Milroy, H. (2014). Understanding the lives of Aboriginal children and families. In P. Dudgeon, H. Milroy and R. Walker (Eds.), Working together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and welbeing principles and practice, 2nd edition (pp.373-382). Commonwealth of Australia.

Two case studies representing the lives of young people in an urban and rural context, respectively, are presented in this chapter with the intention of engaging the reader in the life course of young people in Aboriginal families affected by loss, grief and other traumatic life episodes. The resilience of these young people is highlighted, along with cultural and familial trajectories as a guide to consider the most appropriate pathways for action. This chapter aims to provide mental health practitioners, teachers, social workers and other community service providers with a deeper understanding of the clinical and cultural complexities that need to be taken into account when working with children and young people. These case studies also highlight the need for practitioners and policy-makers to address the many social determinants that influence Aboriginal children and young people’s health, education and social and emotional wellbeing outcomes. The case studies resonate with many of the chapters in the book, which often describe in statistical and theoretical terms the key issues impacting on young people’s lives.