The Witness to War Project
The Witness to War Project supports individuals and families who have been directly exposed to or impacted by overseas conflicts and experiencing negative consequences. The project is an information and referral support service that assists people to access and navigate the existing service system. In addition, we provide information and training to increase the understanding of service providers, organisations and communities of the impact of overseas conflicts and to enhance their capacity in working with individuals and families.
Persons eligible for Witness to War include individuals and families who:
- Are residing in NSW after having lived in a country which has experienced conflict
- Have returned to NSW after temporarily working in conflict zones
- Have cultural or family connections to overseas conflict zones
- Are vulnerable consumers of media/social media coverage of overseas conflicts
All Witness to War services are free of charge.
Why Witness to War can help
Research shows that global conflicts and crises impact Australian communities in different ways. Individuals and families directly exposed to or impacted by overseas conflicts may experience stress and anxiety, or become fearful. People may present with a range of health, social, cultural, financial, and other practical issues. With timely and appropriate support, people are better able to harness their own resources and address the challenges they face.
The intervention by caseworkers may involve:
- An initial needs assessment including the impact of current difficulties on daily functioning
- Providing information and developing support plans for clients with the view of moving them towards self-sufficiency
- Provide short-term casework if needed on a case-by-case basis
- Referrals to services within the existing service system
Referrals to Witness to War
Witness to War accepts referrals from any source, including self-referrals. Please provide as much information as possible so the Witness to War caseworker can assess the individual or family’s needs. Consent must be obtained from individuals or the parent/ guardian for individuals 16 years and under. We will contact the referred individual or family within two working days.
Witness to War staff can see individuals or families at both STARTTS’ offices and outreach locations. If individuals or families are unable to attend in person, caseworkers will provide support over the telephone. Our bilingual caseworkers speak Spanish, Swahili, French, and use professional interpreters when required. We will share relevant information with referring organisations if the individual or family gives consent.
To make a referral:
Download and complete the referral form below and email to: STTSfirstname.lastname@example.org
Call: 1800CONFLICT (1800 26635428) or STARTTS Carramar on 02 9794 1900 and ask for a Witness to War staff member.
Who is not suitable for referral for Witness to War services?
- Individuals and families who are eligible for services for refugees and humanitarian entrants
- Individuals or family experiencing a crisis (e.g. domestic violence, homelessness, mental health issue) and requiring urgent intervention
Resources for Organisations
Witness to War staff are qualified professionals with a background in psychology and the social sciences. We have strong community links. All staff receive regular supervision and professional development. The Witness to War Project can resource your organisation by providing an information session or training for your workplace, community or industry group; and/or providing up-to-date information on current conflicts impacting on individuals, families and communities.
The Witness to War Project is Supported by Multicultural NSW with funding from the Australian Government