The Victorian Arabic Social Services (VASS) Family Services consists of intake, assessment and referral services, family strengthening projects, and family support groups and playgroups.
The Intake, Assessment and Referral Service is funded by the Department of Human Services. This service aims to meet the needs of the Arabic Speaking Background(ASB) communities by a formal intake process, assessment of needs and possible referral to local services. The ASB communities face a number of issues such as unemployment, settlement issues, mental and psychological health concerns, social isolation, cultural and linguistic barriers, lack of access to services and parenting issues. The VASS aims to address these issues through social support groups, short and long term case work, culturally sensitive approaches to service provision and appropriate referrals.
‘Family Services is about Strengthening the Capacity of Families to live a Safe, Healthy and Just Life’
Family Strengthening Project
Funded by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
The Family Strengthening Project was initiated in 2006 and aims to improve the skills of families from ASB communities in areas such as parenting, health concerns, trauma, unemployment, family violence, settlement, isolation amongst other issues. The project is primarily focused on the ASB communities in the Melbourne’s South East (Dandenong), North West (Hume) and West (Hobson’s Bay) and strengthens the existing skills of migrants and refugees and empowers them to participate in mainstream society.
Outcomes for Family Services 2011-2012
- Coordination of the Annual Tax Help Program
- Coordinate intake and referral of ASB families and individuals
- Provision of workshops and forums addressing topics of importance including Consumer law, Cyberlaw, Safe use of medicine and personal care
- Working with a number of bodies, including the University of Melbourne, the McCaughey Centre and Merri Community Health Services (MCHS) in the ‘Teeth Tales’ program which provided dental health care and hygiene checks along with information sessions
- Networking with stakeholders in support of ASB families and provision of services to this target group