Co-location of Services for Refugees: An Evaluation of a Pilot Program in Western Australia
Scalibrini Migration Centre
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Psychology and Social Science / Social Justice Research Centre
In recent years newly arrived refugees from Africa, Burma and Middle Eastern nations have dominated the refugee intake to Australia. Coming from war torn nations, extremely poor economies and rural areas, their transition into Australia has not been easy. This paper is based on the evaluation of the Integrated Services Centre Pilot Project (ISC) which assessed co-location as an alternative service delivery model. The evaluation focused on project staff, service providers and a small sample of the refugees themselves. The objectives of the research did not warrant a greater focus on the clients as the evaluation centered on co-location as an alternate service delivery model. Data gathered from the evaluation indicated that the basic support needs of African refugees were not being met by traditional refugee services, but that the ISC Project was meeting these needs. Data also showed that African refugees had a higher level of need than other refugee groups. The article concludes with some recommendations on how current service provision can be more responsive to the needs of African refugees.