Foundation House provides direct services to clients in the form of counselling, client advocacy, family support, group work, psycho-education, information and complementary therapies.
“Among our first clients, in 1987, was a woman from Latin America whose home had been raided by the military. They were looking for her son who was involved in the trade union movement. They shot her husband and knocked her unconscious. When she regained consciousness she reached for her daughter who was slumped against the fridge. The girl slid into her arms and the mother realised she had also been killed.” – Foundation House staff member
Each year Foundation House delivers services to approximately 6,000 survivors of torture and other traumatic experiences who come from more than 60 countries of origin.
The impact of torture and other traumatic events can manifest in many ways including severe emotional distress, sleep disorders, recurring and intrusive memories, difficulty concentrating, sadness, fear, anger, guilt and breakdown in family and personal relationships.
Settlement in Australia can be a stressful process, because of the persistence of difficulties associated with experiences in countries of origin, dangerous flight and precarious transit. People of refugee backgrounds may also
• have little or no proficiency in English
• have occupational skills which may not match work available in Australia
• have qualifications which are not recognised
• have limited and/or disrupted formal education.
The wellbeing of children and adolescents can be significantly affected both by their experiences of traumatic events and because their parents’ capacity to support and nurture them may be negatively affected. Many children are orphaned or separated from their parents or carers for long periods of time.