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Delivering an empowerment intervention to a remote Indigenous child safety workforce: Its economic cost from an agency perspective

journal contribution
posted on 2018-05-09, 00:00 authored by Irina KinchinIrina Kinchin, Christopher DoranChristopher Doran, Janya MccalmanJanya Mccalman, S Jacups, K Tsey, K Lines, K Smith, A Searles
Background The Family Wellbeing (FWB) program applies culturally appropriate community led empowerment training to enhance the personal development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in life skills. This study sought to estimate the economic cost required to deliver the FWB program to a child safety workforce in remote Australian communities. Method This study was designed as a retrospective cost description taken from the perspective of a non-government child safety agency. The target population were child protection residential care workers aged 24 or older, who worked in safe houses in five remote Indigenous communities and a regional office during the study year (2013). Resource utilization included direct costs (personnel and administrative) and indirect or opportunity costs of participants, regarded as absence from work. Results The total cost of delivering the FWB program for 66 participants was $182,588 ($2766 per participant), with 45% ($82,995) of costs classified as indirect (i.e., opportunity cost of participants time). Training cost could be further mitigated (∼30%) if offered on-site, in the community. The costs for offering the FWB program to a remotely located workforce were high, but not substantial when compared to the recruitment cost required to substitute a worker in remote settings. Conclusion An investment of $2766 per participant created an opportunity to improve social and emotional wellbeing of remotely located workforce. This cost study provided policy relevant information by identifying the resources required to transfer the FWB program to other remote locations. It also can be used to support future comparative cost and outcome analyses and add to the evidence base around the cost-effectiveness of empowerment programs.




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Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

Cultural Warning

This research output may contain the names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. We apologize for any distress that may occur.

Acceptance Date


External Author Affiliations

The Cairns Institute, James Cook University, Smithfield, QLD, 4870, Australia; Act for Kids, PO Box 1844, Milton, QLD, 4064, Australia; College of Healthcare Sciences, James Cook University, Smithfield, QLD 4870, Australia; Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle, School of Medicine and Public Health, Kookaburra Circuit, New Lambton Heights 2305, Australia; Act for Kids, PO Box 1084, Earlville, QLD, 4870, Australia; Medical Services, Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service, Cairns, QLD, 4870, Australia

Era Eligible

  • Yes


Evaluation and Program Planning