COVID lockdowns are difficult for many of us but can have a far more serious impact on some of inTouch’s clients who, because of their temporary visa status, are facing housing and food insecurity. Current restrictions have cut off income for a number of inTouch clients who are in casual employment, not allowed to work and are ineligible for any kind of financial relief offered by the Federal Government. inTouch has access to crisis brokerage for clients – read on to find out how our Client Services team have been supporting women like Mai.
Mai and her 8-year-old daughter first came to inTouch late last year. She arrived in Australia in 2017 and is on a bridging visa. Both Mai and her child experienced physical abuse from her ex-husband and are currently in undisclosed emergency accommodation to ensure their safety.
Mai is usually employed casually as a Nail Technician but has been unable to work for some time due to the move to emergency accommodation.
In April, Mai was contacted by the Department about her visa application. She was required to participate in an investigation regarding her partner’s abuse and her visa- subsequently her work rights were suspended for the duration of the investigation. Mai’s case was reopened by inTouch, helping her to gain access to her working rights, secure part time employment, and pay for her daughter’s school needs.
In the week prior to the current lockdown, Mai’s daughter was ill. As she is still in emergency accommodation, Mai was unable to source childcare in order to complete her work shifts.
The current lockdown and extension has also meant that she has no information about when she will be able to work again.
Mai’s Case Manager, Lee, checked in with her to see how the lockdown was affecting her and her young daughter. Lee made sure that Mai understood the current restrictions, how to check for exposure sites, and information on testing sites, procedures and vaccination. She also checked if they needed masks. During the conversation, Mai told her Case Manager about her lost income, and Lee was able to apply for an immediate crisis payment of $500 worth of food vouchers to ensure Mai has food and essential supplies for her and her daughter until the lockdown ends. She also encouraged Mai to make contact should she need further financial or emotional support and will continue to check in with her over the coming weeks.