At the recent Provincial Assembly of the Missionary Sisters one session focused on the way in which Cabrinian ministries are addressing the pressing issues of immigration, migration, refugees, asylum seekers and human trafficking.
This week, we continue our series of in-depth looks at individual Cabrinian ministries and we explore how they are responding to the needs of those who are experiencing upheaval in their lives due to war, poverty, violence or captivity.
Cabrini Health, Australia
Baptcare/Cabrini Houses of Hope Pilot Program
Baptcare has been providing transitional housing to asylum seekers and refugees through their Sanctuary program since 2008. Sanctuary has capacity for 76 asylum seekers across two facilities in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. As well as tenancy support, residents have access to caseworkers and pastoral services aimed at improving their well-being, independence and social participation. This pilot program will end in July 2016.
Jesuit Social Services/Cabrini Asylum Seeker Solidarity Project
This is a joint initiative between Jesuit Social Services and Cabrini, which was initiated in December 2013 with the goal of changing the hearts and minds of the Catholic community towards asylum seekers and refugees. This has ultimately resulted in the formation of the Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA), a steering group comprising representatives from Catholic peak bodies, universities and other relevant organizations that have liaison with the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. Cabrini Health provided a grant to fund the establishment and sustainability of CAPSA and a project officer to facilitate the development of joint statements, regular communications and messaging.
Mental Health Screening Tool for Asylum Seekers
This has been a three-year project to develop and evaluate a tool to screen for and triage mental illness in asylum seekers. The project goals were that the tool is short, sensitive to the asylum seekers’ mental health issues, and able to be administered by a non-professional staff member at the first interaction with asylum seekers. The tool is in the final stage of validation. Cabrini has fully funded the project.
CatholicCare Asylum Seeker Support Program
CatholicCare’s Asylum Seeker Support Program supports vulnerable individuals and families released from onshore detention centers into community detention and other individuals and families who are living in the community on bridging visas and who have virtually no support. Cabrini Health provided a grant for this program which partners with parishes.