Social work with refugees and asylum seekers: a rationale for developing practice

This source preferred by Jonathan Parker

Authors: Parker, J.

Journal: Practice: Social Work in Action

Volume: 12

Pages: 61-76

ISSN: 0950-3153

DOI: 10.1080/09503150008415191

The increase in the number of asylum seekers and refugees has reshaped the topography of migration in Europe (Castles and Miller, 1998; Coleman, 1994). In the UK this has resulted in the passing and implementation of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. The increasing demand for local authority services, including social services, housing and other welfare agencies to support those seeking asylum has created a need for social workers to be appropriately educated and prepared to work with people seeking asylum and refugees. Social workers in the UK must be well-versed in matters of migration, family and identity and integrate their knowledge with care management, mental health and child care/family support practice. Social services agencies are often unprepared, however, for the construction and delivery of appropriate social services for people seeking asylum as seen in the recent attempted dispersal of asylum seekers from one London Borough to Scotland (Gillan, 2000). The British Association of Social Workers is aware of the growing potential for oppressive practice in undertaking duties required under the dispersal scheme and the Immigration and Asylum Act. Resolutions passed at the 2000 Annual General Meeting support practitioners refusing to operate oppressive procedures in respect of this vulnerable group, and who campaign for a more positive image and appropriate services

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