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Methodology Development for Special Refugee Reception in the Netherlands

In 2009, the European Refugee Fund (EVF: ‘Europees Vluchtelingen Fonds’) granted a two-year action research programme for the development of a new approach for asylum seekers and refugees with complex behavioral problems in the Netherlands. HealthNet TPO implements this programme in close cooperation with the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA: ‘Centraal Orgaan Asielzoekers’)

Many reception centers have to deal with asylum seekers with problematic behavior, which can have negative effects on the livability and security in these centers. For these people, a special reception center has been created. COA requested HealthNet TPO to optimize this center by reducing referral and speeding up the transfer to either specialized care or back to the regular reception center.

After an assessment phase in 2009, we are now at the end of phase two in which we finalize the methodology and link it to the whole COA organization in close cooperation with different COA departments.

As HealthNet TPO is specialized in ‘system approaches’, the link to regular reception centers in the Netherlands is profound in this programme. The first half of 2011 will see an implementation of the newly developed methodology in three pilot locations. The focus of the methodology is a system approach encompassing good cooperation between the special reception center and regular reception centers, as well as the cooperation and connection with (external) stakeholders for better referral to specialized care (mental health care and addiction institutions).

At this point we have trained all staff in the special reception center as well as the trainers (training of trainers) who will be training all staff in the pilot locations and - after a positive outcome of the pilots - in all centers countrywide (second half of 2011). All trained staff is receiving regular practical support offered by HealthNet TPO.


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