EXECUTIVE SUMMARY -Extract
As part of the Absolutely everyone: State disability plan 2017–2020 the Victorian Government funded the Victorian Refugee Health Network ‘to complete a needs assessment of the responsiveness of the disability and refugee health service system in northern Melbourne’ (p28). This report details the outcomes of the needs assessment and makes 33 recommendations for service and policy changes and future activities to improve service responsiveness.
The issues facing people with disabilities from refugee backgrounds are multi-faceted. The service pathways for people living with a disability can be complex when accessing supports needed; discussing concerns with a general practitioner, maternal and child health nurse or teacher; seeking and negotiating services for diagnosis and other assessments; and accessing ongoing support services as required. Services in Victoria are typically organised across the life stages – early intervention, school years, adulthood and older adulthood – for most conditions, and/or a service pathway that starts with hospitalisation following an accident or major illness.
For people born with a disability-related condition there is a focus in the early years – and sometimes in primary school – on identification of concerns, assessment and then access to required services. For those who acquire a disability through a major accident or illness, the pathway to disability supports typically starts with hospital-based care, with discharge predicated on access to aids and equipment and rehabilitation services as needed.
SOURCE: Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture. “Service responses for people with disabilities from refugee backgrounds in northern Melbourne*.” Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture, 2018.
*This report was produced with funds from the North Division Health and West Division Health, Department of Health and Human Services
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia