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Early childhood service development and intersectoral collaboration in rural Australia


Johns, SM, Early childhood service development and intersectoral collaboration in rural Australia, Australian Journal of Primary Health, 16, (1) pp. 40-46. ISSN 1448-7527 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1071/PY09050


There is a paucity of research into the development of intersectoral collaborations designed to support early childhood development in rural communities. Drawing on findings from a qualitative study conducted in three small rural communities in Tasmania, this paper will examine community-based intersectoral collaborations involving government and non-government organisations from the health and allied health, education and community service sectors. The paper analyses the process of developing intersectoral collaborations from the perspective of early childhood health and wellbeing. The specific focus is on collaborations that build family and community capacity. Findings indicate that three groups of factors operate interdependently to influence collaborations: social capital, leadership and environmental factors. Each community has different leadership sources, structures and processes, shaped by levels of community social capital, and by environmental factors such as policy and resources. Effective models of early childhood development require strong local and external leadership. Ruralcommunities that are able to identify and harness the skills, knowledge and resources of internal and external leaders are well positioned to take greater ownership of their own health and wellbeing. The paper provides guidelines for developing and enhancing the capacity of rural communities at different stages of collaborative readiness.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:leadership, social capital
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Public health
Research Field:Community child health
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Neonatal and child health
UTAS Author:Johns, SM (Dr Susan Johns)
ID Code:63638
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2010-05-19
Last Modified:2011-03-30

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