“I had come from a country with a different language, people and culture. Terrible things happened to me there because I supported human rights. It is hard to talk about what they did to me. When I came to Australia I was so frightened…of everyone.” Foundation House client
Working with our clients towards recovery requires a framework of understanding which brings together awareness of historical, political and social influences, both past and present, which affect lives on a daily basis. Our conceptual framework for trauma recovery is based on an understanding that survivors’ well-being is affected by a complex interplay of their history of torture and other traumatic events, the risk and protective factors they encounter in Australia and cross-cultural factors at play in a new settlement environment. It is underpinned by four recovery goals which result from an analysis of the impact of torture and other traumatic events.
Goals for Recovery
In all of its work, Foundation House seeks to work with clients towards four key goals for recovery.
- To restore safety, enhance control and reduce the disabling effects of fear and anxiety
- To restore attachment and connections to other human beings, and a sense of belonging
- To restore meaning, identity and justice
- To restore dignity and value, and reduce shame and guilt
This framework guides the role we play in working with clients and ensures our multi-disciplinary staff offer appropriate interventions. Foundation House client services are directed at achieving and promoting recovery through a range of interventions including:
- Individual and family counselling
- Client advocacy
- Complementary therapies
- Specialist Mental Health Clinic
- Group programs
- Comprehensive assessments of psychological and social functioning and history of experiences of traumatic events
- Referral and facilitated access to mainstream and refugee specific services
- Co-joint assessment and interventions with community liaison workers who comprise the Capacity Building Team.
Interventions focus on individuals, families, groups and communities.
The Foundation House service model is outlined in further detail in the Integrated Trauma Recovery Service Model.
Working with Communities
Community capacity building is an important component of the VFST’s integrated trauma recovery service model. This work is underpinned by three key principles which work towards the independence, autonomy and enhanced wellbeing of a community:
- Build cohesive relationships and external partnerships
- Build reciprocal understanding through dialogue
- Build on community skills and resources
This model is outlined in A Framework for Community Capacity Building