COVID, experiences from a cultural lens

Ms Liana Schnierer1, Ms Amanda  Cooms1, Ms Sheyrll Devecchi1

1Queensland Health, Townsville, Australia

Background: Across the health service there continues to be the challenges which exist in addressing disparities in health outcomes of First Nation people.  In June 2020, specific COVID funding was provided to the Social Work Department to develop a culturally safe framework to reduce risk and maintain safe engagement with vulnerable members of our community in identified areas of clinical risk including: family issues, accommodation/housing, finance Centrelink, End-of-Life/Coroners matters, Domestic and Family Violence.

Method: Data was collected from approximately 40 social workers and 15 Indigenous Health Liaison Officers on their involvement with First Nations people for each of the high-risk areas identified.  Consumer feedback was gathered, several cultural activities conducted to increase cultural competency.  Data and information collected was analysed to provide further understanding and development of interventions and opportunities to enhance clinical practice frameworks from a First Nations’ perspective.

Results: The project reported a significant increase in the work with First Nations people. The analysis of data was utilised to identify key areas of need and to develop sustainable cultural safe practices and resources, for ongoing collaborative partnerships.

Conclusion: Key areas of opportunities were identified to develop social work knowledge and resources when working with First Nations people.


‘Biographies to come’

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