The recently released report Refugee Communities Intercultural Dialogue: Building Relationships, Building Communities aims to understand how services could better support refugee parents to care for their children.
The report found that refugee families’ use of formal services peaked on arrival and decreased over time, and that the types of services utilised were largely dependent on case worker facilitation. Families identified valuable service characteristics as: meeting diverse needs, providing flexible and practical services in a timely manner, and staff that developed culturally sensitive, warm and respectful long term relationships with families, with regular contact.
A number of barriers and areas for improvement were identified, including informing parents about service availability, particularly for parenting support and family assistance, and working towards more inclusive service provision by providing translated materials and interpreters to overcome language difficulties. Building social capital was also regarded as important, both for families by strengthening informal networks within the community and also through education and support services to develop opportunities and connections for children and young people who might be impacted by a lack of material resources.