Course Title: Work effectively with forced migrants

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

Course Code: HWSS5522C

Course Title: Work effectively with forced migrants

School: 365T Global, Urban & Social Studies

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4357 - Certificate IV in Community Services Work

Course Contact : Zaina Nehme

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4552

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 45

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

Not applicable.

Course Description

This course describes the knowledge and skills required to work with and for refugees within an ethical, social, political and economic context.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CHCSW401A Work effectively with forced migrants


1. Develop a professional rapport with people who are forced migrants

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Conduct interpersonal communication in a manner that enhances a client-centred approach consistent with organisation standards
1.2 Communicate with clients in a manner that builds trust as a basis for establishing a trusting and respectful relationship
1.3 Consider cultural sensitivities in communication techniques and adapt style and language to accommodate different cultural values and practices
1.4 Recognise how one's own ethnicity, religion, class and gender will affect interactions with clients
1.5 Recognise the communication needs of clients who are newly arrived, traumatised and confused
1.6 Identify where an interpreter is needed and work to ensure that appropriate interpreter services are accessed
1.7 Work effectively with interpreters where required
1.8 Define and manage boundaries appropriately in the relationship
1.9 Take appropriate measures to resolve conflict and interpersonal differences


2. Work within the context of the settlement services sector

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Apply an understanding of the role and scope of settlement services
2.2 Ensure that work reflects the current and historical context of the sector
2.3 Apply a knowledge of the current issues which may impact on own work or organisation
2.4 Develop a basic knowledge of different frameworks that underpin work within the sector
2.5 Ensure work reflects consideration of the social, political and economic context in which the sector operates
2.6 Identify relevant stakeholders and their particular roles and responsibilities
2.7 Collect and use the views of key stakeholders and representatives from relevant target groups when collecting information about the sector
2.8. Maintain access to relevant, up-to-date information about policy, services and programs
2.9 Develop and maintain links with workers with complementary roles in the provision of settlement services


3. Address issues associated people who are forced migrants

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Evaluate issues in relation to person's culture, family background and interest and modify approach appropriately
3.2 Take into account the culture, religion, class, gender and experiences of the person in all actions and decisions
3.3 Recognise trauma and refer to appropriate personnel or services
3.4 Support clients to deal with loss and grief
3.5 Support clients to deal with discrimination from both the mainstream community and from other ethnic groups
3.6 Work with client to identify potential solutions to complex issues raised


4. Demonstrate commitment to the central philosophies of the settlement sector

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Demonstrate consideration and understanding of the underpinning values and philosophy of the sector in all work undertaken
4.2 Demonstrate a commitment to access and equity principles in all work in the sector
4.3 Encourage client participation in all aspects of service planning and support activities where appropriate
4.4 Identify personal values and attitudes regarding forced migrants and take these into account when planning and implementing all work activities


5. Understand the process of acquisition of life skills

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Demonstrate an understanding of the role of settlement plans and how they are developed
5.2. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of teaching life skills to clients from diverse backgrounds in a respectful and effective way

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course you will have developed and applied the skills and knowledge required to demonstrate competency in the above elements.

Details of Learning Activities

All courses and learning activities will be supported and complemented by RMIT’s learning management tool "Blackboard". Other essential learning activities will take place during the workshops, and you will also be required to undertake independent studies. Some of the learning activities that you will undertake are:

  • Class exercises
  • Demonstrations (role plays)
  • Observations
  • Group discussions
  • Class presentations
  • Case studies
  • Quizzes
  • Group activities

Teaching Schedule

1Introduction to the course and forced migration
  • Introduction to the unit
  • Migration and forced migration
  • Who are refugees
  • International Protection
  • Refugee status and experiences
  • Durable solutions
  • Response to forced migration
  • The Humanitarian Program
  • Visa Categories
  • Management of forced migration to Australia
  • Preparation of Entrants for Resettlement
2Settlement and the impact of forced migration on settlement
  • Definition of settlement
  • Stages of settlement
  • Settlement needs
  • Needs vs rights
  • Indicators of settlement
  • Services Available to new entrants
  • The ever changing current situation
  • The role of the community sector
  • Settlement Service Principles
  • Changing Gender Roles
  • Challenges faced by families
  • Torture and Trauma
3Understanding Refugee Communities
  • Community in the context of refugee communities
  • Helping communities to develop
  • Support for emerging communities
  • Culture and Identity
  • Guest Speaker from the Sector
4Working with clients
  • First steps when working with forced migrants
  • Teaching life skills to forced migrants
  • Effective client engagement with forced migrants
  • Developing and implementing a settlement plan
5Effective advocacy and the Human Rights Commission
  • What is Advocacy? – revisited
  • Strategies for effective advocacy
  • Complaints Mechanism
  • Human Rights
  • The Human Rights Commission
  • Empowering clients
  • Supporting Communities to be effective advocates
6Effective work practices with forced migrants
  • Working with interpreters
  • Factors influencing interactions
  • Vicarious Traumatisation

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

No prescribed textbook required.


Other Resources

You will be provided with the resources and tools for learning in this course. These resources will also be available through Blackboard. You will also have access to the resources in the library at RMIT.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course will consist of:
Research into the philosophy and operations of three organisations that deliver settlement services in the local area/region, an open book quiz covering various aspects of the management of Australia’s Refugee and Special Humanitarian Program and service delivery to refugees and other forced migrants, a role play that examines communication and observational skills as well as capacity to identify and respond appropriately to the specific characteristics of a client from a refugee or forced migrant background, answering a series of questions about a case study in order to demonstrate a sound understanding of the process of developing a settlement plan and a written or verbal exercise that assesses participants’ understanding of managing boundaries and resolving conflict and interpersonal differences.

Assessment Tasks

For this course you are required to complete the following tasks:
Assessment Task 1- Research: in this task you will be required to find information about three different organisations that are part of the settlement service and which provide services to refugees and other forced migrants.
Assessment Task 2- Questions and Answers: in this task you will be required to answer a number of questions on Australia’s Humanitarian Program, the Humanitarian Settlement Services, Settlement Grants Program and DIAC.
Assessment Task 3- Communicating with Clients: in this task you will be required to participate in a role play demonstrating your communication skills when working with forced migrants.
Assessment Task 4- Developing a Settlement Plan: for this tasks you will be required to answer a number of questions demonstrating your understanding of the process of developing a settlement plan for a family.
Assessment Task 5- Managing boundaries and resolving conflict: in this task you will be required to answer questions based on a case study.

Assessment Matrix

This program in delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment, grades include:

CA: Competency Achieved
NYC: Not Yet Competent
DNS: Did Not Submit for assessment

Other Information

Assessment Tasks Submission Cover Sheet
You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work, including online submissions. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications.

It is strongly advised that you attend all workshops in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

You will receive verbal and written feedback by teacher on your work. This feedback also includes suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your competency. Information regarding student feedback can be found at:;ID=9pp3ic9obks7

Student Progress
Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential. The Student progress policy can be found at:;ID=vj2g89cve4uj1

Special consideration Policy (Late Submission)
All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension. Information regarding application for special consideration can be found at:;ID=g43abm17hc9w

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism
RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. For more information on this policy go to Academic Integrity Web site:;ID=kw02ylsd8z3n

Course Overview: Access Course Overview