Contemporary cultures of service delivery to families: Implications for music therapy

Contemporary cultures of service delivery to families: Implications for music therapy

Abstract

Family-centred and early intervention and prevention programs are a strong focus of current policy objectives within Australia, and a significant area of practice within the music therapy community. Recent shifts in the culture of policy and practice increasingly reflect ecological understandings by focussing on integrated and place-based approaches to service delivery. Further, current funding opportunities are strongly concerned with the extent to which interventions are able to reach out to highly vulnerable families that typically do not engage with services easily. Music therapy holds unique promise within these cultural shifts and thus advocates must develop a solid understanding of the concepts and related language in order to confidently engage with both funding and service systems. This paper uses an integrative review to first define and summarise current knowledge in three key areas relevant to contemporary Australian policy and practice: hard-to-reach families, home visiting as assertive outreach, and integrated or place-based service delivery. Evidence for the effectiveness of music therapy in relation to these key themes is then presented. Finally, the paper discusses the implications for the future of music therapy within the current Australian early intervention and prevention policy context and makes recommendations for moving forward on both practice and research fronts. While there is growing evidence and theory to suggest that music therapy may be uniquely efficacious in this area, greater advocacy, documentation, research and adjustment of practices and language will further cement the position of the industry.

 

Keywords: music therapy, family-centred, integrated service delivery, place-based, early intervention


Citation

Williams, K., Teggelove, K., & Day, T. (2014).  Contemporary cultures of service delivery to families: Implications for music therapy.  Australian Journal of Music Therapy, 25, 148-173.


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Date published: July 2014