Shadi is a 24-year-old young man from Syria, who arrived in Australia just over a year ago with his sister, Amani

WEL91002 Social Policy and the Law for Social Work
Case study 2 Shadi, Amani and Jo
Shadi is a 24-year-old young man from Syria, who arrived in Australia just over a year ago with his sister,
Amani, aged 17 and brother Jo, who is 14. You are a youth worker at Barwon Child Youth and Family
(BCYF) Services, and last weekend your team held a youth camp with a group of young people aged 10-
14 including Jo. The camping group was held to provide a point of connection for young people who are
new to the area during school holidays, and local Aboriginal Elders worked alongside youth workers such
as yourself to provide a culturally inclusive and welcoming experience for the young people.

You know
from Jo that they lived for several years in a refugee camp before coming to Australia on a UN sponsored
refugee visa, and that their parents were killed in Syria.
On Tuesday Shadi comes in and asks to speak to you. You haven’t talked with Shadi before, but you’ve
seen him around with a group of other young men near the skate park. Shadi has a heavy accent and is
not confident speaking English. He shows you a letter from the real estate agent which provides notice to
the tenants that their lease is being terminated, because the landlord wants to do some repairs on the
house to make it ready for sale, and that they need to leave at the end of three months. Shadi explains
by talking and using some signs and drawing that he has not been able to find stable paid employment
to pay rent consistently, although he has started a security guard course at the local TAFE and has some
income through Centrelink Youth Allowance, but this has been cut off. He is worried that there is
nowhere to go, and Amani is already struggling with her studies. He seems very upset and angry. He says
that he can get money, but he wants Amani and Jo to have a safer life now. He also says that he already
has debts, so can’t get any loans any more. You find it really difficult to understand what he is saying,
and eventually he becomes so frustrated that he leaves the centre.
You know that there is a group of young men who are often preyed upon by local drug dealers as
‘’runners’’ for deals and deliveries, who are lured by the money they can make quickly.

You talk with your
manager and find out the siblings lived for six monthsin an apartment subsidised through BAYSA
Transitional Housing, but then moved out about a year ago at the end of the lease period. Although
Shadi was referred to BCYF Counselling Services through their settlement services worker, he never
showed up to the appointments. You read in Jo’s file that there was also a Red Cross caseworker involved
for a while through the Community Support program, but Shadi said he didn’t want people in the house.
When you phone and speak to the Red Cross caseworker, Jenny, she explains that Shadi threatened her
after she provided Amani with sexual health and contraception information.

Who has a role in understanding the legal and policy landscape of this case study?

What kinds of income and housing support are available to Shadi and his sister and brother?

What are the key social justice issues to attend to in this case study? What rights relate here?

What policy might relate, with regard to support and housing for refugees in Victoria?

Are there other issues to attend to? What will happen if Shadi doesn’t attend his TAFE course?

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