We provide a comprehensive range of individual and family support services to assist people from refugee backgrounds to address the effects of their traumatic experiences, such as:

  • Specialised individual and/or family counselling
  • Psychiatric treatment
  • Psycho-education and information
  • Access to complementary therapies
  • Facilitated referrals, case management, secondary consultation, and co-joint work with other services
  • Client advocacy
  • Links to group programs or community capacity building programs

We work together with individuals and families to help them to reduce symptoms and emotional distress, build coping skills and develop problem-solving strategies.

Often the needs of other family members are identified in the course of providing treatment and these family members may be linked to our services.
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Foundation House also assists our clients by providing referrals to other services, such as:

  • Health services
  • Housing services
  • Legal services
  • Other community support services

Find more information on making a referral here.

We offer a range of group programs that aim to reduce feelings of isolation, provide support through sharing experiences and feelings with others and build relationships.
Our group programs often take place in a setting local to participants to foster connections in their communities.
Our specialist work with communities recognises the trauma of refugee background communities and promotes protective factors in health, education, employment, family and community life.

Our approach is trauma-informed, strengths-based, participatory, flexible to community needs, and seeks to empower individuals and increase a community’s sense of belonging through:

  • Community advisory groups
  • Community-based psycho-education
  • Community engagement and networking
  • Community advice and consultation
  • Partnerships with service providers and community
  • Therapeutic group work
  • Recording community stories (testimonials)

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Our Early Years Program promotes and develops strategies to fully include families from refugee backgrounds in early childhood services, such as:

  • Child care
  • Kindergarten
  • Playgroups
  • Parental and child health services

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We assist schools in Victoria to support students and families of refugee backgrounds.

Our work with schools includes:

  • Participating in the Refugee Education Support Program (RESP)
  • Building partnerships on school-led initiatives and priorities
  • Professional learning workshops in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria
  • Mentoring and secondary consultations
  • Provision of school-wide resources

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Foundation House provides a range of specialist programs for young people from refugee backgrounds who have recently arrived in Australia, which have been developed in partnership with AMES Australia and the Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY):

An education and settlement program, which aims to facilitate and support the social inclusion of recently arrived young people of refugee background aged 16–25.

A work-readiness program specifically for young people not currently engaged in education, training or employment.

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We provide a range of specialist programs that support recently arrived young people of refugee backgrounds to build social connections and recognise their potential, including:

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Trauma, or exposure to traumatic events, can disturb the natural function and movement of mind and body.As a result, our clients often experience symptoms including, but not limited to:

  • Sleep difficulties
  • Gastro-intestinal upset
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Poor concentration
  • Localised or diverse body pain
  • Headaches
  • Nutritional imbalances

Our Complementary or Natural Therapies program takes a holistic and cross-cultural approach to facilitate and promote the mind-body healing process, including:

  • Naturopathy and herbal (or ‘plant’ medicine)
  • Nutritional and dietary support
  • Massage therapy
  • Yoga
  • Movement therapies

Our Complementary Therapies team works in conjunction with our specialist trauma counselling services.

Our approach is often culturally familiar and meaningful to clients who come from backgrounds with a strong tradition of herbal or ‘plant’ medicine, and/or physical bodywork such as yoga or massage.

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Under the auspices of Foundation House, the Victorian Refugee Health Network provides a unique forum which brings together a wide range of representatives from the health, settlement and community sectors who actively pursue better health outcomes for people from refugee backgrounds, including people seeking asylum.

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