Humanitarian Settlement services

The Humanitarian Settlement Services (HSS) program is Australia's flagship program for delivering initial settlement support to humanitarian clients upon first arriving in Australia. The program is funded by the Department of Social Services (DSS). Clients in the HSS program are referred to MARSS by the department.

Our HSS caseworkers provide intensive settlement support. HSS is based on a tailored service delivery model that will help humanitarian clients gain the skills and confidence needed to become independent and fully participating members of the community.

Clients are met at the airport upon their arrival and are placed in temporary accommodation until a long term housing solution can be made for them. We aim to do this as soon as possible. Clients are also assisted to register with vital services such as Centrelink, Medicare, banks, schools, medical practitioners, and the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP).

Every client has a case management plan developed for them based on a needs assessment conducted by our expert caseworkers.

Clients are provided with a Basic Household Goods package based on their assessed needs. These services really assist new arrivals to feel safe and comfortable as they settle into their new life in the ACT region.

As part of our services we use professional translating services (through the Translating and Interpreting Service - TIS) to ensure our clients fully understand the processes and services available to them. We also aim to pair our clients with volunteers. These volunteers assist clients with getting to know their general area and provide an insight into life in the ACT region and in Australia more generally. If you would like more information on volunteering please click here.

Clients generally remain in the program for 6-12 months to ensure they are on the road to independence and meeting their settlement goals. After exiting the HSS program, clients are still able to enlist the services of MARSS through the Settlement Grants Program (SGP) which provides advocacy, casework, and referrals. Clients who live on the south side of Canberra can choose to access these same SGP services at Woden Community Services.