Anonymous submission 9
I, personally, am happy with the ICAFSS. My only suggestions are:
1. Encourage counsellors to use online video (e.g. Skype) to do consultations. This can help remote and housebound people to better access services.
2. Provide more counsellors. The only people available in Brisbane are located about 45 minutes’ drive from the CBD.
3. Ensure that venues are disability-accessible. Many inter-country adoptees (ICAs) have physical and intellectual disabilities.
4. Ensure that all counsellors have relevant cross-cultural adoption counselling experience and qualifications.
Ensuring available funding is accessed equitably:
1. transparently and publicly report the vetting process.
2. publicly promote the program to all service providers.
3. ensure that inter-country adoptees are equally represented on the selection/vetting panel (and paid for their time).
4. transparent processes for who is invited to be on the selection/vetting panel.
Practical assistance with documentation search e.g. finding orphanage, liaising with immigration, adoption/birth/death records offices. Provide translators and interpreters.
Funding and administrative support for peer-to-peer support groups, similar to Jigsaw Queensland’s practices.
1. Percentage reduction in the number of suicides, self-harm among inter-country adoptees.
2. Inclusion of adoptee and ICA population within the Australian census.
3. Inclusion of adoptee and ICA population in health statistics, e.g. include as a demographic in the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s Burden of Disease studies.
4. Client satisfaction rates (e.g. percentage of intercountry-adoptee clients who rate their satisfaction with the service as 70% or better)
5. Percentage reduction in physical and mental health issues severity among intercountry-adoptees.
(Note: I recognise that this would require you accessing health and wellbeing data among ICAs, which I’m not sure if it exists currently.
Perhaps you could include in your intake forms questions such as: “What medical conditions do you currently have? What level of severity?”
And then conduct longitudinal follow-up research to see if the medical conditions have improved.)
6. Net Promoter Score – percentage of ICA clients who respond that they are likely or highly likely (i.e. out of a scale of 5 whereby 5 equals ‘highly likely’ and 1 equals ‘highly unlikely’)
to recommend the counseling services to other ICAs.
I would encourage you to better promote this valuable service, particularly to General Practitioners, Lifeline and other community organisations. Had I not already been in contact with ICA advocates, I would not have known about this service when I was facing a crisis.