Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Meet the Staff at the Gender Centre - Ben

Meet the Staff at the Gender Centre - Ben

My name is Ben and I’m a fourth year Social Work student studying at Western Sydney University. I’ve been undertaking my field education with the Gender Centre since June; working alongside the case management team, supporting transgender and gender diverse people through a range of complex issues. The service supports those seeking access from a client-centred approach, allowing people to self-determine their goals and develop a plan to achieve them. I’m passionate about facilitating meaningful supports to those in need, particularly those who identify as LGBTQI+ and/or have a disability.

Working in the services triage, I’m the first point of contact for many clients at the Gender Centre. Typically, this has involved talking over the phone with people to better understand their circumstances; and where possible, conducting a case management intake. These referrals are then put forward to the team meeting for critical discussion, and subsequently allocated to a case worker. I realise the importance of such a role, where being on the front line carries significant responsibility; particularly for people in a crisis situation where their lives are quite literally in my hands. During my time at the Gender Centre I have been working one on one with clients accessing our crisis accommodation program. Over 3 months, we provide a safe and secure refuge for transgender and gender diverse people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. This includes weekly case management; where we work with the client to develop a housing pathway out of our crisis refuge and into transitional, private or social housing. As a student, these experiences have allowed me to better understand the needs of the transgender and gender diverse community, as well as the bio-psychosocial factors that impact upon their lives. I feel better prepared as a soon to be social worker and am thankful for this field education opportunity with the Gender Centre. If you’re in need of support or simply interested in helping the Gender Centre better facilitate the vital work we do, contact us on (02) 9569 2366.