Unit of competency details

HLTAHW416B - Provide information and strategies in maternal and child health (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by HLTAHW029 - Provide information and strategies in maternal and infant healthNew unit in HLT Health Training Package Release 1.0. Significant changes to elements and performance criteria. New evidence requirements for assessment, including volume and environment requirements 30/Jun/2013

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 25/Mar/2011


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061305 Indigenous Health  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061305 Indigenous Health  04/Nov/2011 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

Unit Descriptor 

This unit describes the competencies required to conduct health promotion related to maternal and child health as part of primary health care services for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities

Specific advice provided may be limited by close supervision or established guidelines in line with community needs and health provider guidelines

Application of the Unit


This unit is intended to address skills and knowledge required by those working with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities to deliver primary health care services at Certificate IV level

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not Applicable


Not Applicable

Employability Skills Information

Employability Skills 

This unit contains Employability Skills

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements define the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

The Performance Criteria specify the level of performance required to demonstrate achievement of the Element. Terms in italics are elaborated in the Range Statement.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Provide health information and support for pregnancy

1.1 Provide information on maintaining good health during pregnancy and risk factors for the mother and baby 

1.2 Discuss issues relating to nutrition  of mother and baby with mothers

1.3 Provide information on birthing options, signs of labour, stages of labour, pain management techniques and family attendance at delivery

1.4 Identify local birthing practices and cultural beliefs and discuss with women in planning and advocating for appropriate childbirth

1.5 Discuss roles, relationships and responsibilities to support safe birthing, including the role of the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Worker as an advocate for women and families

1.6 Discuss and identify signs of onset of labour and support women to attend a birthing facility as required

1.7 Provide physical and emotional support to women as appropriate during hospitalisation

2. Provide health information and support after birth

2.1 Provide information and support for self-care and wellbeing during the post-natal period

2.2 Provide advice to mothers on routine care of the newborn

2.3 Implement strategies to establish and support breast-feeding

2.4 Discuss with the client the importance of nutrition, physical activity, rest, sleep and support with domestic tasks and care of family in the immediate postnatal period

2.5 Identify minor post-natal problems for mother and newborn and provide appropriate advice

2.6 Provide information on contraceptive options

3. Follow-up mothers and babies

3.1 Maintain registers of women undergoing antenatal care according to organisational policies and procedures

3.2 Keep schedules of participation in antenatal care and use them to organise continuing care

3.3 Organise reminders, transport and other assistance to attend care and/or provide according to women's needs

3.4 Regularly update records according to organisation protocols

3.5 Keep statistics on attendance for antenatal care and birthing outcomes and use to evaluate maternal health programs

3.6 Implement strategies to improve maternal and/or neonatal health in line with community requirements and organisation guidelines

Required Skills and Knowledge


This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit.

Essential knowledge :

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

This includes knowledge of:

  • Organisation policies and procedures relating to client confidentiality
  • Role of the Aboriginal Health Worker in counselling and health education
  • Birthing practices suitable for culturally appropriate birth outcomes
  • Nutritional needs of pregnant women
  • Health conditions, obstetric problems and associated issues related to pregnancy, maternal and infant health
  • Strategies to:
  • improve maternal and neonatal health in the community
  • address clients presenting with antenatal problems
  • coordinate provision of optimum level of maternal health service delivery
  • Medical problems occurring in pregnancy requiring referral
  • Effective post natal care practices for mother and baby
  • Relevant evaluation criteria for monitoring effectiveness of specific maternal and/or infant health management program

Essential skills :

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:

  • Communicate effectively in a group and one-on-one environment to promote healthy practices and discuss health issues
  • Provide accurate and relevant information and guidance about maternal and child health care in line with identified individual and community needs

In addition, the candidate must be able to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

This includes the ability to:

  • Communicate effectively with client to obtain information and ensure understanding of information provided
  • Liaise between service providers, individuals, families and community groups
  • Provide community education on maternal health
  • Reflect on and improve own level and application of skills and knowledge to achieve desirable outcomes and maintain own capabilities
  • Work with a team to deliver effective health promotion and education for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities and clients using appropriate facilitation, problem solving and instructional practices

Evidence Guide


The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects of assessment :

  • The individual being assessed must provide evidence of specified essential knowledge as well as skills
  • Consistency of performance should be demonstrated over the required range of situations relevant to the workplace
  • Where, for reasons of safety, space, or access to equipment and resources, assessment takes place away from the workplace, the assessment environment should represent workplace conditions as closely as possible

Conditions of assessment :

This unit includes skills and knowledge specific to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander culture

Assessment must therefore be undertaken by a workplace assessor who has expertise in the unit of competency or who has the current qualification being assessed and who is:

  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander him/herself


  • accompanied and advised by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who is a recognised member of the community with experience in primary health care

Context of assessment :

Competence should be demonstrated working individually, under supervision or as part of a primary health care team working with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients

Assessment should replicate workplace conditions as far as possible

Related units :

This unit may be assessed independently or in conjunction with other units with associated workplace application

Range Statement


The Range Statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Add any essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts.

Cultural respect 

This competency standard supports the recognition, protection and continued advancement of the inherent rights, cultures and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

It recognises that the improvement of the health status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must include attention to physical, spiritual, cultural, emotional and social well-being, community capacity and governance

Its application must be culturally sensitive and supportive of traditional healing and health, knowledge and practices

Community control 

Community participation and control in decision-making is essential to all aspects of health work, and the role of the health worker is to support the community in this process


Supervision must be conducted in accordance with prevailing state/territory and organisation legislative and regulatory requirements

References to supervision may include either direct or indirect supervision of work by more experienced workers, supervisors, managers or other health professionals

A person at this level should only  be required to make decisions about clients within the organisation's standard treatment protocols and associated guidelines

Legislative requirements 

Federal, state or territory legislation may impact on workers' practices and responsibilities. Implementation of the competency standards should reflect the legislative framework in which a health worker operates. It is recognised that this may sometimes reduce the application of the Range of Variables in practice. However, assessment in the workplace or through simulation should address all essential skills and knowledge across the Range of Variables

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Workers may be required to operate in situations that do not constitute "usual practice" due to lack of resources, remote locations and community needs. As a result, they may need to possess more competencies than described by "usual practice circumstances"

Under all circumstances, the employer must enable the worker to function within the prevailing legislative framework

Risk factors for mother and baby may include :

  • Lifestyle and other risk factors identified from a health history
  • Potential effects of risk factors on the foetus, including:
  • alcohol consumption,
  • tobacco use,
  • nutrition,
  • prescription and non prescription drugs,
  • illegal drugs
  • environmental hazards
  • Potential impact of compliance or non-compliance with antenatal care plan
  • Presence or absence of family, financial and social support systems.
  • Environmental and housing issues affecting pregnancy, childcare and family health.

Issues relating to nutrition may include :

  • Nutrients required in pregnancy and their food sources
  • Identifying women 'at risk' for nutritional problems in pregnancy
  • Possible effects for the mother and foetus if diet is inadequate during pregnancy
  • Advantages of and common myths about breast feeding
  • The relationship between low birth weight and chronic disease

Strategies to improve maternal and /or neonatal health may include :

  • Collection of maternal and child health data as a basis for preventing, containing or eliminating diseases or conditions causing ill health.
  • Identification of relationships between health and demography, culture, socioeconomic status, general health, obstetric history and health services.
  • Use of a community development approach to devise strategies to reduce morbidity and mortality rates.

Unit Sector(s)

Not Applicable