Towards Culturally Safe Social Policy Processes for Aboriginal Australians

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In a globalised world social welfare professionals confront a diversity of clients, with needs which are demonstrably culturally determined. As such, professional understanding of the nexus between clients and their environmental control strategies is paramount. The medium through which families negotiate their surroundings, occupation, shelter, and safety are significant matters to Aboriginal people within Australia. The progression from former Aboriginal “assimilationist” policy to present approaches exposes problematic contemporary needs-based approaches to public policy intervention. The highly troublesome policy intervention history prompts a re-conceptualisation of “needs”-based approaches to Aboriginal welfare. Theoretical perspectives on needs support culturally-safe methodologies for innovation in social service delivery. The role of social work is highlighted in promoting such a policy in respect of environmental control.