At STARTTS we recognise the pivotal role in which the whole school community plays in a students’ recovery from refugee trauma. Schools can facilitate healing and resettlement through their role in developing skills and knowledge, and by providing a safe and stimulating environment in which students can explore justice, identity, human rights, meaning and hopes for the future. This, coupled with their links to parents and carers, along with the broader community, can help foster connections and a sense of belonging.
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One way of cultivating such an inclusive and nurturing school environment is through a whole-school approach to supporting students with refugee experiences. The STARTTS School Liaison Team can assist schools over several years as they plan and implement initiatives that support the wellbeing and healing of students and their families.
STARTTS School Liaison Officers can assist schools as they work through the Schools In for Refugees Audit (created by Foundation House, our sister organisation in Victoria) or, for NSW Department of Education Schools, the Refugee Readiness Survey. These audits can help schools prioritise and plan as they systematically embed supportive policies and practices in all elements of school life, including teaching and learning, family engagement, transitions, the school environment and partnerships with external agencies