What is inSpire?

inTouch’s inSpire initiative is a critical and unique program that provides support to women from migrant and refugee backgrounds who are recovering from family violence.

InTouch’s case managers do an incredible job supporting women who are experiencing family violence, and ensuring the safety of the women that we work with. The team at inSpire focuses on what happens next – how we can support a woman to build a life she chooses, to connect with others safely and meaningfully- to take her future into her own hands.

We know that women from migrant and refugee backgrounds continue to face barriers that inhibit their full engagement in the community following family violence. inSpire’s goal is to bridge the gap between crisis and long-term wellbeing, and to empower women to live their lives, their way.

inSpire was established in 2018, following the identification of a gap in support experienced by women from refugee and migrant backgrounds post-crisis. It was clear that there were a number of difficulties for women in overcoming institutional, cultural, social and financial barriers after family violence. Women needed assistance boosting their confidence, skills and community connections in order to rebuild their lives here in Australia.

Key to developing these programs were advocates from our lived experience advisory group, Inspire for Change, ensuring that we continue to value and centre the voice of women in our program design, and strive to reflect their priorities, their input and their guidance in the work that we continue to do.

inSpire focuses on three core streams of programming:

We work with women to build skills and confidence to support their financial independence.

“[It’s been] so helpful – actually before this project, I don’t know how to apply for jobs, no confidence – now I know, you helped me a lot. These things were new to me and now I know…it’s been really good for me” (Given the Chance pilot project participant).

inSpire runs a series of projects supporting women to build their skills and confidence in seeking work. This is such an important area for women to connect with the broader community, build their confidence and truly become independent.

There is no escaping the fact that COVID-19 has, and will continue to have, a devastating effect on many of the women we work with for years to come. We know that work is scarcer, and jobs are more competitive than ever, and the women we work with are often the most affected.

We support women to understand the Australian employment landscape, building their skills and capacity in successful job searches, and building their confidence in the employment environment.. Many participants face language barriers, are on temporary visas, or don’t have Australian work experience or references. They may not lack skills or experience, but showcasing them is not always easy. We work alongside our incredible partners to support women to navigate the jobs market, to understand their own skills and goals and to work towards them. We provide individual and group coaching, skills building, connections with recruiters, and training and employment opportunities to boost their chances of success.

We bring women together, and celebrate alongside them.

“Today is a memorable day, I feel so happy and special…Normally we are lonely here [in Australia] in festival times. But now we feel warm because you are thinking of us, we are not the ones forgotten in the world” (Christmas 2019)

We know how important community is to everyone. For women who may have no family or friends, or who have lost connections due to their experiences of family violence, Australia can be a lonely place.

Having the confidence to go out and meet new people can be difficult. inSpire works to combat isolation and loneliness by providing opportunities for women to gather and connect in a social, safe environment.

This can be most difficult during times of cultural significance, where traditions of family gathering, sharing food and gift-giving may no longer exist. inSpire hosts cultural social celebrations as an opportunity to bring women together, to create a sense of community, as a reminder that they are not alone.

We support women and their children to strengthen their relationships and rebuild the trust and connection that has been affected by their experiences.

“The class is great, my daughter is enjoying it greatly…it ties us more” (scholarship recipient)

It is not only women who are affected by family violence, but their children also. This can impact on important family relationships, and the wellbeing of both mothers and their children.

InSpire provides opportunities for families to come together, to re-connect and to re-establish relationships that have been fractured. We know from talking to our clients that having an opportunity to enjoy the time they share with their children, away from the stress and worry of everyday life, can be vital to rebuilding positive connections.

We target financial barriers that make it difficult for women and their children to participate in extracurricular activities in their communities. We know that children that play sports and participate in arts-based programs outside of school form critical connections with their communities- resulting in positive social experiences for their parents too. We also focus on ensuring that our social events are child-friendly, and provide opportunities for mothers to engage in fun activities with their children, so that they can create their own positive memories and family narrative.

We know we can’t do this work on our own. We are always keen to partner with other organisations and skilled individuals who share our vision and can help to increase the impact of this important work.

We are particularly keen build relationships in the areas of training and upskilling, pathways to employment and opportunities for families to come together. To learn more about our work, please contact us at inspire@intouch.org.au

Want to help? Click here to support inSpire’s programs and initiatives.