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The Settlement Grants Program
We provide funding, through the Settlement Grants Program (SGP), to assist humanitarian entrants and migrants settle in Australia and participate equitably in Australian society as soon as possible after arrival.
The SGP is targeted to deliver settlement services to humanitarian entrants, family migrants with low levels of English proficiency and dependants of skilled migrants in rural and regional areas with low English proficiency.
The SGP is a discretionary, merit-based program. Decisions to award grants are made by the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. The Minister’s decision is final and there is no review process.
For the 2013–14 financial year, about $41 million will be made available under the SGP. Of this, around $10.5 million will be available to fund new services and a further $30.5 million for ongoing settlement grant commitments.
The SGP funds settlement services under the following service types:
Casework, coordination and delivery of services
These services involve the provision of settlement-related information, advice, advocacy or referral services to a client on an individual or family basis. These services will be provided either on request or as assessed as needed by staff relating to issues arising from the client's settlement experience.
Some examples include: advice on education and training options, referral to housing services, the provision of immigration assistance to eligible humanitarian entrant clients, advice on tenancy rights and responsibilities, banking practices, consumer rights, the police and the law, the health system, and family, relationship, and social support issues. They may include a needs assessment and the development of an individual case plan. They may also involve the provision of support for clients referred from the Humanitarian Settlement Services program.
Coordination and delivery of services
These services could include the coordination or provision of group services, such as information sessions and sewing or craft groups.
Community coordination and development
Some new arrivals need help to make social connections. Adapting to a new social environment can be daunting and new entrants may lack the confidence to seek out opportunities for social engagement. Arrivals with low levels of English language proficiency, from small and emerging communities, the elderly, and those settling in rural areas, can be particularly vulnerable to social isolation.
SGP community service examples include:
- working in neighbourhoods to support local services and create a welcoming environment for new arrivals
- fostering, promoting and supporting the development of new and emerging communities to help create a sense of belonging in the local community
- communication and awareness raising in the local community and providing a brokerage role for government agencies by helping them to connect with new communities and arrivals
- providing a place where community groups can come to for assistance and support
- referring new arrivals to existing support groups to decrease social isolation and increase interaction with other communities such as cultural/historical excursions, multicultural cooking groups, men's sheds, local sports, social clubs/organisations such as school parent associations and parents and citizens groups.
Youth settlement services
Newly-arrived young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, including refugee young people face significant challenges when settling into their new country. The combination of pre-arrival experiences and adolescence can greatly amplify the challenges that they face. These clients require a more targeted service delivery approach by providers who can offer specialised and customised services to meet their unique needs.
SGP youth service examples include:
- programs for newly-arrived young humanitarian entrants that explore orientation to life in Australia including information on accessing education, employment and health services, and their rights and responsibilities under Australian law
- specialist casework services, including assessment, development of case plans and group work activities
- providing a brokerage role for government agencies by helping them to connect with refugee and migrant young people and their families
- fostering, supporting and promoting community development activities that link refugee youth to existing youth services and help facilitate a sense of belonging in the local community
- working in partnership with new arrival and refugee youth to develop programs that build their capabilities in leadership and social skills and maintain links with their local communities
- developing innovative approaches to engage young refugees and migrants.
Support for ethno-specific communities
Although there are many different ethno-specific communities in Australia, some are very large and well-established due to a long history of migration. Some communities however, are relatively new and lack 'critical mass' to develop information networks and advocacy strategies. Targeted support is available under the SGP for these emerging groups to build their capacity to assist new arrivals to settle.
New and emerging community groups may need leadership, mentoring and advocacy to link with other communities and mainstream services and become self-sustaining.
Applications would be expected under this service type from ethno-specific organisations and ethno-specific peak bodies representing arrivals in new and emerging communities.
SGP ethno-specific service examples include:
- working in partnerships with emerging communities to build their capacity to be self-sustaining
- fostering community ability to connect with each other and with more established communities
- engaging with government agencies, service providers and the Australian community at large
- supporting new and emerging community leaders or organisations by providing training and mentoring, and assisting them to develop skills in areas including advocacy, organisational and infrastructure development, leadership, governance and financial management.
Those eligible to receive settlement services under the SGP are:
- permanent residents who have arrived in the last five years as humanitarian entrants or as family migrants with low English proficiency
- dependents of skilled migrants in rural and regional areas with low English proficiency
- newly arrived communities which require assistance to develop their capacity to organise, plan and advocate for services to meet their settlement needs and which are still receiving significant numbers of new arrivals.
Organisations eligible to apply for SGP funding are:
- not-for-profit and incorporated organisations
- local government organisations
- those currently funded to deliver services under the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP)
- government service delivery organisations in rural and regional areas.
The SGP helps new arrivals access people and organisations who can assist them in finding jobs, accommodation, health care and other relevant services. The focus is on building individuals' self-reliance and fostering connections with mainstream services.
Under the SGP, funding is made to organisations to deliver services, with funding priorities for particular regions and communities determined by an annual needs-based planning process. This planning process identifies the priority needs of new arrivals, ensuring that the SGP delivers services that are responsive to changing settlement patterns and needs.
New grants awarded under the 2013–14 SGP round will come into effect on 1 July 2013.
The SGP was developed following a review of settlement services by the department detailed in the Report of the Review of Settlement Services for Migrants and Humanitarian Entrants (May 2003).
Further information on the SGP is available on the department's website.
See: Settlement Grants Program
For information relating to specialist settlement services provided to refugees and humanitarian entrants in the immediate post-arrival period see Fact Sheet 66.
See: Fact Sheet 66 - Humanitarian Settlement Services
For information about language tuition see Fact Sheet 94.
See: Fact Sheet 94 - English Courses for Eligible Migrants and Humanitarian Entrants in Australia
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 92. Produced by the National Communications Branch, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Canberra.
Last reviewed July 2013.