Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Health and Society


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are 11 times more likely to be placed in Out of Home Care (OOHC) than non-Indigenous children. Trauma-informed practice has been identified as an approach to effectively support children in OOHC. For Aboriginal children cultural connection in the context of trauma-informed practice is found to be lacking. There is little formal exploration about what is needed to develop a culturally-situated trauma-informed practice (CSTIP) approach to supporting Aboriginal children in OOHC.

This community-led Indigenous Informed Participatory Action Research (IPAR) investigates participants' understandings and perceptions of what is required to co-create CSTIP with an Aboriginal organisation providing OOHC to Aboriginal children. This research privileges the voices of Aboriginal community members, staff and carers in the discussion about what constitutes, enables and hinders a CSTIP approach in supporting Aboriginal children to heal from trauma. It is undertaken on the South Coast of NSW Australia on Dharawal Country in partnership with an OOHC program managed by an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO). The research uses a relational ontology, an epistemology of ignorance and an Indigenous conceptual frame. Multiple interpretive methods are used, including individual and group yarning, artefact and document analysis, co-analysis, observations, ethnographic field notes and reflexive writing. Using this methodological approach, the ‘knowing, being and doing’ of CSTIP is examined.

FoR codes (2008)

1607 SOCIAL WORK, 220304 Epistemology



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.