Sponsorship or Community-Led Support in Practice

We’ve pulled together some practical tools and resources for groups mentoring or sponsoring a refugee individual or family to use for preparation and support. Topics include fundraising, suggested activities for groups, self-care and guidance on working with refugees.

Fundraising & Banking

Mentor groups are responsible for ensuring compliance with any applicable laws or regulations with respect to fundraising and other group activities. Here are some resources that explain some of the applicable rules in Australia with respect to fundraising:

You should also read and consider the terms and conditions of any fundraising platforms that you use (eg GoFundMe or Facebook Fundraising).

Armidale Sanctuary Group has shared a helpful resource on ‘Setting up Administration for Fundraising’.

Here is a helpful resource for setting up a bank account for your group – banking options

Insurance & Risk Management

CRSA’s Group Mentorship Program encourages agency and autonomy among mentors and mentees involved in the program. CRSA will not direct, regulate or control or be responsible for the day-to-day activities of mentor groups or their interactions with the mentee(s). It is up to each individual mentor group member and mentee (‘program participant’) to decide whether or not to participate in any activity proposed by any other program participant and those organising an activity should check this with all relevant individuals before proceeding with the activity.

Many mentor group members involved in the Group Mentorship Program will already have personal insurance policies that may offer a level of protection in the event that unfortunate incidents arise in the course of activities that they engage in as mentors for refugee newcomers, for example, home and contents insurance and/or comprehensive car insurance.

To add an additional layer of protection, CRSA has managed to secure umbrella insurance policies which will cover active GMP mentor groups for the duration of their 6-12 month mentorship period for:

  • General and Products Liability ($20 million cover for any one claim, with a deductible of
    $1,000 per claim, to be borne by the mentor group).
  • Professional Liability ($1 million cover for any one claim, $2 million in aggregate)

If your group has confirmed its involvement in the GMP, you don’t need to do anything further to be covered by these policies. Please let CRSA know as soon as possible of any incidents that might trigger a claim.

Please read CRSA’s ‘Risk Management & Insurance information for mentor groups’ for further information, policy schedules and wording.

Incorporation Toolkit (for groups based in Victoria)

One of CRSA’s Victorian Mentoring Groups has kindly put together a toolkit for other Victorian mentor groups looking to incorporate. If this is of interest to you and your group, you can download the Incorporation Toolkit (Vic) here.

CRSA is working towards developing similar toolkits for other Australian states and territories.

Suggested tasks / activities & self-care

Woollahra Welcome Group has shared a suggested list of tasks for group coordinators as a guide.

Learn about how to deal with compassion fatigue, burnout and vicarious trauma in this guidebook developed by QPASST – QPASST Guidebook on Compassion Fatigue, Burnout and Vicarious Trauma (2016)

Children and Young People

The Australian Institute for Family Studies has developed a Resource Sheet for reporting child abuse and neglect for all members of the community. Review this resource sheet to find out more about the processes behind reporting in your state or territory.

We have also developed a Working with Young People factsheet that provides advice for how to support adolescents from refugee backgrounds in their settlement process.

Australian Sponsorship Resources

Torture & Trauma Resources:

  • NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS) – Resource Page (includes information about Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Trauma and Supporting people from refugee backgrounds)
  • Victorian Foundations for Survivors of Torture, Rebuilding Shattered Lives, 1998, accessible as a PDF here.
  • Judith Herman, Trauma and Recovery, 1992, available for purchase here.

From the GMP Peer Forum in December 2021, we have created a series of mini videos with STARTTS facilitator Nooria Mehraby. Watch them all on Youtube here.

Global Sponsorship Resources

    • Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative – refugeesponsorship.org/
      • Guidebook – Case Studies
      • Online Learning Resource (free registration required) – https://training.refugeesponsorship.org/#online-resource
    • (Canada) Refugee Sponsorship Training Program – rstp.ca/en/
      • Training Guides (includes Supporting Settlement & Integration, Crosscultural Awareness and Conflict Management & Resolution)
      • Past Webinars (includes Supporting Settlement & Integration, Preserving & Improving the Mental Health of Refugees, their Sponsors & Supporters, Vicarious Trauma and Communicating across Cultures)
      • Best Practices
    • (NZ) Nick Regnault, Welcoming the Stranger: Signposts for Building Bridges and Making Peace, Wellington: Philip Garside Publishing Ltd, 2019 (extracts available here ‘Signpost’ Extracts-from-N-Regnault-Welcoming-the-Stranger
    • (UK) – Reset – resetuk.org
    • Working with Refugees 

General Settlement

    • Australian Government Department of Social Services – Beginning a Life in Australia (includes post-arrival, English, Education & Training, Employment, Housing, Transport, Health & Wellbeing, Family, Civic Participation)
    • Australian Government Department of Home Affairs – Key settlement topics (includes Employment, Education & Training, Health & Wellbeing, Money, Transport, Housing, Civic Participation, Language Services)
    • (NSW) – Multicultural NSW – New Arrivals to NSW (includes Community, Health, Transport & Driving, Housing, Education & Employment)
      • Humanitarian Entrants (includes General Support, Settlement Services, Service Providers, Language Services, Health Services)
    • Settlement Council of Australia – Sector Updates
    • SBS Settlement Guide

Settlement Services

Strengths Based Approach

Regional Settlement

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