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Lowitja Institute funds foster and kinship care research

ATSICHS Brisbane’s Research and Development team have recieved a $200,000 grant from the Lowitja Institute’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Major Grant program. The grant will fund a research project in the foster and kinship care space, aimed at innovating contemporary First Nations kinship care through genuine community engagement and cultural connection.

The ATSICHS Brisbane Research and Development team who will conduct the project in partnership with Human Services

The Lowitja Institute is Australia’s only national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled health research institute. The institute is named in honour of its patron, Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue AC CBE DSG. It works for the health and wellbeing of Australia’s First Nations peoples through high-impact quality research and knowledge exchange. It also helps to support a new generation of First Nations health researchers.

ATSICHS Brisbane is one of six recipients nationally to receive the Lowitja Institute grant. The research project will address several objectives, including gaining an understanding of the various definitions of kin amongst carers, investigating the relationship between support care outcomes available and kinship, building an evidence base that ATSICHS Brisbane will use to inform internal decision-making as well as policy advocacy and incorporating a kinship care approach appropriate to First Nations clients within the organisation’s service provision framework.

ATSICHS Brisbane Clinical Director Dr Jonathan Leitch says its amazing to receive this grant and have the opportunity to conduct this research project.

“We know that kinship is an important part of First Nations culture, and we believe this research will help us better understand how we can support our community.”

“We are committed to genuine community engagement and cultural connection, and we believe that this approach will lead to better outcomes for our clients and our community as a whole”, he said.

This project will be conducted in partnership with our Human Services team, and the project team comprises a mix of researchers and frontline staff.

Director of Human Services Raymond Brunker and Human Services Managers Aimee Lohrisch, Kylie Fleming, Yarraga Weatherall, and Renee Bushell head up our frontline team. Our Family Led Decision Making team is represented by Case Manager Jess Evans and Project Officer Keifer Pearson also brings his skills and expertise to the project.

The Institute’s Major Grant program is coordinated by its Research and Knowledge Translation team. It intends to contribute to improvements in social and cultural determinants of the health of First Nations peoples by commissioning high-impact research led by First Nations peoples. The research will influence policy and practice through the rapid translation of community priorities for improved outcomes for First Nations health and wellbeing.

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