The Victorian Refugee Health Network has engaged with several stakeholders on maternal and child health related projects.
In 2011 the Network participated in the reference group of a research project commissioned by Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture (Foundation House) and conducted by the Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program. The project focused on women from refugee background’s experiences of Maternal and Child Health Services in north and west Melbourne.
Two subsequent papers were written from this research:
- Riggs, E., Davis, E., Gibbs, L., Block, K., Szwarc, J., Casey, S., Duell-Piening, P., & Waters, E. Accessing maternal and child health services in Melbourne, Australia: Reflections from refugee families and service providers. BMC Health Services Research 2012, 12:117 < http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6963/12/117>
- Riggs, E., Block, K., Gibbs, L., Davis, E., Szwarc, J., Casey, S., Duell-Piening, P., & Waters, E. Flexible models for learning English are needed for refugee mothers. Australia Journal of Adult Learning: Research Report. In press.
Based on the findings of this research, the team agreed on three priority action areas. These are:
- the need to implement a system of automatic enrollments (to maternal and child health services) for children that arrive via the humanitarian program and are aged 0-6 years old
- to improve the quality of Maternal and Child Health service usage data to ascertain the needs of refugee background of clients, usage gaps and to plan services and care accordingly
- to identify models for engaging and retaining families in the Maternal and Child Health service (particularly for the 10 key ages and stages child health visits).
In May 2012 the Network along with the Foundation House hosted a forum to respond to the third priority action area, to share and generate innovative ideas to engage families from refugee background with maternal and child health services. A report from the forum may be downloaded from here. The report contains an outline of the program from the day,notes from the workshops, and a summary of participant feedback.
If you have any questions or queries please contact us.
For refugee health related maternity and/or maternal and child health resources visit:
- our maternal and child health resource library
- our maternity resource library
- our searchable Library.