Phillip Rapaport wrote:
This is the subject on which Professor Jenny Phillimore spoke at the City Of Sanctuary meeting I attended last in Birmingham. She spoke of the three stages of integration: Reception, Orientation and Social mobility, and how research shows that failure to properly engage with new arrivals can contribute to their ill health and failure to thrive and integrate. As we have discussed, one of the principal problems refugees have to be helped with is their profound sense of loss. Among the key ways to help newcomers integrate is help with language, advice about local rules and regulations, including such mundane matters as which colour bins to put out when, and how to recycle, and allowing them, if possible, to have some say in their accommodation. Age appropriate mentoring and buddying schemes are also helpful. Also, among a group of refugees are likely to be people who have specific skills and qualifications. Finding people in the community with similar skills and qualifications with whom newcomers can share their knowledge can contribute to a feeling of worth. I am more and more convinced that it will be necessary for us to access instruction in how to engage with people appropriately and with regard to their needs.