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Understanding and improving police community engagement programs for African heritage youth

Agency

Africause: Youth and Community Services; a not-for-profit community organisation supporting African Australian youth in Victoria.

Task

  • Develop a workshop program with workshop facilitators  
  • Design a rubric for use during subsequent evaluations of police community engagement training initiatives. 
  • Evaluate young people’s understanding of police community engagement programs and how well they respond to the cultural needs of  new migrant communities.

Evaluation Approach

Short term outcome evaluation, through three, targeted workshops and online surveys to provide an evidence-based model of culturally responsive police community engagement models for African-heritage youth and their communities in Victoria. 

Description

An initiative that is part of Victoria’s Anti-racism campaign, Africause  engaged with six African communities to develop a showcase of their individual cultures. Each community also participated in a series of workshops on racism in its various forms. Africause also worked with three African researchers based at Griffith, Swinburne and Melbourne universities to undertake literature reviews of the relationship between African Australian communities, Victoria Police and mainstream service providers. 

Evidence from the Griffith university literature review described best practice community engagement models which informed the development of workshops for young people. The purpose of the workshops was to give young people an opportunity to discuss culturally sensitive models of police community engagement.

The Centre for Multicultural Program Evaluation analysed qualitative & quantitative data from the workshops and made recommendations for training Victoria Police in community engagement models specific to the needs of diverse African communities. 

Recommendations

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