The Daalbirrwirr Gamambigu (Safe Children) model: Embedding cultural safety in child protection responses for Australian Aboriginal children in hospital settings


The aim of this paper is to describe the development of a model of care to embed cultural safety for Aboriginal children into paediatric hospital settings. The Daalbirrwirr Gamambigu (pronounced “Dahl-beer-weer gum-um-be-goo” in the Gumbaynggirr language means ‘safe children’) model encompasses child protection responses at clinical, managerial and organisational levels of health services. A review of scholarly articles and grey literature followed by qualitative interviews with Aboriginal health professionals formed the evidence base for the model, which then underwent rounds of consultation for cultural suitability and clinical utility. Culturally appropriate communication with children and their families using clinical yarning and a culturally adapted version of ISBAR (a mnemonic for Identify, Situation, Background, Assessment and Recommendation) for interprofessional communication is recommended. The model guides the development of a critical consciousness about cultural safety in health care settings, and privileges the cultural voices of many diverse Aboriginal peoples. When adapted appropriately for local clinical and cultural contexts, it will contribute to a patient journey experience of respect, dignity and empowerment.


child protection, healthcare, aboriginal, cultural safety, critical consciousness, interprofessional collaboration, translational research, Australia, model of care, hospital, paediatric, emergency department

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