From July 1 2023, Health Service Providers in public adult custodial settings are required to comply with the Aboriginal Cultural Safety Standards outlined in the new Healthcare Services Quality Framework for Victorian Prisons 2023. The inclusion of the Aboriginal Cultural Safety Standards was endorsed by the Aboriginal Justice Caucus. The standards include clearer expectations regarding cultural awareness and safety in the health service provision, including continuous training to build the cultural capability of health staff; to employ, retain and develop Aboriginal staff, to provide cultural wraparound support for Aboriginal staff; and foster an organisational culture that is culturally safe, inclusive, and responsive to the needs of Aboriginal people in prison.
The Aboriginal Health Unit, Justice Health will partner with the Aboriginal Health Community Controlled Sector, Aboriginal Justice Caucus stakeholders, people in custody and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in 2023 to focus on three priorities to build the cultural safety of custodial healthcare.
- Aboriginal-led Models of Custodial Healthcare:
- develop Aboriginal-led custodial and post-release healthcare models across Victoria.
- Strengthen the cultural safety of health care service delivery:
- Develop and implement the Aboriginal Cultural Safety Standards Audit Framework.
- Monitor feedback and complaints, identify trends and themes to improve accessibility and quality of health service provision to Aboriginal people in custody
- Support custodial health service providers with the implementation of the Justice Health Aboriginal Cultural Safety Standards
- Build staff capabilities to work within the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Self- Determination and Closing the Gap Frameworks
- Knowledge and Evidence
- Develop the evidence base to continuously improve the quality and cultural safety of healthcare for Aboriginal people in custody.