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engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families for early childhood services, locating services close to where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families live or engage in activities, for example local primary schools (Ware, 2012; Flaxman, Muir & Oprea, 2009) low or no cost services (Ware 2012; Flaxman, Muir & Oprea, 2009) co-located services (see Ware, 2012; Flaxman, Muir & Oprea, 2009). Working in the five TBS areas Older people There is very little research addressing how to work with older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. One important issue to note is that older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people use aged care services at a younger age than other Australians (AIHW, 2011). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may be at greater risk of developing dementia, yet relatively few Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders access government support programs for dementia (AIHW, 2011). For people in rural and remote areas the barriers to accessing aged care services include lack of transport and lack of culturally appropriate services (Arkles, Pulver, Robertson, Draper, Chalkley & Broe, 2010). As with other services, it is important to take time and build relationships with older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This may mean delaying asking questions and allowing people to tell their story (Mental Health First Aid, 2008). For the most part, older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders want to be close to their family and may wish to go back to their Country to die, and this may be more important than receiving treatment (Arkles et al., 2010; Indigenous Palliative Care Project, 2009). Community aged care workers may be able to facilitate this wish.
13 Children Family services need to take account of differences in the child-rearing and parenting practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, for example in the areas of sleeping, feeding, discipline and play (Borg & Paul, 2004; Flaxman, Muir & Oprea, 2009; Mildon & Polimeni, 2012). The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander view of parenting is linked to the cultural norm of extended family and kin networks. The Western view of a nuclear family may therefore be too narrow for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Rather, services need to focus on children’s needs in the context of extended networks (Borg & Paul, 2004). Parenting programs may need to include the extended family and other community members who have responsibility for caring for children (Borg & Paul, 2004). The existence of family networks can be viewed as a strength on which to draw for support (Turner & Sanders, 2007). Involving adults in transition to school programs can also improve engagement, for instance by running workshops for adult family members (Docket et al., 2006). In the out-of-home care sector, Higgins et al. (2006) identified a number of factors that are important to young people in care, including opportunities to participate in activities that connect them to their culture.