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Safety for children: How can we support parents and caregivers in reception centres and early phases of resettlement? 

Safety for children: How can we support parents and caregivers in reception centres and early phases of resettlement?
Chapter:
Safety for children: How can we support parents and caregivers in reception centres and early phases of resettlement?
Author(s):

Ragnhild Dybdahl

, and Helen Johnsen Christie

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198833741.003.0047
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date: 18 May 2021

Lack of safety poses a major threat to children who are asylum seekers in the post-migration period. Such lack of safety can concern physical safety, including domestic violence, and psychosocial safety, including feeling afraid and isolated. The context of families in reception centres and the resettlement period varies considerably, but relative poverty, perceived unpredictability, and isolation are common. In addition, language and cultural differences and lack of work and meaningful everyday life often pose a challenge, as does previous trauma exposure. One important issue concerns stressors parents face, and their ability to provide safety for their children in times of uncertainty and great adjustment. Addressing the need for safety, this chapter describes a Norwegian pilot project conducted by the Norwegian Directorate for Child, Youth and Family Affairs in 2015–16, which sought to address safety through supporting parents using the International Child Development Programme in asylum centres. This chapter describes the programme and experiences from this pilot project. We discuss safety for children in receptions centres and the resettlement phase, drawing on the pilot project and previous research in high-income countries. In addition, we present a case for the usefulness of knowledge from humanitarian and developmental contexts.

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