The HSS program assists humanitarian arrivals, both singles and families, with permanent humanitarian arrival visas in their early settlement period in Australia. This is usually during their first 6 months of arrival.
SMECC directly settles refugees and humanitarian entrants in this region and has seen an increase in new arrivals over the past twelve months. During the 2014-15 financial year SMECC directly settled 113 clients through our Humanitarian Settlement Service (HSS) Program. This is a decrease on the total of 159 clients settled in 2013-14 due to a reduction in the annual national humanitarian visa refugee intake
The support provided by this service is intensive, but limited. The service is aimed at helping our clients to become increasingly self-reliant over time, to live their day to day lives. While SMECC staff take a strong initial role in physically introducing clients to services around the Region, this outreach support reduces over time as clients are able to manage more day to day activities themselves.
Our team support newly arrived clients with their orientation to living in Australia, and to Mildura. This includes;
Initial health assessments and referrals to additional health services, including mental health support, with our partners, Sunraysia Community Health Services
Providing initial accommodation and household goods needs, and support clients to find suitable long term accommodation
Helping clients understand how to undertake basic day to day activities in Australia, such as; banking, shopping, public transport, paying bills, using interpreter services etc
Providing orientation sessions to new arrivals in a range of areas to support understanding of; their responsibilities, local laws and emergency support, and broader support services available.
Supporting clients to locate and use government services they are required to contact, including; Medicare, Centrelink and other Human Services departments
Linking clients with Sunraysia TAFE and other services to support educational needs
Supporting social connections through linking new clients with local community leaders and members from their ethnic groups who are living in Mildura
Generally clients are ‘exited’ from the HSS program at the end of six months, and at that time are offered the opportunity to turn to the SMECC Settlement Services(SS) Program for additional ongoing support. In certain circumstances where complex issues have arisen clients may have their time as part of the HSS program extended.
SMECC delivers the HSS program as part of a partnership with Adult Multicultural Education Services (AMES), funded through the Australian Government Department of Social Service