindies program, which often leads to limiting the interaction between the children and educators and restricts proper skill development. Apart from this, the Deadly Kindies program has to face problems in understanding and aligning with the different cultures of the Aboriginal people. The differences in culture often create significant barriers to community well-being and proper inclusion within the community (Wasef et al. 2021). The aboriginals have significant cultural differences from the Queenslanders, which becomes the reason for not participating in the kindergarten program of the children of Aboriginal. Transitioning those children into kindergarten for ensuring health and the right education is the most significant challenge for Deadly Kindies (Dsdsatsip, 2018). Managing the cultural differences and understanding the cultural aspects of Torres Strait Islander families limits activities of Deadly Kindies program.
Physical health and well-being contribute as a prime factor to children's early education (Cleland et al. 2018). The children's knowledge can only be empowered if health and well-being are promoted. In the people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, the underprivileged situation has drawn various diseases to them. Ear disease can be considered as the result of improper health development due to a lack of proper living styles, food, and finance. The hearing problem has become hereditary within those people, and the children are also suffering from heart diseases. For that reason, the problems in gaining proper education from the Deadly Kindies kindergarten program have occurred.
On the other hand, cultural differences between the Aboriginal and Queenslanders are the result of the country’s aboriginal history. Due to the unequal treatment of the aboriginals, they separated their culture and living habits from the civilised Australians (Purtill, 2018). As a result of this cultural difference, the Deadly Kindies program faces considerable challenges in aligning the education procedures along with culture of the children.
Solutions to identified problems
To effectively manage the issue related to ear diseases and hearing problems of children belonging to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, Deadly Kindies needs to take continuous support from the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council for ensuring quality care to the children having the middle ear disease. Funding from other sources is required to be collected apart from the Government of Queensland so that fast and uninterrupted treatment can be prompted for the children. Besides that, the identification number of families having the ear disease is needed for increasing the capacity of treatment to the children through understanding the possible number of children having hearing problems. However, the responsibility lies upon the educators and instructors in kindergarten to properly communicate with the children while providing them education. Using props, equipment, and toys for teaching in kindergarten are effective means of skill development (Piscitelli, McLean, & Halliwell, 2017). In case of the children having hearing problems, the educators should avoid verbal communication and ensure learning using props and toys. This will increase the capacity to learn the Torres Strait Islander children, which will encourage them to develop skills and engage in learning activities, andthrough this process, the Deadly Kindies program can ensure a better future for the children of those families. However, CTG policies aim to ensure Indigenous health in Australia, which aims to bridge the gap of health and life expectancy of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (Humanrights, 2021). Deadly Kindies can work under the CTG policies for managing proper ear treatment of the Aboriginal children.
The culture of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people needs to be appreciated and understood to bridge the gap of difference within the cultures of Queenslanders and Aboriginals, andthrough proper understanding of the needs of the families concerning the health and education of their children, the Deadly Kindies need to structure the educational processes in the kindergarten program. The Deadly Kindies program can be a medium of abolishing the inequalities within the civilised Australians and the aboriginals. Through establishing equal rights, the barriers in proper education and health service provision to the children belonging to the Torres Strait Islander can be overcome. The CTG policies and NIRA agreement aim to solve the issue of entrenched inequality which has been faced by Aboriginal people to achieve equal outcomes of every policy or program established for the Australians (Closingthegap, 2020). Through formal partnership arrangements, the CTG policies can help Deadly Kindies to empower decision-making for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children's health and education. With the help of the authority of the government, the Deadly Kindies program can manage the problems related to cultural differences.
Fundings from the government and other sources can provide the advantage of gaining uninterrupted economic support for ensuring quality treatment and pepper education to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. The proper identification of the possible number of children having ear disease can help estimate the cost of providing proper treatment and hearing aid to the children. The engagement of educators in non-verbal communication is an effective means of skill development for children, but in this case, the disadvantage is to train the educators for managing proper education through props and equipment in kindergarten. This may lead to additional expenses for training educators (Hurley, Noble, & Jackson, 2020). Moreover, improper understanding of children through non-verbal mediums can lead to confusion. CTG policies can provide effective support to ensure treatment of ear disease, where the Deadly Kindies will be able to provide quality health treatment. However, the cultural gap closure through understanding the culture of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can lead to conflict in the community as the aboriginal children might be given more priority, in this case, in the kindergarten. CTG policies can provide the opportunity to Deadly Kindies for proper decision making.
Discussion and Conclusion
The Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council are dedicated to bridge the faulty loopholes of health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children through supporting the Deadly Kindies (Health, 2021). Both government and non-government sectors have evaluated the policy framework of CTG, which aims to create facilities for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through promoting the health and well-being of the families, and aligning with the policy of CTG, the Deadly Kindies program demonstrated a shared understanding of the need for a healthy childhood and education of the children. Keeping in mind the priority of the nation's future development, the CTG policy built a community control sector for sustainability in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community where they can achieve quality services to meet their needs (Closingthegap, 2020). The positive outcome of Deadly Kindies concerning the development of future leaders for Australia tracks to the proper education and health promotion in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. However, the program aims to promote equality, but the parties' commitment under the CTG policy-making procedure impacts the lives of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders where the need for their places and own country detached those people from the equality agenda Deadly Kindies program. Managing cultural diversity in a unified nation is extremely difficult. In the case of Deadly Kindies, the community-controlled organisations which deliver the best services aligning with the policies of CTG are incapable of supporting the program of Deadly Kindies to bridge the gap of cultural difference. The need for addressing daily racism and promoting cultural safety to transfer equal power and resources to the community is still prevailing in Australia. However, the Deadly Kindies program, through accessing the information about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, is aiming to deliver quality education in the kindergarten program.
The target of CTG policy is to solve the issue of inequality faced by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to make their life equal to the other Australians. The Deadly Kindies program needs to take into account the objective and promote equal education in pre-school kindergartens. The NIRA agreement promotes opportunities for organisations or programs associated with the well-being through empowering decision-making processes. The Deadly Kindies program can use the available opportunity and ensure proper decision-making in the provision of proper education and quality health care services to the children belonging to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.
- The indigenous health campaigns under the CTG policy aim to achieve equal life expectancy and health for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within 2030, which can help the Deadly Kindies program improve the health status of the children. Deadly Kindies, to ensure the fulfilment of the health gap, increases access to primary health care (Health, 2021). By aligning with the CTG policy, the Deadly Kindies will shape the future of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
- Fundings for ear treatment of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children can be achieved from the nongovernmental sectors as the CTG accelerates the progress of formal partnership arrangements through economic support. The formal partnership agreement under the CTG policy can help Deadly Kindies to ensure proper fundings to ensure quality treatment to children.
- Training of educators in the kindergarten program can be managed iteratively where the Deadly Kindies program can ensure ICT implementation in the kindergarten environment for proper training of educators and promote quality education for the children. Using graphics, pictures, and videos, the educators will communicate with the children having hearing problems and can ensure proper education to them.
Closingthegap. (2020). National Agreement On Closing The Gap. Retrieved 18 September 2021, from https://www.closingthegap.gov.au/sites/default/files/files/national-agreement-ctg.pdf
Deadlykindies. (2021). The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health. Retrieved 18 September 2021, from https://www.deadlykindies.com.au/about-us/
Dsdsatsip. (2018). Queensland Closing the Gap Report Card 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2021, from https://www.dsdsatsip.qld.gov.au/resources/dsdsatsip/work/atsip/reform-tracks-treaty/closing-gap/ctg-full-report.pdf
Health. (2021). Deadly Kids | Deadly Futures - Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Ear and Hearing Health Framework 2016-2026. Health policy assignment Retrieved 18 September 2021, from https://www.childrens.health.qld.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/PDF/deadly-ears/deadly-kids-futures-fw.pdf
Humanrights. (2021). Close the Gap: Indigenous Health Campaign | Australian Human Rights Commission. Retrieved 18 September 2021, from https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-social-justice/projects/close-gap-indigenous-health
Hurley, P., Noble, K., & Jackson, J. (2020). Australian investment in education: early childhood education and care.
Piscitelli, B., McLean, V., & Halliwell, G. (2017). Early childhood education in Australia. In Early Childhood Education in Asia and the Pacific (pp. 197-236). Routledge.
Purtill, T. (2018). The dystopia in the desert: the silent culture of Australia’s remotest Aboriginal communities. Australian Scholarly Publishing.
Ratcliff, S., Raymond, D., Miller, E., Davis, A., Sprange, D., & Eastwood, J. (2021). Development and enhancement of pathways created to Health and Social Care for clients in areas of family disadvantage in targeted Primary Schools in Sydney, Australia. International Journal of Integrated Care, 20(3).
Wasef, S., Wrobel, G., Wright, N., Wright, J. L., Adams, S., Kariwiga, J., ... & Westaway, M. C. (2021). A contextualised review of genomic evidence for gene flow events between Papuans and Indigenous Australians in Cape York, Queensland. Quaternary International.