The Foundation House approach to building community capacity recognises the trauma of refugee background communities and promotes protective factors in health, education, employment and family life. Our approach recognises that individuals can begin to recover from pre-arrival trauma when the communities they are part of, and the service systems they interact with, are inclusive, safe, responsive and provide meaningful connections.
In this context, the term community capacity building is used when Foundation House:
- Establishes structures and processes which identify a community’s strengths and concerns
- Provides information from a trauma-informed perspective which addresses community concerns
- Empowers a community to set and advance their own goals
- Encourages communities to take control over their health, education, employment and family life
Our strategies for building community capacity include:
- community advisory groups
- psycho-education groups
- community engagement and networking
- community advice and consultation
- therapeutic group work
The Capacity Building team (CaB) at Foundation House was established in 2008 to strengthen the capacity of newly arrived communities to engage with Foundation House and other service providers. The employment of bi-cultural workers from those communities was seen as a means of enhancing connection and communication. The work of the CaB team includes community engagement, networking, co-facilitation of groups, leadership support and development, and co-joint direct service work with Foundation House Counsellor Advocates.
The Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture – A Framework for Community Capacity Building is available for download here