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The original WA Aboriginal Child Health Survey (WAACHS1) conducted by Telethon Kids in 2000-2002 provided valuable insight into the community and family lives of a large, representative sample of WA Aboriginal children.

This landmark epidemiological survey collected data on more than 5,000 Aboriginal children, their mental and physical health, families, communities and educational experiences.

A new project, referred to as WAACHS2, will investigate how the early life environment of Aboriginal children and adolescents has shaped pathways into and away from the WA child protection and justice systems over the past 16 to 17 years, and across generations.

This will include pathways from birth through education, health, and other human service domains as children mature into adulthood, including the influence of having parents/carers and other household members involved in the health, child protection and justice systems.

The epidemiological survey data collected in 2000 to 2002 will be linked to WA government agency administrative datasets to describe the influence of early life experiences on the pathways of Aboriginal children over the intervening 17 years. Linking these survey data on Aboriginal children and their household members to administrative service records provides a unique opportunity to expand the understanding of how Aboriginal children’s early life experiences shape their life course development and longer terms outcomes.

The WAACHS2 project will provide evidence-based information to Aboriginal communities, governments and non-government agencies to guide changes to policy and practice to improve life outcomes for Aboriginal children.