The Humanitarian Settlement Program (HSP) provides intensive settlement support to newly arrived community members who have been granted permanent visas under the Australian Government’s Humanitarian Settlement Program. The program is provided to humanitarian entrants who have experienced persecution, substantial discrimination and violation of their human rights in their home countries.
The HSP provides individuals and families and individuals with a range of services and support through a coordinated case management approach. The program is tailored to address client needs and is designed to strengthen the client’s ability to participate in the economic and social life of Australia. It aims to equip them with the skills and knowledge to independently access services beyond the initial settlement period. Clients are eligible to access the program up to 5 years after arriving in Australia and can receive services for up to 18 months.
Over the past 12 months, Diversitat has assisted over 250 newly arrived refugees to settle in Geelong. These families come from a variety of countries including Syria, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Palestine, Pakistan, Sudan, Congo and Somalia.
Within two days of arrival in Geelong, Diversitat staff initiate contact with clients and ensure that their accommodation and basic needs are being met. When working with clients, Diversitat Community Guides, who speak their language and understand their culture, play an important role. The Case Manager develops a case management plan which includes key activities to achieve clients’ settlement goals. The Case Managers support clients to register with relevant services such as Centrelink and Medicare; attend medical appointments; enroll in English language classes, enrol children at primary and secondary school; secure a property lease; use of public transport; register with an employment provider and a range of other universal services.
The orientation program is delivered early in settlement and is complimented with every day efforts by Community Guides to assist clients to settle in Australia. Once clients are referred to major universal services, are in long term accommodation and have gained major competencies in respect to various aspects of life in Australia, they are seamlessly transferred to Diversitat’s other settlement and community programs.
The HSP program is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services