Humanitarian Settlement Services
The Humanitarian Settlement Services (HSS) program supports refugees from the moment they arrive at the airport, where SSI’s culturally and linguistically diverse workforce ensures the first words new arrivals hear are ‘welcome to Australia’ in their preferred language.
Upon arrival, SSI’s HSS program provides essential support and information to assist and empower refugees to gain independence and build strong connections in their new communities.
SSI’s case management model is an integral part of the HSS program and includes case managers, bilingual workers, volunteers and the wider community, all of whom take pride in delivering quality services to refugees and humanitarian entrants.
Within the diverse HSS workforce, many staff members are from refugee or migrant backgrounds themselves and are familiar with the challenges of settling in a new country and the needs of new arrivals.
SSI’s HSS program enhances self-reliance with a focus on English language skills, education and job readiness. These services don’t just respond to one particular need – they provide a whole spectrum of quality support to help new arrivals settle successfully in Australia.
SSI works in partnership with businesses and all stakeholders, including the private sector, to connect refugees to employers and to build their local skills and capacity. The HSS team proactively looks for opportunities to link clients with skills recognition courses to help them get the best start to life in Australia. SSI also offers internal job readiness programs to teach new arrivals about the local employment market and help them prepare to enter the workforce.
HSS case managers ensure that learning English is a top priority for all new arrivals by connecting refugees with age-appropriate learning support, such as ESL classes and NAVITAS lessons. Staff members speak more than 80 languages, so there is a strong focus on in-language support, which sets the foundation for solid relationships between case managers and refugees.
All HSS staff receive specialist training enabling them to keep young people motivated and energised when they are at their most vulnerable in the early stages of settlement. Along with a tailored information guide and regular youth activities, SSI offers youth orientation sessions that cover important issues for young people such as health, tenancy rights and obligations, and money management.
Supporting vulnerable women to connect with their peers and develop lasting meaningful connections helps to reduce the risk of isolation and anxiety during the early stage of settlement. SSI has a unique Women at Risk service model that includes support from specialised case managers, bilingual guides and mentors; tailored orientation sessions; and innovative initiatives such as employment workshops and partnerships with external information providers.
SSI’s HSS program focuses on the whole needs of the person – including health and wellbeing. It offers many programs designed to meet new arrivals’ specific health needs, such as offering information and support to help refugees quit smoking, in partnership with refugee health services.
*This program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services