Helping Refugee Families Settle In Victoria

10 October 2017

The Andrews Labor Government is helping recently arrived children and families from Syria and Iraq adapt to their new lives through targeted professional development for frontline community workers.

The new investment will enable kindergarten teachers, maternal and child healthcare nurses and others to gain a better understanding of the unique challenges facing refugee families that have experienced severe trauma.

Melbourne-based not-for-profit Foundation House will deliver the programs to community workers across northern Melbourne.

Since June last year Hume City Council received more than 3,000 refugees – almost half were settled in Broadmeadows with around 1600 settling in the Craigieburn area - 322 are aged between birth and five years of age.

Foundation House provides specialist support for child survivors of torture and will initially work with the Hume City Council Best Start Partnership to develop and trial new professional learning resources and programs, before expanding it to other local Best Start sites.

The initiative will further strengthen the Labor Government’s Refugee Education Support Program by helping refugees to understand and access local education and health services while also supporting early years’ service providers to meet the needs of recently arrived communities.

About 4,000 refugees impacted by the Syrian and Iraqi crises expect to be settled in Victoria over the next 12 months. This is in addition to the state’s normal intake of refugee settlements.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“This is about ensuring our early years workforce are well placed to understand and meet the complex needs of recently arrived refugee families and their children.”

“We know how difficult the lives of some of these families have been – that’s why it’s vital that we help them better understand and access local education and health services.”

Quote attributable to Member for Yuroke Ros Spence
“Many of these families have often faced a traumatic life prior to moving to Australia – that’s why our Government is helping families make the most of our early childhood education system.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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