On 3 March 2008 , a welfare case was referred to Chinese Students Association (CSA) by CareSouth, one of the NSW Department of Community Services (DoCS) funded lead agencies. It was immediately brought to NLC's attention for emergency assistance.
A 21 year old international student Tracy had a baby girl with a local TAFE student in July, 2007. Tracy and her baby girl were receiving assistance under the Brighter Futures program: an early intervention service to protect vulnerable children and their families.
When the biological father forcefully took away Tracy's baby girl, both DoCS and CareSouth immediately stopped providing welfare assistance for Tracy, even though the 7 month old baby girl was still being breast-fed. As a result, Tracy was left on the streets.
To cope with the harsh reality of welfare deprivation for International Students, NLCare, the welfare operation of NLC was created to support our own NLCommunity: the International Students Community with over 500,000 students from all around the world.
Tracy and her baby girl have been under the care of NLC ever since, and NLCare has arranged legal representation for Tracy and convinced the Federal Magistrate that it was in the best interest for the baby girl to live with Tracy, and the father to spend time with the child.
On 21 January 2009, NLC met with DoCS Minister Linda BURNEY to present this landmark case. Tracy and her baby girl were also present during the meeting.
On 28 January 2009, NLC received the formal statement from the office of Minister Linda BURNEY confirming that NLCommunity be covered by all programs administered by DoCS:
"DoCS policies and procedures do not exclude or restrict provision of support or assistance to a child, young person or any member of their family based on their residency status."
Currently NLC is in the process of confirming with relevant Ministers of all other state and territory governments on the welfare assurance for the International Students Community.