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A study of the perceptions of personnel involved in the service delivery implementation of multicultural policies in the contractual environment of community health services in the Northern metropolitan region of Melbourne

posted on 2023-01-18, 16:53 authored by Nora Assunta Ruzzene
This study investigated the nexus between multicultural policies and contract management within the Community Health Services in the Northern Metropolitan Region of the Victorian Department of Human Services. Access and equity of services to linguistic minority migrant groups is a central component of this study. The study drew on literature pertaining to social work theory and practice, with a particular focus on structural social work, the evolution of Australia's multicultural policy and the context of contract management.The data collection consisted of two stages. The first stage comprised of twenty-two semi-structured interviews with Chief Executive Officers and managers from the Community Health Services, government personnel from the Department of Human Services and key informants. The second stage of the study, a self administered questionnaire survey for service providers, was developed and designed from the key themes identified from the interviewee data. A total of 119 service providers responded to the questionnaire.Key findings of this study were first, that the Community Health Services have broad policies of inclusion. Secondly, that the multicultural policy may be considered a broader policy then just a policy relating to people of non-English speaking backgrounds or culture relating to ethnicity. Thirdly, funding arrangements appeared limited in their expectations regarding linguistic accessibility. Fourthly, service providers had a different perception of the quality level of service their organisation provided to English speakers and non-English speakers.Implications of this study included, first, having broad inclusive policies would require specific strategies of access. Secondly, multicultural policy as such may need to develop into a policy of 'structural cultural equity'. Thirdly, partnerships between government and Community Health Services can be further utilised to develop more innovative service delivery methods to respond to linguistic minority groups. Lastly, culturally sensitive practice modules may need to be considered as a central component in the health and welfare field of tertiary education.The study concluded that Community Health Services are ideally located to implement services, which not only address the notion of multiculturalism, but also address the issues of equity in the context of a dominant paradigm. In such an environment someone who speaks a language other than English is 'visible' and therefore, 'a woman without a word of English enters the Community Health Service' and receives the same service as an English speaker.


Center or Department

School of Social Work and Social Policy.

Awarding institution

La Trobe University

Year Awarded


Rights Statement

Ruzzene, Nora Assunta. I hereby grant to the La Trobe University. or its agents a non exclusive right to reproduce in the University Libraries archives and to communicate my thesis or dissertation in whole or in part and in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all proprietary rights, such as copyright and patent rights. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis or dissertation.

Data source

arrow migration 2023-01-10 00:15. Ref: latrobe:19701 (9e0739)