Building the evidence: responding to the needs of recently arrived refugee and asylum seeker populations
In recent years, there has been a significant influx of new arrivals from refugee backgrounds into Victoria with growing numbers in Melbourne’s south eastern (around Dandenong) and north western metropolitan regions in particular.
People of refugee backgrounds have significant needs for health and social services, yet access is limited due to a range of complex factors and a heavy demand on available services. Asylum seeker populations have varying eligibility for services, very limited income and limited case work support which provide further barriers. In the north west metropolitan region, generalist and specialist health services are rallying to meet the needs of refugee background populations. However, these services are struggling to gain a comprehensive understanding of key issues impacting on eligibility and access to service systems and outcomes of existing service approaches including:
- presenting health care needs;
- service utilisation;
- internal migration patterns that influence where people present to access services and resources; and
- additional factors impacting on health outcomes.
Provision of appropriate services for health, education, employment, housing, language and social support services is complex and requires an integrated evidence base for future planning and services provision. These issues inform a scoping study that will be conducted in consultation with key service providers in the northern and western metropolitan regions.
This project was developed by the Melbourne School of Population Health and is supported through the University of Melbourne’s partnership with the Victorian Government’s Department of Health and Department of Human Services.
Melanie Davern [McCaughey Community Wellbeing Unit, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health]
Deborah Warr [McCaughey Community Wellbeing Unit, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health]
Karen Block [Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Welbeing Team, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health]
Ashrafalsadat Hosseini [McCaughey Community Wellbeing Unit, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health]