Clare Immigrant Support Centre (CISC) provides a range of free services and programmes to immigrants including refugees and asylum seekers in County Clare, as follows:
The Drop In operates Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 10.00 to 13.30 to give accurate, current information, advocacy, casework and referral on education, legal, entitlements, accommodation, social and employment issues . No appointment necessary.
Individual and Family casework delivered in a secure and friendly environment. This casework includes advocacy, direct one-to-one contact with clients and liaison with other agencies plus support and advice about individuals' rights and entitlements. The service seeks to ensure access to appropriate state services and the upholding of the rights and entitlements of all in the community.
English Language Programmes
English Language Tuition, Homework Club, and Orientation Programmes – offers flexible and non-formal programmes that are an integrated and valuable part of the Clare Immigrant Support Centre service and in many instances act as a gateway for the community to take up other programmes. Specialist classes are arranged for women, teenagers and pre-school children and occasionally topic-specific classes. Other strands of this programme, funded from several sources include: Homework Club for secondary school students, a Pre-School Orientation Programme for primary school children and a Transition to Secondary School programme.
Liaison/Advocacy/Community Development/Outreach work
This work provides an opportunity to address gaps, initiate responses among service providers, develop models of good practice, promote integration, work alongside and support the work of refugee groups and other agencies and contribute to the media on various pertinent issues. It supports members of the immigrant communities to take up opportunities to engage in in-house and external training, sit on local committees and to be representatives at different fora. It includes affiliation, cooperation and participation with other organisations and service providers. CISC is represented on management committees and as members of local and regional organisations and networks with a remit for working with immigrants as follows:
- Ennis Community Development Project
- Immigrant Strategy Implementation and Monitoring Committee
- Social Inclusion Measures Group of the County Development Board
- Clare Local Area Committee against Violence Against Women
- Garda Ethnic Forum
- Clare Intercultural Network
- Knocklisheen agency committee
- Participants at the NGO Advisory Committee, Refugee Application Centre
CISC feeds into the policy development of schools, organisations, networks and to the County Development Plan policy through sharing data collected through casework which identifies trends, needs and gaps and experiences. Representation on local committees and working groups present opportunities to influence social policy decisions. This data also provides information for research and in-house publications. Working locally in Social Policy can affect change that in turn affects national policy.
Provision of training materials, resources and speakers to schools and groups. Training and public information sessions are regularly offered on changes in legislation affecting the rights and entitlements for all immigrants. In-house Volunteer training is ongoing.
Cultural, Social and Commemorative Events
CISC organises and participates in local events and also engages with regional and national activities to strengthen and deepen community integration and cultural understanding.
Strategy for the Co-ordination of Services to the Immigrant Communities in Co. Clare 2009-2012
Clare Immigrant Support Centre is leading or partnering on 31 of the 83 actions in the Strategy for the Coordination of Services to the Immigrant Communities in County Clare. The strategy is currently being implemented. It was informed by two needs analyses conducted by the University of Limerick and the HSE. Focus groups with agencies and immigrant groups also informed the action in the strategy. Yearly public consultation sessions on the strategy have provided valuable opportunities for discussion on the impact of actions and the ongoing needs in Clare. Other key contributors included Clare County Council, HSE, Clare Youth Service, Gardai, Ennis CDP, Clarecare, Ennis Schools Completion, VEC and other local service providers who participated in strategic planning workshops, discussion groups and forums in the formation of the strategy.