Fact Sheet 66 – Humanitarian Settlement Services Program
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Australia has a long and proud history of resettling people in humanitarian need and the Australian Government is committed to helping new arrivals become active participants in the community as soon as possible. In recognition that humanitarian entrants often face additional challenges to those faced by other migrants, they receive specialised assistance during the initial settlement period.
See: Fact Sheet 60 – Australia's Refugee and Humanitarian Program
The Humanitarian Settlement Services (HSS) program provides early practical support to humanitarian entrants on arrival and throughout their initial settlement period. The HSS program endeavours to strengthen the ability of humanitarian entrants to participate in the economic and social life of Australia and to equip individuals with the skills and knowledge to independently access services beyond the initial settlement period.
Services under the program are generally provided for the first six to 12 months after a client's arrival.
The HSS program is delivered by service providers on behalf of the Australian Government.
HSS providers work with clients to assess and identify their needs and deliver a tailored package of services to meet those needs. Services provided under the HSS program may include:
- arrival reception and assistance
- assistance with finding accommodation (short-term and long-term)
- property induction
- providing an initial food package and start-up pack of household goods
- orientation information and training
- assistance to register with Medicare, health services, Centrelink, banks and schools
- linking with community and recreational programs.
Services are provided to clients based on need; therefore, not all clients will require or receive all services available under the HSS program. HSS providers also work with other settlement and mainstream services to assist clients with their settlement needs beyond the HSS program.
From 1 July 2012, humanitarian clients who arrived as an Irregular Maritime Arrival (IMA) and formerly held a Bridging visa E for greater than six months are not eligible for all services under HSS.
See: Humanitarian Settlement Services: Reduced Services For Former Bridging Visa E Holders
Case management overarches all services and coordinates the delivery of services to clients under the HSS program. Case management plans are developed for each single client and family based on a complete needs assessment.
Case management coordinates the delivery of services to clients including airport reception and transit assistance, property induction and initial food provision, assisting clients to register with Centrelink, Medicare, banks, schools and an Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) provider and assists clients to meet their health needs and attend health assessments.
Case management plans also connect clients with other settlement, community and youth programs. Clients are assisted to participate in their local communities through connection to local social, recreational and sporting organisations.
The accommodation service provides clients with accommodation upon their arrival in Australia, either in long-term accommodation, or in short-term housing arrangements before sourcing long-term accommodation. Accommodation services may also include the provision of a basic household goods package to help clients to establish their new residence in Australia.
Structured onshore orientation program
The onshore orientation program is available to all clients aged 15 and over and focuses on delivering competency based outcomes. Orientation sessions are tailored to individual client needs and learning capacities, within a National Orientation Framework. The competencies set out critical skills and knowledge clients need to live and function independently in Australian society, and to continue their settlement journey beyond the HSS program.
Humanitarian Settlement Services – Onshore Orientation Program Booklet – 2011 ( 814K B PDF file)
Humanitarian Settlement Services – Onshore Orientation Program Brochure – 2011 ( 249K B PDF file)
The HSS program is focused on humanitarian clients reaching sustainable and measurable settlement outcomes that will stand them in good stead for their settlement journey.
Exit from the HSS program is based on clients achieving clearly defined settlement outcomes. These include:
- residing in long-term accommodation (generally a lease of at least six months in duration)
- being linked to the required services identified in their case management plan
- school age children are enrolled and attending school
- ensuring clients have understood the critical messages of the orientation program and have the skills and knowledge to independently access services.
It is expected these settlement outcomes will generally be reached between 6 to 12 months of the client's arrival.
Clients holding the following visas are eligible for HSS:
- Refugee category (subclass 200, 201, 203 and 204) visas
- Global Special Humanitarian (subclass 202) visa
- Protection (subclass 866) visa.
Clients may have other needs that are not met by the HSS program. These may be met by other settlement programs or by general services available to the broader Australian community. Clients are able to access more than one settlement service simultaneously as long as there is no duplication of service type.
Fact sheet 91 – Translating and Interpreting Service
Fact sheet 92 – Settlement Grants Program
Fact sheet 94 – English Courses for Eligible Migrants and Humanitarian Entrants in Australia
Fact sheet 96 – Eligibility for Settlement Services
Fact sheet 97 – Humanitarian Settlement in Regional Australia
Fact sheet 98 – Settlement Services for Refugees
Further information is available on the department's website.
The department also operates a national general enquiries line.
Telephone: 131 881
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm. Recorded information is available outside these hours.
Fact Sheet 66. Produced by the National Communications Branch, Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Canberra.
Last reviewed May 2013.
© Commonwealth of Australia 2009.