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Economic evaluation of the Family Wellbeing program

Early findings in Yarrabah

This economic evaluation of an Aboriginal empowerment program finds promising outcomes using a place-based application of an SROI framework. It demonstrates a ‘value for money’ argument of investing in the Indigenous-led and designed Family Wellbeing program which prioritises self determination.

The Family Wellbeing program is an Aboriginal empowerment training program designed to enhance participants’ personal development, wellbeing and quality of life. The program aims to empower participants with the knowledge and understanding to assume greater control over the conditions affecting their lives, and improve their personal, family, and community wellbeing.

Family Wellbeing is designed by, as well as for, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and is based on Indigenous principles of health and wellbeing, as well as recognition of the trauma and impacts associated with the legacy of colonisation. These elements have been credited with the success of Family Wellbeing, both in terms of its reach and uptake, and the benefits for individuals and communities involved. However, the program is adaptable and has also been applied to non-Indigenous groups in Australia and internationally. To date, Family Wellbeing has been implemented in over 60 locations in Australia, as well as several locations overseas, to over 5,000 participants.

To illustrate the value of the Family Wellbeing program, this report seeks to monetise the social impacts of Family Wellbeing within the example region of Yarrabah. Yarrabah is an Aboriginal community in North Queensland which has taken part in the implementation of Family Wellbeing between 2001 and 2021.

This report finds that for every dollar of investment in delivering the Family Wellbeing program in Yarrabah between 2001 and 2021, $4.60 of benefits were produced for participants and the community. It is noted that these SROI results only reflect the benefits which could be monetised in this analysis, and a portion of the overarching benefits of Family Wellbeing.

Many of the important community and cultural impacts of the program could not be quantified in this analysis based on available data. Paired with the conservative attribution factors employed, the actual social return of the program is expected to be higher. In future years, a more robust figure will be able to be determined by gathering additional data, particularly longitudinal participant outcomes data.

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