The Family Support Services and Counselling program focusses on assisting recently arrived humanitarian entrants as well as longer term individuals, couples, and families from CALD and refugee backgrounds who experience difficulties.
This is done through providing a space where culturally sensitive family support and counselling can take place, to be able to recognise and work through a variety of issues clients may be facing that may limit their successful settlement and full participation in Australian society.
They are encouraged and supported to build healthy and respectful relationships, improve understanding and communication with the family, and build on their strengths, skills, confidence and knowledge in order to become self-sufficient.
Some of the issues clients are referred to the program for include:
Settlement stress (e.g. social isolation, acculturation stress, language barriers, unemployment, financial stress, health concerns, housing, immigration concerns etc.)
Couple or family relationship issues
Family and domestic violence
Intergenerational issues (parent child conflict)
Identity confusion (younger clients)
Grief and loss
Issues beyond the scope of the program include:
Severe trauma related distress
Severe mental health disorders and psychological issues
Newly arrived humanitarian entrant families with children are also assessed and provided with an information session about raising children in Australia, including understanding their legal obligations in Australia and supporting them to learn new parenting skills if required.
The counsellor also provides information sessions and workshops to a variety of CALD populations including women’s groups, families, and youth, on a range of topics such as parenting, stress management and settlement issues.
Part of the service provision also includes advocacy on behalf of clients, supporting them in navigating their settlement in Australia and coping with associated issues. They are assisted in accessing other services and government agencies through referral processes.
The program accepts internal referrals from other programs within MMRC, self-referrals, as well as referrals from other non-profit and government organisations.
This program is funded by the WA Government through the Department of Community Services.