Webinar 2: Holistic Refugee Integration Service – Lessons learned”:

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    • #17113

      This forum has been set up to provide you the space for discussion in relation to 2nd webinar on ‘Holistic Refugee Integration Service-Lessons learned’ presented by Joe Brandy and Elodie Milard from Scottish Refugee Council. Please feel free to post your questions and interact with colleagues from the webinar.

    • #17123
      Elodie Mignard


      thanks again to the MHPSS team for inviting us to present our work and for making this technically possible!

      Elodie and Joe



    • #17124

      Thank you for participating in today’s webinar. There were many questions that we were not able to answer. For that reason, please feel free to use this space to exchange your experiences and post the questions to participants of the webinar. We will also post the link to the webinar recording once it is available.

    • #17125
      Alison Strang

      Thanks for a great webinar Joe and Elodie of the Scottish Refugee Council!
      Here are some more questions that we didn’t have time to ask you during the live event – do you or anyone have comments or answers?

      1. What are the main cultural challenges faced by the refugees on arrival?

      2. What are the main trauma and psychosocial concerns that face the refugee at arrival and after settling down (do Domestic Violence incidents increase after the resettlement like it does in the US)?

      3. According to you which steps should be started in the first country of refuge (before resettlement) to ensure a better preparedness of the refugees and to accompany them during the resettlement process to reduce the sense of loss and grief.

    • #17126
      Elodie Mignard

      I will try to make a start on some of those questions.

    • #17127
      Elodie Mignard

      for the first one.

      People will arrive in Glasgow mostly because they are dispersed by the Home Office. On their arrival they are provided with accommodation (on a no choice basis) and with financial support. A system is in place to make sure that people are registered with General Practitioners to meet their health needs. They will stay in that system until they are granted status and can then ‘chose’ where they live.

      From 200o to 2010, the local Council provided accommodation in clusters of areas. This created integration challenges as these areas were some of the most deprived in the city and the local communities were not initially to welcome new neighbours. This created safety and security issues but in the other hand created opportunity to plan local responses in which refugees and locals were involved.

      What people tell us is their biggest challenges are related to not knowing where things are. By things people want to know about shops that they would find more familiar, where they can meet people. the weather not being good in Scotland, there is very little “outdoor” life and people find difficult to know where people gather, where there are groups to join.

      The other challenge relates to communication. Even for people who speak English, they will mention the challenges of understanding some local Scots or phrases. Body language will be different and this will create other difficulties. these may not be specific to the Scottish context…

    • #17128
      Elodie Mignard

      For the second question on trauma, we don’t feel that we have the expertise on trauma to give a relevant answer.

      We work with our advisers to ensure they are confident and skilled to prompt people and investigate a situation as best as possible. This has its limitation but by identifying some concerns we may be able to identify the service best able to support them. For example, we took part in European assessment pilot with Freedom for Torture to identify better victims of torture and this contributing greatly to our up skilling.

      Regarding psychosocial concerns, we could say that isolation and disorientation are the main ones to address. People have left a lot behind and are starting a new life. It’s extremely overwhelming and added to this they need to find people and services they trust to accept their support.

    • #17129
      Elodie Mignard

      and then finally the 3rd question.

      Again we cannot give a full answer to this as the people we support will not have been through a resettlement programme.

      In Scotland, there has been only one experience of resettlement, it was in North Lanarkshire with Congolese families. From that experience and from the experience of another project we currently run with relatives of refugees who arrive through family reunion, the priority is to have adequate housing and financial welfare support in place when people arrive. This require planning in advance of arrival and can avoid serious hardship situations.

      Another important thing to do would be to prepare people before they arrive about how things look like where they are going. As we have seen with a few cases of people who arrived through family reunion, having higher expectation can have detrimental impact on someone’s resilience and capacity to face the several challenges of living in place far away from home and feeling safe there.

      Hope this helpful.

      I have to run to catch a train but happy to log back in another day if there are more questions.

      thanks to all.

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