South East Family Service

Dịch Vụ Hỗ Trợ Gia Đình
My Dung Nguyen

This program primary focuses on the family’s ability to manage day-to-day living task such as parenting skills, household management, childcare and nurture, child behaviour and the use of support services in the South Eastern region  of Melbourne.

The aims of this program are:

  • To prevent family violence and child abuse.
  • To strengthen family relationships.
  • To enhance the safety, confidence, life skills and independence of women.
  • To promote family harmony
  • To provide emergency relief

The target group I have been working with is Indo-Chinese families that have children under 18 years old living in City of Greater Dandenong, Casey, and Cardinia. The program has received referrals from different sources such as Centrelink, local schools, community agencies, Community health services, and even requests for help by the families themselves. Issues presented by clients vary in many different ways. The most and common issues are:

  • Lack of English language skills
  • Court Orders
  • Accommodation
  • Financial problems
  • Family breakdown, generation conflicts between parents and children, and between siblings as well as family violence.
  • Children have difficulties at school or are at risk of leaving school
  • Mental health and gambling issues
  • Lack of knowledge about existing services and legal system
  • Cultural barriers in approaching government agencies and using services
  • Marginalisation and isolation from the wider community, cultural shock of living and adapting to new life, lack of support from extended family due to living in Australia
  • Lack of knowledge of educational and employment opportunities
  • Lack of confidence, low self-esteem due to the above mentioned issues

As an In-home support worker, I have assisted the family to make changes in practical ways and to learn new skills by providing short-term assistance to the family for a time of 6 –8 weeks. Outreach to a family also would be provided at least one a week for 1 to 2 hours. Services have been provided to families to develop strategies for maintaining positive family relations and families with setting boundaries and other parenting skills and at times provide financial and other assistance to families in crisis.

Services are accordingly provided to meet clients’ needs as follows:

  • Case management
  • Assisting and encouraging clients to use services available in the South Eastern areas.
  • Advocating on behalf of clients in dealing with departments and agencies such as Centrelink, Medicare, Child Support, Australian Taxation Office, schools, Courts, Department of Health and Human Services including Child Protection, Legal Aid Services, Community Health Services, Job Network agencies etc.
  • Referring clients to and supporting them at interviews with other services.
  • Empowering women to strengthen their confidence, encouraging them to attend English classes and to develop their career paths and education.
  • Crisis intervention in family violence cases/child abuse, providing short to medium term counselling and ongoing support to women and children, home visiting when necessary.
  • Working closely with in-home Gambling counselling services as well as Family violence support service in order to support families with these related matters. Liaising with workers from other agencies to set up a supporting network for women and children.
  • Organising parenting groups with Uniting Family services at SICMAA’s office.
  • Providing positive parenting skill information.

In reviewing the work program, it is proven that this is a vital program that enables me to perform my duties within its framework with limited resources. Besides, this program provides adequately services according to the needs of clients and our community both in case work and community development aspects. The worker also works closely with other in-house programs at SICMAA so we can joint programs/activities which benefit clients and the community as a whole. Consultations have been undertaken immediately with SICMAA’s Management and South East Family Services Group Manager as soon as there are any issues arise in my work.


Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to:

  • The Program Leader South East Family Services – Uniting – Connections
  • The President of SICMAA – Ms Be Ha J.P
  • Steve Hunt and & Elaine Chua – South East Family Services- Uniting Connections and
  • All staff at SICMAA who support me to fulfill my task.
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