What we do
What we do
MDA offers a range of settlement support to refugees.
Settlement Case Managers assist individuals and families by providing practical and emotional support. Individuals and families are assisted across a range of settlement needs including:
- Support to link to local community
- Assistance to access services including employment, health, education, legal and housing
- Orientation to Australian culture
- Support to develop settlement lifeskills
- Assistance with adjusting to settlement
- Managing finances
- Support to families during the settlement transition.
To further assist refugees in feeling settled as well as becoming independent and active members of our community, MDA also provides wrap around services through the following:
- Cultural Support workers - Coordinates the many talented Cultural Support Workers who assist with settlement support and the provision of support to children's services.
- Cultural Consultancy Services - This fee for service arm coordinates a pool of skilled Cultural Support Workers to support refugees and migrants with the Settlement process.
- Volunteers program - Volunteers can play a significant role in welcoming and helping refugees to resettle in this country. They extend the role of paid staff by providing companionship, assistance and support.
The development of new social connections is a vital aspect of successful settlement. MDA delivers a number of programs and activities to help clients to build meaningful social connections both within and outside of their communities of origin. Social inclusion is enabled through a combination of group work, community development and community education activities. Communities with members from a refugee background are also assisted to enhance their capacity to be successfully functioning communities in the Australian context.
- Community development - This program works in partnership with community leaders and representatives to facilitate the development process of new and emerging communities.
- Support with grant application training - This program engages culturally and linguistically diverse communities, particularly small and emerging communities to assist them with applying for grant funding.
- Community education - This popular program educates mainstream organisations, schools and government departments about experiences of refugees to improve their understanding of refugees needs.
- Meaningful activities - This program links clients with existing community activities to promote social inclusion and connectedness.
- Settlement Orientation - A settlement orientation program is available to all clients aged 15 and over and focuses on providing information and building skills relating to key settlement topics.
MDA provides training in settlement/cultural competency which aims to increase the specialised knowledge and skill base which is needed for working with refugees and other people from different cultural backgrounds.
During 2011, MDA entered an agreement with Bremer TAFE to provide the following accredited courses:
- Working with Refugees (CHCSW401A: Work effectively with Forced Migrants)
- Bicultural Work with Refugees (CHCSW402A: Undertake Bicultural Work with Forced Migrants in Australia)
These courses are a part of the National Training Framework, developed by MDA in partnership with AMES, Navitas and Margaret Piper & Associates. They can be accredited towards Cert III or IV in Community Services.
We have been successfully assisting refugees and migrants into work since 2002. Our targeted pre-employment support for jobseekers focuses on the specific needs and circumstances of jobseekers from refugee and migrant backgrounds.
Work & Welcome
Work & Welcome offers new Australians short-term paid work opportunities funded through private donations.
MDA also provides support services to families who are currently residing in the community while their visa application is being determined.
MDA's advocacy focuses on systemic advocacy which is about influencing and changing policies, laws, programs and systems that are barriers to participation for refugees and migrants.
MDA's Advocacy focuses on a range of issues, the following are including but not limited to:
- Jobs for refugees and migrants
- Fairer access to education
- Access to interpreters and translators
- Providing specific advocacy for refugee communities
Consultation with the community has identified that child abuse, neglect, domestic violence and Child Safety services are areas that are unfamiliar to MDA refugee families. As a result, MDA has developed a DVD and booklets in six different languages focusing on these topics. These languages are English, Arabic (Sudanese), Dari, Kirundi, Swahili and Rohinguyan. As an additional support MDA has developed a manual which provides information and strategies to help workers and volunteers to better care for their particular needs of the families from the target communities. It is important that practitioners and professionals are well informed about how best to support these families using culturally competent family intervention.
To access fact sheets about child safety please click on the following links:
To order one or all of the booklets or the Child Safety Manual, please click HERE for the order form.