The Indigenous Community Liaison Worker
At Laurel House and Laurel Place, the Indigenous Community Liaison Worker provides support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families so that they can access counselling in an environment that is safe and nurturing, and one in which their cultural needs are acknowledged and met to the best of our ability. All clients who attend counselling at our service will be asked if they are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin (refer to Client Information Sheet).
We recognise how difficult it can be to take the first step in seeking help, and we understand that there are sometimes concerns about attending a mainstream counselling service to discuss very personal issues. In an effort to allay some of these concerns, the Liaison Worker is able to conduct home visits on request, to provide information about our Service, and to explain the counselling process. The Liaison Worker is not a Counsellor - there is no pressure to share sensitive information with the Worker at any time – it is up to the individual how much, or how little, they share about the matters for which they are seeking support. It is also a matter of choice to access the support of the Liaison Worker, and it is your right to decline support, or to withhold your information from the Liaison Worker. The Liaison Worker is bound by the same confidentiality conditions as the counsellors.
Once an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person is linked in to our Service, the Liaison Worker is able to provide the following:
• Outreach support (home visits)
• Practical support (such as transport in special circumstances)
• In-service advocacy (advocating at the case planning stage; negotiating counselling arrangements as requested by client; etc.)
• Inter-service advocacy (advocating at departmental and stakeholder case discussions; verbal and written support with other agencies, ie: housing, school, Centrelink)
• Ensuring that clients and staff have access to culturally-appropriate resources
• Ensuring that clients are provided with referrals to other Indigenous service-providers where possible and requested
• Ensuring that the professional practice of the service is culturally sensitive and appropriate
Another important role of the Indigenous Community Liaison Worker is networking with the Indigenous communities across the regions where we provide services. By conducting agency visits to Indigenous service-providers, staying in contact with key Indigenous community members and participating in Indigenous community development activities, the Liaison Worker stays informed of what’s going on in the community and what programs are available as referral options for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients. It also provides opportunities to consult with the Indigenous community on the needs of the community – and to improve our service-delivery in line with the feedback we receive.
The Liaison Worker is available from 8.30am to 4.30pm and works 2 days per week in the Maroochydore office, 1 day per week in the Gympie office, and 1 day per week in the Murgon office.