Slide outline: Supporting young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds: Good practice and measuring settlement outcomes

CFCA webinar - 23 March 2017

1. Supporting young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds: Good practice and measuring settlement outcomes

  • Presenters: Nadine Liddy, Heather Stewart, Pilar Rioseco and John De Maio
  • This webinar is part of the CFCA information exchange webinar series:

2. Presenters

  • John De Maio

    Research Fellow, Australian Institute of Family Studies

  • Nadine Liddy

    National Coordinator of the Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network (MYAN Australia)

  • Pilar Rioseco

    Senior Research Officer, Australian Institute of Family Studies

  • Heather Stewart

    Previously worked at the Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY) and the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria

3. Humanitarian youth in the “Building a New Life in Australia” study

  • Pilar Rioseco & Cuc Hoang
  • CFCA Webinar, 23rd March 2017

4. “Building a New Life in Australia” (BNLA)

  • Five year longitudinal study.
    • Onshore and offshore humanitarian migrants.
  • 2,399 respondents in Wave 1 (2013-14).
    • 135 adolescents (aged 15-17)
    • 553 young adults (aged 18-25)
  • Child module in Wave 3.
  • National sample, wide range of topics covered. 

5. “Building a New Life in Australia” (BNLA)

  • Wave 1 and Wave 2 are publicly available for you!

6. Background of young BNLA participants

Country of birth














Assyrain Neo-Aramaic












Burmese and related










Congo, D. R


Chaldean Neo-Aramic






7. How are humanitarian youth settling?

Three areas in the National Youth Settlement Framework:

  • Economic participation:
  • uEnglish language proficiency, study.
  • Social participation:
  • Friends in Australia, discrimination.
  • Personal well-being:
  • Psychological distress, post-traumatic stress disorder.

8. Economic participation

9. Proficiency in spoken English improves over time

  • Graphic shows percentages of English proficiency by Wave and then by age group.
  • Rating very well to not at all.

10 Adolescents have higher engagement in English classes and study than young adults

  • Graphic shows comparison between English and other study by Wave and by age group.

11 Social participation:

12 Higher social integration of young people over time

  • Graphic shows what social groups respondents primarily mix with

13 However, higher proportion report experiencing discrimination in later waves

  • Graphic shows percentage reporting experience of discrimination

14 Personal well-being

15 Different patterns of psychological distress among adolescents and young adults

  • Graphic shows percentage at moderate/high risk of psychological distress according to Kessler 6  

16. A higher proportion of females likely to have PTSD relative to males in Wave 3

  • Graphic shows percentage likely to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 

17. Conclusion

  • Young adults aged 18-25, especially females, need targeted support for improving English skills.
  • Young adults aged 18-25 are less engaged in education than adolescents aged 15-17.
  • Although social integration increases over time, higher proportions experience discrimination in later waves.
  • Decreases in mental health over time require particular attention and intervention in this population.

18. Acknowledgements

  • Department of Immigration and Border Protection
  • Department of Social Services
  • Members of the Advisory Groups
  • Colmar Brunton Social Research and interviewing team
  • Study participants

19 BNLA team

20 AIFS CFCA Webinar:

  • Supporting young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds:
good practice and measuring settlement outcomes

  • Nadine Liddy
    Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network (Australia)
  • Heather Stewart
  • 23rd March 2017

21 MYAN (Australia)

  • National peak body on multicultural youth 
  • Promotes rights and interests of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds and supports targeted response
  • Vision – all young people from refugee and migrant background can access the support and opportunities they need to be active participants in and contributors to Australian society

22. MYAN (Australia)

  • Policy and sector development - provide advice to government and capacity building to those working with young people 
  • Support development of state/territory networks & organisations – MYAN NSW, MyQ, MYAN WA, MYAN TAS
  • Support the development of young people’s leadership and advocacy skills – Youth Ambassador Network (YAN), national youth events, international advocacy opportunities
  • Work across settlement and youth sectors

23. Photo of young adults 

24 What is the Youth Settlement Framework?

  • First national framework for understanding and responding to the needs of young people in settlement 
  • Developed by MYAN Australia – informed by young people, non-government and government sectors
  • Designed to inform policy & service delivery across government and the non-government sector – all areas of young people’s engagement with services to support their settlement in Australia
  • Evidence based guidance for measuring good practice and settlement outcomes – conceptual and practical resources

25 Why a National Youth Settlement Framework?

  • Young people in the settlement journey have particular needs:
    • Distinct from children, adults and families – age, development stage and role within the family
    • Different to Australian-born young people – refugee and migration experience, cultural dislocation 
    • Additional and more complex transitions – culture, education/training pathways, peers, family structures, adolescence, concepts of independence and youth rights
    • Limited social capital
    • Settlement in the context of adolescence - significant developmental stage, belonging and identity

26 What underpins the Framework?

  • Human rights frameworks
  • Youth work and settlement frameworks
  • Young people in the settlement journey:
    • Resilient and resourceful – strengths and capabilities
    • A diverse group
    • Have particular needs
    • Require a targeted approach

27 Components of the Framework

  1. Understanding the refugee and migration experience for adolescents
  2. Understanding the Australian settlement context
  3. Facilitating good youth settlement through active citizenship – domains and indicators
  4. Facilitating good practice in youth settlement – good practice capabilities
  • Supplementary Resources
  • Assessment guides – Active Citizenship Indicators and Good Practice Capabilities

28 Graphic

  • Shows how economic, social and civic participation impact on personal well being and all of these factors impact on active citizenship.

 29 Young people active citizenship

  • Graphic shows key life indicators that contribute to active citizenship and good practice capabilities for service delivery.

30. Implementing the Framework

  • National training 2016 – reinforced need, sector engagement in youth settlement, Framework as milestone
  • Additional resources – 2016 Data Info Sheet, case studies, digital stories
  • Working with mainstream service providers
  • Ongoing training opportunities at state/territory level
  • Evaluating implementation – seeking feedback from the sector
  • National Multicultural Youth Conference:
    • Melbourne, 23-24 November 2017
    • Hosted by MYAN Australia and University of Melbourne (Youth Research Centre and School of Culture and Communication)

31 Importance of measuring good practice and settlement outcomes

  • BNLA research, ARC LP ‘Defining the status of CALD youth’, Youth Transitions Support Pilot (DSS Settlement Services), SCOA Settlement Outcomes Standards
  • Senate Inquiry into Migrant Settlement Outcomes – spotlight on settlement outcomes
  • Building an evidence base – advocacy in policy and programming
  • Global context - resettlement countries

32 Applying the Framework to practice

  • Good practice capabilities:
    • Cultural competency
    • Family-aware
    • Collaboration
  • 2 x case studies – MyFamily Project (Centre for Multicultural Youth, VIC)
  • Working with mainstream and settlement organisations, focus on strengthening families
  • Resources available on the MyFamily website

33 Photo

34 MyFamily

  • Supporting migrant and refugee families parenting adolescents

35 Photo

36 MyFamily

  • Working with young people AND families

37 Photo

38 MyFamily

  • Importance of intergenerational relationships for young people in the settlement process

39 Photo

40 MyFamily

  • Family aware practice
  • Understanding the pressures of settlement on families

41 Photo

42 MyFamily

  • Cultural competence
  • Impact of cultural dislocation

43 Photo

44 MyFamily

  • Collaboration
  • Cross sector partnerships build responsive interventions

45 Photo

46 Resources

  • National Youth Settlement Framework
  • Speak Up: Global Refugee Youth Consultations in Australia
  • MyFamily

47 MYAN (Australia) Contacts

  • Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network (Australia)
  • Nadine Liddy (National Coordinator)
  • Subscribe to the MYAN eNews
  • Register – National Conference
  • State/territory partners – contacts through MYAN website

47 Questions

  • Join the conversation & access key resources
  • Continue the conversation started here today and access related resources on the CFCA website: 


Need some help?

CFCA offers a free research and information helpdesk for child, family and community welfare practitioners, service providers, researchers and policy makers through the CFCA News.