Child health experts recognise internationally that developmental care is vital to improve long-term health and well being outcomes. A key challenge to the provision of quality developmental care in Aboriginal communities has been the absence of culturally appropriate, structured developmental screening tools.
Dr Anita D’Aprano, Developmental Paediatrician and Senior Research Fellow in Indigenous Child Health, the University of Melbourne.
The ASQ-TRAK is a developmental screening tool for observing and monitoring the developmental progress of Australian Aboriginal1 children at 2 months, 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, 36 months and 48 months of age.
It is based on seven questionnaires from the Ages and Stages Questionnaires®, 3rd edition – the ASQ-3™ 2 – which were adapted to create a more culturally appropriate version of the tool for Aboriginal children. More information about the ASQ-3 is available on our FAQ page.
The ASQ-TRAK is an easy-to-use, family centered tool which highlights a child’s strengths as well as catching delays early. It is designed to be administered by interview, making caregivers co-observers in the process while teaching them about child development and their own child’s skills.
1. Where the term ‘Aboriginal’ is used it refers to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
2. Squires, Twombly, Bricker & Potter, 2009
Dr Anita D’Aprano is a developmental paediatrician and Senior Research Fellow in Indigenous Child Health at the University of Melbourne.
She developed the ASQ-TRAK developmental screening tool – the first culturally appropriate tool for use with Australian Aboriginal children – following exploring developmental monitoring practices in Aboriginal populations.
Anita continues to lead ethical Indigenous child health research, principally in the development of culturally appropriate and validated measures. She has particular interest in and commitment to engaging Aboriginal communities to maximise the benefit of research so it makes a significant difference to the well-being of Aboriginal children and families.
Her current research program is focused on:
- the national implementation of the ASQ-TRAK; and
- developing a culturally appropriate early childhood outcome measure for Australian Aboriginal children – the ASQ-STEPS for measuring Aboriginal child development.
Learn more at Anita's Find an Expert profile.
We used to use another tool which was less informative. Whereas the ASQ-TRAK has been adapted and is structured appropriately for our Indigenous Australian people.
The ASQ-TRAK helps early intervention to support our children’s development; and leads to improved school outcomes for our future generations. Better health outcomes for better educational outcomes – closing the gap. It is greatly accepted and we have been waiting for something like this for a really long time.
Raelene Brunette, Aboriginal Health Practitioner, Sunrise Health Service
This training was so fantastic and allowed us to have really important conversations about how to use this tool in a way that is culturally safe and respectful. It was also great yarning about Aboriginal risk and resilience factors as this is really useful and relevant to the work I do in community.
Adrienne Lipscomb, Senior Facilitator (Learning & Development) and Senior Practitioner (Aboriginal Children’s Healing Team), Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency.
The ASQ-TRAK is unique and user training is strongly recommended. A customised training program was developed alongside the adaption of the ASQ-3, based on adult learning theories and recommendations from the literature regarding culturally appropriate professional development methods. Administering the ASQ-TRAK without training increases the risk that the ASQ-TRAK will be used in culturally unsafe ways.
The University of Melbourne delivers ASQ-TRAK Training for organisations nationally. We offer customised on-site workshops and workshops based at the University of Melbourne. The 2 ½ day training includes:
2 day Training Workshop - Early Child Development and monitoring; culturally safe ASQ-TRAK administration; family engagement and providing feedback; and strategies to ensure best practice.
1/2 day Workplace Practice Task - ASQ-TRAK administration in the workplace overseen by a peer coach.
Upon completion of ASQ-TRAK Training, participants are recognised as Certified ASQ-TRAK Practitioners. Certification includes access to further online resources and a Community of Practice to maintain knowledge currency.
The ASQ-TRAK Training workshop has been:
- developed from culturally appropriate professional learning methods.
- shown to improve practitioners' skills, knowledge, competence, and confidence to identify and manage developmental difficulties and promote child development.*
ASQ-TRAK Facilitator Training (online delivery)
The ASQ-TRAK Facilitator Training increases the sustainability of ASQ-TRAK implementation within an organisation. This training is designed for Certified ASQ-TRAK Practitioners who wish to deliver ASQ-TRAK Training with fidelity to colleagues within their organisation. The online training includes:
An Online Tutorial - Preparatory activity; the rationale and design of the ASQ-TRAK Training program, methods for faithful delivery of ASQ-TRAK Training; process for overseeing peer coaching in the workplace practice task and certifying practitioners.
A Workplace Delivery Task - delivery of a two-day ASQ-TRAK training workshop and overseeing ASQ-TRAK Practitioners completion of the workplace practice task with peer coaching.
Upon completion of ASQ-TRAK Facilitator Training, participants are recognised as Accredited ASQ-TRAK Facilitators (annual re-accreditation required).
How do I know which training is right for me?
There are different pathways for individuals based on the role they have within their organisation. The ASQ-TRAK training pathway map links training options to the desired practice outcome of an individual.
* To complete ASQ-TRAK Facilitator training an individual must be a Certified ASQ-TRAK Practitioner.
We receive a lot of questions about the ASQ-TRAK developmental screening tool, ASQ-TRAK training and our research. We add to the FAQs regularly but if you can't find an answer to your question or would like further information please get in touch on the Contact Us page.
Get in touch
If you want to find out more about the ASQ-TRAK developmental screening tool, ASQ-TRAK Training, or our research programs you can contact us by filling out the form.Enquiry form
You can buy the ASQ-TRAK developmental screening tool and the ASQ-TRAK Toy Kit from the RCH Shop at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne.Buy now
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