SCARF Befriending

SCARF Befrienders provide community connections, friendship, support and hospitality to newly arrived families and individuals.

Since SCARF’s very inception, the family befriending program has matched volunteers with individuals and families from refugee backgrounds, providing support in the form of friendship, cultural orientation, conversational English practice, engagement with local social and community activities, or assistance with accessing essential and specialist services.

20170317_Interview_BearHuntPhotography-20Befrienders are often the first local Australian friend, and support ‘network’, that refugee entrants can call on. Such friendships foster settlement into the Australian way of life, build bridges, and help new community members navigate their way through so many new and often challenging experiences – such as speaking English, going to school, shopping, finding work and getting around.

SCARF regularly receives referrals to this program from caseworkers in settlement support and health agencies, recognising the benefits of the program in promoting dignity, wellbeing and inclusion for former refugees who may otherwise be at risk of isolation or exclusion. Befrienders work with the family ‘where they’re at’, and, with training from SCARF, can provide just the right assistance and support.

Program Snapshot: Our Friendship – April and Bolena

Visit our Volunteer page for more details on how to become a SCARF Befriender. 

(NB: All Family Mentors and SCARF volunteers are required to undergo a Working With Children Check)