QPASTT, Brisbane, Australia
An increasing number of human service organizations over the last two decades have started to turn their focus to improving theople from refugee backgrounds. To improve the provision of services, there is a need to investigate whether young people are willing to utilize those services and how they are connected with services. It is also a prerequisite for these organizations to effectively engage with young people from refugee backgrounds to realize utilization of those services available.
Young people from refugee backgrounds have experienced trauma in their country of origin, displacement, flight or in acculturation experience. This traumatic experience contributes to challenges of engaging in school and community. This contribute to their issues of engaging at schools and in the community. It creates barriers such as participating in class, school and community activities for young people to utilize services and limited their engagement with services and practitioners. This has become a challenge and required human services professionals to be innovative in their approach to services delivery to minimize these barriers to service utilizations.
The paper will examine difficulties engaging in services using a soft entry approach as a framework to engage young people from the refugee background to navigate through the system in order to narrow the gap of services utilization. It will further explore and share some strategies and learnings from QPASTT’s school outreach model that allows young people from refugees’ backgrounds to engage, be open and receptive to services available at schools.