The concept of 'loneliness' as well as vulnerability, especially in times of crises, before joining ITaV was a key theme in many women's responses:
While some women attempted to participate in mainstream services prior to coming to ITaV they were often unsuccessful.
The social isolation of mothers often affected their children, whose opportunities to interact outside their immediate family environment before joining ITaV were also quite limited:
Being able to participate in the safe and friendly environment at ITaV had a positive effect on the mothers and their children's emotional wellbeing:
Many of the women reported that the program enabled them to build new friendships, which often extended beyond the ITaV program.
This led, in some cases, to branching out and accessing services external to ITaV:
Data presented thus far demonstrates that ITaV increases the participants' social capital; it helps to reduce their feelings of social isolation by providing a space for the women and children to interact and to develop personal social networks.
This study has also found that ITaV assisted the mothers in acquiring a range of skills, which had a positive effect on them and their children.
According to the program participants, improving proficiency in English through the conversational English classes and informal interactions with other women and ITaV staff was a key factor in allowing them to better deal with daily issues, become more self-sufficient, and to support and advocate for their children.
It was found that the ITaV supported playgroup provided a strong source of social support for all the mothers before and after their children started kindergarten.
The types of support provided through the ITaV program reflect and expand upon current literature exploring the ways supported playgroups can assist refugee families in the context of parenting.
Through opportunities provided by the ITaV program, the women were able to engage with others they perceived as similar to them, and this resulted in a strong sense of community.