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Family Support Project Report 2001-2002

Project Officer: Zulekha Nazir

It has been a very busy time for the project since it has started. I have spent most of my time in liaising with government and non-government organisations within the Blacktown and Fairfield local government areas. According to feedback gathered from various community organisations, there is a growing need for family support for the Sudanese, Iraqi, Afghan, Bosnia and Kurdish communities.
This is a key area of concern that I will be looking into within the next period.
The objectives of the Family Support Program are: to provide appropriate information and referrals for women who are from new and emerging communities in the Blacktown and Fairfield areas; to document the needs of these target groups and ensure that information is disseminated to other services in the Local Government areas; to increase the information and access to services of women with domestic violence and child protection issues and; to provide short-term casework and referral to a limited number of women and children in domestic violence and child abuse situations.

After consulting key women’s groups in these two areas, I have gathered that one of the strategies the Family Support Project could utilize in addressing women’s immediate needs would be to motivate them to organize playgroups for mothers who are in isolation. Through playgroups Family Support Project could provide a channel for information dissemination. I will be organizing a Family Fun Day for women in these communities and hope it would be the first step out of isolation and this would keep us updated of any ongoing needs they have. Below is a narration of one of the cases our Family Support Project had supported:

Case Study:

A woman from Iraq was beaten up by her husband and had no idea where to go and no information about services available to her. Being a recently settled refugee she was already fearful of what would happen to her in a new environment and she depended on her husband for everything: shopping, visits to the doctor, banking and others. She had contacted a friend who rang the family doctor and asked if she could get help for her. Fortunately the receptionist knew about Speakout and referred her to us.

The woman was frightened when the police came to her home and so she did not realize that they would be of help to her. After this was sorted, she eventually was housed at a refuge and took out an AVO (Apprehended Violence Order) with help of the workers. She is quite delighted that she will be able to go out to learn English and her future would be brighter.