Reception services

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'Gun ons de tijd...' Werkboek psychosociale begeleiding bij hervestigde vluchtelingen / 'Grant us time...'. Manual psychosocial support to resettled refugees

Since 2010 resettled refugees are placed immediately after arrival in the Netherlands in their new hometown. It is usually the responsibility of the local counsellors of Dutch Council for Refugees to take care of resettled refugees and guide them as they arrive in their municipality. This manual is intended to help the counsellors when faced with psychosocial problems of (resettled) refugees. It concerns both psychological problems and social problems caused by them.

If you as a (voluntary) counsellor encountering such a situation, what can you do with it? What could be done by yourself and when to turn to others? And how exactly can you deal with such issues or monitor referrals? Read this practical guide and find answers to many questions that you may have - or at some point may be confronted with.

This workbook was developed in consultation with counsellors of DCR and their managers. Discussions with them identified the medical and behavioural problems they encounter and also clarified the way they use to deal with these situations. We also looked for experiences abroad with resettled refugees and the methods and tools that are proven effective in tackling such psychosocial problems among (resettled) refugees. The content of the manual proceeds from general information, through examples of practical situations, to concrete and practical tools that can be helpful in order to have good contact with the refugees themselves and with local caretakers and service providers. After outlining the new care model (Chapter 1), in Chapter 2 the concept of vulnerability as well as the scope of 'burdensome' and 'protective' factors which affect resettled refugees are discussed. Chapter 3 discusses in a structured way what a counsellor can do, i.e. how to deal with the complaints and problems of refugees. As such the first steps preferably have to be taken already before the arrival of a resettled refugee. In chapter 4, four cases (situations) are presented in a fixed format. It discusses topics such as physical and psychological symptoms, refugees with disabilities and high expectations parenting problems but also the avoidance of care (non compliance) and organizing cooperation in healthcare. Each of the cases ends with some lessons learned. The workbook concludes with a number of attachments. Some of these include tools that help counsellors to create fruitful contact with caregivers and resettled refugees as well. Good contact with a resettled refugee at the beginning of his stay in the new 'homeland' makes it more bearable. For a fresh start in a new country is not easy for anyone. But with support, guidance and good luck the resettled refugees and their children can regain their balance over time. They might even feel at home after some time!

Responding to Trauma - Handbook based on experiences of Afghan refugee women living in Finland

As more traumatized refugees are coming to settle in Finland, it would be beneficial for social and health workers to understand basic trauma theories, symptoms and reactions and support methods. It is for this purpose that the following thesis booklet was written, regarding responding to trauma, based on experiences from Afghan women. While there are few books written on this topic, it is helpful to have a compact handbook, with precise information, for students and workers to refer to, regarding this subject. Research for this thesis booklet included both qualitative and quantitative methods, with more emphasis on qualitative. There was a considerable amount of research on trauma, Afghanistan, refugees, crisis counseling and mental health. Theories were explored regarding effects of trauma and studies were examined in correlation with post traumatic stress disorder clients. Six interviews were conducted with refugees from Afghanistan now living in Finland and five interviews with Finnish professionals working with traumatized refugees from different countries. From the research and interviews, it is the author’s conclusion that there is a real problem with the amount of trauma many refugees have experienced and the need for healing so that a full and satisfying life in Finland can be realized. Not all refugees will need professional therapy but it is helpful for social and health workers to understand the symptoms and be able to guide the refugee to appropriate channels of support. In conclusion, from the materials gained in this research, there are plans to form and teach a short seminar on trauma for students and professionals in Finland. Also, there is a possibility of setting up a partnership program for students and refugees, initially in Tampere, and then perhaps to other Universities in Finland.

Welcome to Europe! A comprehensive guide to resettlement

 

This publication is an outcome of the joint IOM, UNHCR and ICMC project ‘Linking In EU resettlement – Linking the resettlement phases and connecting (local) resettlement practitioners’, co-funded by the European Commission via the European Refugee Fund.

This new edition of Welcome to Europe covers all aspects of global resettlement needs, processes, policy and partnerships, focusing on the ongoing growth and development of resettlement in Europe, as follows:

Chapter 1 – Resettlement and international protection

Chapter 2 – Global resettlement

Chapter 3 – Refugee situations in focus

Chapter 4 – The resettlement process: from identification to departure

Chapter 5 – Resettlement in Europe – rising slowly but surely

Chapter 7 – European resettlement programmes

Chapter 8 – Building a new life in the community: approaches to reception and integration in Europe

‘Welcome to Europe!’ underscores the life-saving role of resettlement, and contributes to the promotion of resettlement in Europe as one component of a comprehensive and durable approach to protecting refugees. To submit your contributions and reflections on the publication, please contact Sophie Ngo-Diep at communications.europe@icmc.net or start a discussion in the Community of Practice.

A “First Buddy in the United States” Awaits Refugee Children Arriving at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport

PHOTO CAPTION - Terry Bliznik (far left) spends time and money to show kindness to refugee children staying at The Best Western O'Hare Hotel, IOM’s partner hotel in Chicago, Illinois, which is used to overnight refugees in transit to final destinations in other cities in the United States.

A “First Buddy in the United States” Awaits Refugee Children Arriving at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport

By: Niurka Piñeiro, IOM Senior Press Officer and Spokesperson for the Americas

The Best Western Hotel at O’Hare airport, just outside Chicago, has been hosting newly-arrived refugees from all corners of the globe for more than 20 years.

Terry Bliznick, the Head of Housekeeping, has worked at the hotel for 28 years, so she has seen thousands of men, women and children pass through the premises. 

“They are kind of nervous to come to the United States, leave their country and start a new life.  They are quiet.  I make sure the rooms are ready when they arrive.  I make sure they are settled in.  I make sure they have their breakfast and lunch ready.  I am here to help them,” recounts Ms. Bliznick.

But she has gone way above and beyond the scope of her work by taking on the mission of providing a toy to each refugee child; for most it is their first toy.

“I noticed that the children didn’t have anything.  We as Americans don’t realize that we throw many things away.  And so I go to places and collect toys, these are very good toys, nothing wrong with them.  The kids love them!  I go see friends who give me toys or donations; I visit the Salvation Army, flea markets, garage sales, etc.” explains Ms. Bliznick.

Many times Ms. Bliznick uses her own money to purchase the toys.

Maria Rowland, Director of Sales, Best Western at O’Hare chimes in: “This woman has a big heart.  These children are her children.   She always tries to do something special for the children, especially if they’re crying.”

Ms. Bliznick is very active in The Promise Program, created by the hotel's management company, Hostmark Hospitality Group, to protect the environment by encouraging and challenging each member of the organization to think and act “green”, pursuing earth-friendly solutions and engaging in meaningful community-building and outreach efforts.

A few months ago, Terry suggested that the Promise Program could collect and give toys to refugee children staying at the hotel.  She started by purchasing toys with funds she donated and collected from other Best Western employees, but when she saw the children’s delight, she decided to continue the initiative indefinitely.

“I get joy out of it, so I continued it.  This makes me feel good.  I like to do that for the children.  I can donate money to any organization, but it’s not the same thing as me giving it to them,” adds Ms. Bliznick

Chicago is one of five Ports of Entry used by IOM* for newly-arrived refugees resettling in the United States; others are Los Angeles, Miami New York and Newark. At each Port of Entry, IOM contracts a hotel to provide overnight accommodation to refugees who cannot make their connecting flights to their final destination. 

The Best Western O’Hare is the hotel used by IOM for refugees arriving in Chicago.

Ms. Rowland explains the process: “We get notice from IOM once a week as to the number of people arriving.  Normally they stay only one night.  We make sure we have rooms available for them.  We use our shuttle to pick them up at the airport and the next day we take them back to catch their flights.  We set up breakfast for them in a private meeting room so they can feel comfortable and not be nervous about seeing so many other people.  We always try to provide breads, juices, milk, eggs, and other things that they will enjoy eating.  We have someone always looking after them at breakfast to make sure they have everything they need.  IOM always lets us knows their food requirements, so we order special dinners for them; usually it includes rice, vegetables and chicken.”

Thousands of newly-arrived refugees spend their first night in their new country at the Best Western O’Hare.  And most families have children.

“You have to see their faces when they get the toys; they grab them and hug them.  They become children.  Children should be children.  If they don’t have toys, they just stand there like statues.  They’ve never had toys.  I tell them this is your first buddy in the United States.  Some of them are shy, so I ask an IOM staff member to give the child his/her toy; immediately the other children come running to get their toys.  I get satisfaction from seeing them,” adds Ms. Bliznick.”

“Today we are expecting 16 children.  And tomorrow morning after breakfast Terry will give them their toys,” says Ms. Rowland.

Hostmark has started collecting toys amongst the staff to send to Terry to distribute to the children. 

Since the program began in late February, more than 300 toys have been provided by this remarkable woman to refugee children.

*For more than 60 years, moving refugees to begin new lives with dignity and respect in a safe and orderly fashion has been and continues to be a fundamental purpose and priority of the International Organization for Migration (IOM)

IOM was founded in 1951 to assist in the resettlement of Europeans displaced in the aftermath of World War II.  In the last decade alone, IOM has organized resettlement movements of 892,243 refugees from 186 locations around the world.

IOM works closely with governments, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), non-government organizations and other partners.  IOM resettlement services include: Case processing, Health Assessments, Pre-Departure Orientation, and Transport..

For more information on IOM resettlement assistance please visit: http://www.iom.int/cms/en/sites/iom/home/what-we-do/resettlement-assistance.htm

The World at Our Doorstep

The Onondaga Citizens League published its first study report in 1979, the same year that the first refugees from Vietnam were resettled in Syracuse. It is somehow fitting then, that as OCL celebrates the 35th anniversary of its founding, we release our latest report, The World at Our Doorstep, which explores – and celebrates – our community’s continuing commitment to welcoming and resettling refugees from all over the world.

This year’s study on refugee resettlement grew out of an awareness that while Syracuse has a long history of welcoming new populations, the increasing numbers of refugees resettled here in recent years have brought concerns about the community’s ability to absorb these new residents and help them adjust. Many recent refugees come from areas of the world where they suffered years of civil strife, warfare and deprivation. They arrive with fewer resources and higher needs than past refugees. The Citizens League study sought to determine what might be done to strengthen the existing human services system that helps refugees thrive and become part of our community.

The Gateway Protection Programme - Good Practice Guide

This report shows how a Gateway Protection Programme (GPP) can work and examines the fundamental principles behind such a scheme. It is based on the GPP experiences of Refugee Action and the Refugee Council in the UK, and draws on their long history of providing high quality services to refugees. This is a flexible model that can be applied to all clients, irrespective of their country of origin or where they now live in the UK. However, this is not a blueprint for all services because every individual and every region will have very different needs. This document, illustrated with case studies, describes an approach and a way of working to show how a GPP service can be established that effectively aids integration. The report does not cover the employment, education, housing or health services required by GPP clients. Much of this is covered already in other good practice documents describing services for refugees. And, it does not detail clients’ experiences prior to their arrival in the UK, or what happens to them after the one-year period of support ends. Instead, it focuses on the 12-month support programme within the settlement region. Section 1 draws from the Home Office publication, Indicators of Integration, to establish outcomes appropriate to the Gateway Protection Programme. Section 2 explains key service principles to inform the design of a service to achieve the outcomes. Section 3 describes the elements of a service that are needed to achieve the desired outcomes and is based on the principles identified in section 2. Section 4 identifies key features of the approach to human resources needed to make the service operational. Section 5 explores the monitoring and evaluation framework required to measure
whether the service is meeting the intended outcomes. The Appendices are resources from existing Gateway Protection Programmes to
illustrate the previous sections.

Centralised Reception Centre: sharing facilities with the local community - Portuguese Refugee Council (CPR)

The Portuguese Refugee Council’s receptioncentre can accommodate up to 42 asylum seekers,resettled refugees and unaccompanied minorsfor a maximum of six months. Residents are provided with shared rooms and bathrooms,with separate areas for men, women, families and unaccompanied minors plus one roomadapted for disabled access. For the first five days residents receive their meals in a nearby restaurant. After this they receive a weekly allowance of €40 and are able to buy and cook for themselves in the shared kitchen.

The Emergency Transit Centre in Romania

In May 2008, a unique facility was created in the western Romanian town of Timişoara. The Emergency Transit Centre (ETC), set up pursuant to a Tri-Partite Agreement concluded by the Government of Romania, UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), is a residential facility which can host up to 200 refugees. Its raison d’être is to provide a safe place for the short-term stay of refugees who have been identified by UNHCR in other countries as being in urgent need of resettlement, but who cannot remain in those countries for resettlement processing because of acute problems including security considerations, the risk of refoulement, or serious impediments to UNHCR’s activities on their behalf. The ETC can also form a platform of practical cooperation and mutual learning among project participating EU Member States, enabling the development of coordination mechanisms in resettlement.

FA.RE. Feasibility Study for an Italian Resettlement Programme

“FA.RE. – Feasibility Study for an Italian Resettlement Programme” is a project cofinanced by the European Commission and the Ministry of Interior. CIR is the operational implementing partner of the Ministry of Interior. The study’s objective was to verify the feasibility of an Italian Resettlement Programme.
More precisely, FA.RE. has had the following objectives:
a) gaining an in-depth knowledge of the actual functioning of Resettlement programmes;
b) verifying whether other countries’ experiences may be transferred to Italy;
c) providing Italian institutions information and means to decide on the implementation
of an Italian resettlement programme and the participation in a future European
resettlement programme.
This project has been innovative and, in some ways, “revolutionary”. It is the first time, in fact, that Resettlement is treated in Italy as a long-term programme. It appeared necessary for Italy to give a clear political message to show its interest and commitment towards a future-oriented asylum policy, on one hand, and not excluding any necessary mean to facilitate the situation of people asking for protection, on the other.

(Article in Italian, English and Spanish language)

Comparative study on the best practices for the integration of resettled refugees in EU member states

This study examines the question of the integration of resettled refugees in   Europe,  by  analysing  the  policy  framework  for  resettlement  and refugee   integration   and   the   practices   at   the   national   and the European level. The study is illustrated with examples from various Member States.
Drawing from existing guidelines and global recommendations on integration and resettlement, the study underlines good practices and challenges and puts forward proposals to improve national resettlement programmes and to promote a better resettlement policy in Europe.