The UK is home to more than 121,837 refugees, which equates to one quarter of a percent (0.25%) of the UK’s total population (UNHCR 2017). When an individual is granted refugee status, they have a period of 28 days to vacate their asylum accommodation and apply for mainstream housing and benefits. It is during this transition stage that many refugees become homeless (Refugee Action 2018). To support the refugee resettlement process, IRiS has developed a toolkit and range of resources to inform and assist local authorities and practitioners working with refugees.
Understanding the background about how and why refugees seek refuge in the UK is important for the host communities and for professionals who support refugee communities.
Feeling safe in the UK is a primary concern for refugees, many of whom have experienced traumatic events before and during exile to the UK. New refugees, and those that have lived in the UK for some time, often require reassurance about issues that we cannot immediately appreciate.
Ensuring children are welcomed into their new school and understand how the school works is central to their immediate wellbeing and future life in the UK.
Some refugees may have a range of social care needs. Providing accessible social care support is another high priority that will impact on their resettlement experience here in the UK.
Employment is of huge benefit towards social as well as economic integration but there are significant barriers for refugees who often find themselves in low skilled, low paid work that is not commensurate with their employment experiences and/or qualifications (Phillimore and Goodson 2008).
Refugees are entitled to free NHS care. Managing their expectations of the UK's healthcare system is very important.
Housing is of particular significance if integration begins in the community you share with neighbours.
There are number of ways refugees can be helped to learn English.
There are many ways that social connections can be facilitated.
We welcome feedback on the Toolkit resources. If you would also like to submit further resources for consideration please follow this section.
Also in 'Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS)'