WCC Annual Report - Page 16

Settlement Programs Report The Settlement Team at WCC provides information, referral, support, casework and advocacy so that newly arrived migrants and refugees have access to essential services and programs that help overcome barriers to successful settlement in Australia. Casework services provide the basis for developing trusted relationships with hard to reach communities and continue to guide our community development programs through the year. In 2011-12 we have seen an increased number of refugees settling in the Whittlesea community especially single men and families who have applied for protection on shore and have spent prolonged periods of uncertainty in immigration detention and community based detention until their claim for protection has been granted. Some of those we have supported include young people without the care of parents. In terms of assistance funded through our Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) settlement grant • 417 clients were assisted and 1,016 contacts made • 3,187 referrals were made to mainstream and specialist services • 336 group sessions were facilitated • The majority of clients were from the refugee/protection visa stream, and a smaller number from the family and other migration streams • The main countries of origin of humanitarian entrants were Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Afghanistan. A number of new arrivals also came from other Arabic speaking and other African communities. • The Farsi (Persian) speaking Iranian population grew significantly in this period, as did the number of clients from Kurdish communities in Iraq and Iran. • The vast majority of clients were referred to the service via word of mouth, self-referral and family and friends which indicates a strong relationship between WCC and local families and communities. Our settlement staff addressed a range of issues with clients, including youth and educational issues, financial, employment, income support, social participation, sport and recreation, accommodation, health, driving, language learning and assistance, volunteering, transport, migration and citizenship support. Throughout our work, the Settlement Team has sought to harness the skills, capacity, knowledge and networks that newly arrived migrants bring with them, involving community members in providing input into program formation and evaluation and engaging them as volunteers. EMPLOYMENT SUPPORT Supported activities such as assistance with job interview techniques, presentations, cold canvassing employers, linking to training and volunteer work and industry visits were delivered as part of addressing employment and community participation for people who are newly arrived and looking for work. Emphasis was placed on working collaboratively with the client’s job network agency, addressing underlying barriers to successful employment. WOMEN IN WORK SOCIAL ENTERPRISE The Women in Work’s mobile childcare service has made significant progress in becoming a business in demand. Employing twelve qualified women as child care workers, the Women in Work enterprise has provided a service to community and private organisations from all over metropolitan Melbourne. This year, the service has provided 79 childcare sessions for 24 programs and organisations. These organisations continue to choose Women in Work as their preferred childcare provider for events, leading to meaningful employment for local women from migrant and refugee backgrounds. 15