Opening English-speaking Social Support Groups (SSG) to people with no or low English proficiency can be challenging, and staff and volunteers may find themselves at a loss when trying to ensure participants feel welcome and included. Language specific SSG will always have a place and provide great value and connection for participants. However, there are not always groups available for every language or cultural group, there can be long wait lists for these groups and there will always be people who wish to join an SSG that is not CALD specific. Building culturally inclusive SSG have multiple benefits to the group, participants and for wider community cohesion.
To assist SSG understand the different elements that support group to be culturally inclusive the EMR Alliance and the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health have worked together to develop a series of Help Sheets.
The Help Sheets are based on interviews and observations conducted with SSG in the Eastern Metropolitan Region in the second half of 2016. Interviews were conducted with Access and Support Workers, SSG Coordinators, participants and their families. A Consultation Report outlining these discussions and findings can be accessed here.
The Help Sheets should also be considered in conjunction with the EMR Alliance Connecting the Pieces video and resource that explains the unique aspects of diversity, person-centred care and the relationship between these approaches.
Introduction to Building culturally inclusive social support groups (PDF)
Help sheet 1 – Placing the client at the centre (PDF)
Help sheet 2 – Language and culture (PDF)
Help sheet 3 – Activities and interest (PDF)
Help sheet 4 – Transport (PDF)
Help sheet 5 – Partnerships (PDF)
Help sheet 6 – Engaging staff and volunteers (PDF)
Help sheet 7 – Joining a group – the client journey (PDF)
Help sheet 8 – Case study – Mountain View Cottage (PDF)
Last reviewed: Sept 2016
Target audience: General
Resource Type: Tip/Fact Sheets