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The partnership between SSI and its member Migrant Resources Centres and Multicultural Services was a unique model of service delivery, providing a ‘one-stop shop’ for settlement services, in a presentation by Manager, Humanitarian Services, David Keegan and HSS Service Delivery Manager, Yamamah Agh, at the recent FECCA 2013 conference on the Gold Coast.

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The partnership had created a stronger support mechanism for both clients and their case managers, with the key outcome being better integration of settlement services at a local and macro level, Mr Keegan said. This approach had also led to better outcomes for staff and clients.

During 2012-2013, SSI supported 7,164 individuals under the Humanitarian Settlement Service program.

The relationship supported both organisations to build their organisation, meet organisational aims, and better meet the needs of clients by leveraging the reputations and infrastructure of each partner.

While the benefits of this model of service delivery are numerous, three key areas were outlined during the presentation.

Client benefits include a seamless service transition to the Settlement Grants Program (SGP) on exit from HSS, saving on travel costs due to one local office location, access to eligible SGP and other community support services during HSS, and already being familiar with their local provider, post HSS.

Benefits for SSI include the integration with MRC infrastructure, such as meeting rooms, reception, and office space, local support and mentoring for staff, partnering on local community events, and increased engagement in local interagency networks.

Partner benefits include increased referrals to SGP, additional support for community development activities aimed at newly arrived communities, reduced administration costs, and access to SSI networks, planning information, training and support.

Ms Agha concluded that overall this service delivery model had proven to be a great success.

Fluctuations in the humanitarian program had been a challenge, but as with any partnership, effective and regular communication and planning had ensured that the partnership remained of mutual benefit. She added that it had also achieved the overall outcome of providing supported and resourced staff who, in turn, could provide a better service for clients.

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