Newly arrived families in Doveton receive wrap-around support under the one roof

The suburb of Doveton has been a vibrant multicultural suburb for many years, and Doveton College has been integral in supporting newly arrived families to feel welcomed and settled into their new community.

When any new family arrives at Doveton College, the whole family is enrolled and is treated to an abundance of services and support. The enrolment process for school and early learning children happens one-on-one with families and is undertaken holistically, which means that any challenges families may be experiencing are explored and resolved through support via the college or by referrals to internal or external services.

Supporting the community

The Our Place Community Facilitators who are at the school each day also play a significant role in supporting newly arrived families. When introduced to a new family, the Community Facilitators take the time to get to know them, be an ongoing connection point and assist with any needs identified during the enrolment process, as well as any that emerge in future.

A typical example of this work in action involves a parent seeking to improve their English language skills. To help with this need, a Community Facilitator will assist with a warm referral to the on site Adult English classes. This warm referral will often involve providing insight into what the Adult English classes entail, taking the family/parent over to where the course is being held to meet the educators, and explaining how the enrolment process works. The Community Facilitator will also liaise with the Adult English class provider to facilitate the beginning of the enrolment process. 

Our Place Community Facilitators are also an integral part of helping new families connect with other local community members and parents, which is often achieved through the provision of regular and informal community activities, such as weekly tea and coffee mornings. One recent example of the naturally occurring benefits of hosting these opportunities relates to newly arrived families from Afghanistan attending a tea and coffee morning during the cultural celebration of Eid, an important cultural celebration that occurs at the end of Ramadan and involves the coming together of community and families. As these families were very new to Doveton, they had not yet met others with whom they could celebrate Eid. However, by having the opportunity to attend the tea and coffee morning, they were able to connect with other Afghani families and incidentally celebrate Eid with newly made friends. 

Aligning with the Our Place Approach

The Our Place approach is built on the solid body of evidence from international research and experts and the translation of learnings from our lighthouse site at Doveton College.

Within the Our Place Approach, the Community Facilitator’s primary responsibility is to build solid and respectful relationships with partners and community members, as we recognise that relationships and trust are the preconditions for impact. Our Place also believes that every child, parent, and community member should be welcomed with respect, has a ‘no wrong door’ policy and strives for a single storytelling experience.

For more information about the Our Place Approach CLICK HERE