The Evidence Portal

Flexible curriculum for individuals or for cultural appropriateness.

Flexible activity

Although programs have a standard curriculum / manual, there are opportunities to tailor the curriculum to the needs of individual families, or to tailor the program to the needs of different cultural or target groups.

How can it be implemented?

This flexible activity involves decision-making by program service delivery staff about the most appropriate elements and ways of delivering curriculum content to families in  a particular local context, based on individual family needs. This activity ensures that programs are delivered in a culturally appropriate way, through a number of strategies: consultation with cultural or community groups, changes incorporated into the program prior to delivery (e.g., pace and order of content delivery; simplification of materials for low literacy groups); using community members to deliver the program; and delivering the program in families’ language.

Who is the target group?

This flexible activity has been implemented with several different target groups. Key characteristics include:

  • First time mothers who are vulnerable, for example young mothers, single mothers, and families of low socioeconomic status.
  • Families at risk using indicators such as education level, single parenthood, employment, history of abuse or neglect, potential for violence, and a history of mental illness, criminality, and drug abuse.
  • African American mothers who have not accessed adequate prenatal care.
  • Aboriginal mothers in Central Australia.
  • Families with prior contact with child welfare services, or who have been reported for alleged child abuse or neglect.
  • Children who showed signs of social behavioural problems; had difficulties with socio-emotional or cognitive development.
  • Parents who lacked parenting skills.
  • Multigenerational migrant communities.
  • Low-income migrant families.
  • Foster families.

What programs conduct this activity?

Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program: An adaptation of the Nurse-Family Partnership for remote Aboriginal communities. The ANFPP has a culturally appropriate approach. The main adaptation is to include Aboriginal community workers in the home visiting team. They play an essential role, bringing an understanding of the local Aboriginal community and ensuring the program is delivered in a culturally safe way.

Early Start: The delivery of services is based on a common principle of understanding of the client’s individual and cultural perspective. The program of home visitation is tailored to meet individual family need, the program should be adapted to clients’ needs. An initial needs assessment is conducted through four weekly visits, to determine the subsequent level of intervention.

Parents as Teachers: Curriculum elements are provided at the discretion of the home visitor to allow flexibility.

Pride in Parenting: A health educator with expertise in work with low-literate and racial-ethnic minority populations helped create new materials and selected the final materials. Materials were culturally appropriate and relevant to the lives of low-income women. Paraprofessional visitors were drawn from the African American community to effectively influence the mothers’ parenting behaviours and attitudes.

HeadStart: The delivery and implementation of programs varies widely from site to site due to a number of factors, including community characteristics. Services provided to individual families are tailored to their individual needs and circumstances.

Relief Nursery Program: On an as needed basis, mental health and special education services are integrated into the classroom. Other services are provided as needed, including respite care, child nutrition, transportation to and from services, and individual and family counselling. Staff offer the program in the parents’ primary language.

Chicago Parent Program: The program was developed in collaboration with a parent advisory group of African American and Latino parents from a range of economic backgrounds.

Family Support Program: The program is flexible and can be adapted to meet the individual needs of each family. Practitioners for each family are chosen based on the central problem of parents and specific intervention areas.

Self-directed Triple P: Consistent with Triple P’s overall emphasis on parent self-regulation, parents learn to modify their own behaviour through a process of planned, self-directed change to promote parental self-sufficiency.

The Incredible Years Preschool BASIC Parenting Program Enhanced with Home Visits: One in a series of group-based programs for parents of children at different ages. Parents are given exercises at home on an individual basis.

The Incredible Years Shortened Basic Version: One in a series of group-based programs for parents of children at different ages. Parents are given exercises at home on an individual basis.   

Further resources

Last updated:

20 Feb 2023

Was this content useful?
We will use your rating to help improve the site.
Please don't include personal or financial information here
Please don't include personal or financial information here

We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future. 

Informed by lessons of the past, Department of Communities and Justice is improving how we work with Aboriginal people and communities. We listen and learn from the knowledge, strength and resilience of Stolen Generations Survivors, Aboriginal Elders and Aboriginal communities.

You can access our apology to the Stolen Generations.

Top Return to top of page Top