COA, the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers, provides accommodation for asylum seekers in The Netherlands during the asylum procedure. COA also prepares asylum seekers for staying in the Netherlands and/or returning to their country of origin. Asylum seekers are supposed to take care of themselves but for various reasons some asylum seekers are not able to cope in the centres. They show problematic behaviour, such as stress or psychological problems, and therefore need extra support. The developed methodology meets these needs.
Methods and context
Action research is used for developing the new methodology that has several components: 1) a specific method and procedure for the special unit (existing of COA employees) for intensive support and coaching, 2) prevention of problematic behaviour in the Reception Centres and 3) optimalisation of the collaboration with stakeholders.
The developed method helps COA employees to work in a more structured and methodical way, which gives them more tools to connect with the refugees and means to recognise problematic behaviour in an earlier stage. It turns out that working by using this method gives them more job satisfaction.
COA employees in the unit for special support are trained and receive supervision in working according to this new method. At the moment a pilot is running in 9 Reception Centers in which people are trained in the methodology. HealthNet TPO is evaluating this pilot.
After the pilot is completed the board of COA will decide if and how to implement this integral methodology in all the other reception centers (around 60 at the time of writing). The project was financed by the European Refugee fund.