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Frequently asked questions from Professionals

Are you a counselling service

No we are not. We offer peer support, a safe social drop-in space, and information and referrals that are GLBTIQQ friendly. We refer people to counselling services that are appropriate to their needs.

What training do the volunteers receive?

Volunteers receive FC Volunteer Training on interpersonal & communication skills, boundaries, confidentiality, peer support, information and referral provision, and sexual and mental health. Volunteers are also asked to complete the WA AIDS Council Volunteer Training and continue to attend in-service trainings, team meetings, and debrief meetings after each session. There is always at least one staff member present in addition to the volunteers at each session.

How does the peer model work?

Peer support at the Freedom Centre works using Social Cognitive Theory, which basically says that we learn and develop best when we get the right information that’s relevant to us and have a safe and respectful social environment to practice and understand what we learn. At Freedom Centre we hope people learn to accept and respect themselves and others and find support networks that suit their needs. The volunteers use peer support to provide an ideal space for this to be learnt and understood.

 

So we use peer support and the safe social space to empower young people to be themselves, be confident, make healthy informed choices, establish support networks, and respect diversity (theirs and others’).

What services do you offer to young people?

A safe social space to hang out with people who have had similar experiences to theirs, peer support, information, referrals, educational and recreational workshops & events and a place to have fun being themselves!

What services do you offer professionals?

We offer tailored trainings for students & professionals working with youth and/or people with diverse sexuality, sex and/or gender.

We can arrange for agency visits to FC or for FC to come to you for an info session about our services. We also attend community information, health & youth events.

How do I refer my client to you?

Because we are a drop-in service we don’t require formal referrals in order for someone to come to FC. If you would like to however, you are welcome to contact the Freedom Centre Coordinator about your client or any questions you might have. Otherwise, anyone can drop-in to Freedom Centre sessions when they like.

Can I accompany a client to your service?

Yes. While the drop-in Centre is a youth-owned space, we understand that having a support person come with a young person may be important until they feel comfortable in the space. We encourage professionals, family and friends to accompany young people when coming to Freedom Centre for the first (or first few) times.

What are the volunteer/visitor boundaries?

The volunteers at Freedom Centre are trained on boundaries before starting to staff FC. Boundaries are particularly important in a peer support service as Perth is a small place and, although we are peers, the FC staff and volunteers are in a position where they are setting an example to others.

At FC the volunteer role is to be friendly, supportive and social in that space, but volunteers are not there to become friends with visitors. The volunteer/ visitor relationship is a one way relationship where the volunteers are at FC to support, listen to and inform the visitors and to facilitate the safe social space.

 

Out side of FC volunteers will not become friends with visitors, and even won’t approach them in case the visitor is with people who they have not come out to.

My client is questioning their sexuality and/or gender, but isn’t sure yet. Will you encourage them to be GLBTIQ?

No! We do not have an agenda; we just want people to feel OK being themselves – if that turns out to mean they are straight, that’s great; if not, that’s great too! So long as the young person is able to make informed and supported decisions and do/be what feels right for them, we’ve done our job! Check out our Info Sheets on Sexuality and Gender to find out more