Good Practice When Working with Interpreters (Source: Reset)
Refugee Action Client Charter (Source: Reset)
Template Client Charter (Source: Reset)
Personal Integration Plans (Source: Reset)
What Can We Talk About (Source: ABIDE)
This page is for volunteers who will be working directly with the family.
Below are some key responsibilities and challenges that you will need to prepare for as a group.
- How Will You Approach Resettlement?
- Managing Boundaries
- Working With Interpreters
- Supporting The Family to Achieve Their Goals
- The Practicalities
- What Can We Talk About?
Maintaining boundaries is important for the wellbeing of both you and the family. You will be in a position of power – you will regularly enter their private home, support them with very personal tasks and are a gateway to many services. They may also feel very grateful to you for helping them to resettle. Setting clear boundaries can help to address this power dynamic – boundaries help the family to maintain their privacy and autonomy, and by discouraging dependency.
Meanwhile, it’s important that as volunteers, you ensure that enthusiasm doesn’t lead you to overstretch yourselves in terms of time, energy or a sense of responsibility for the family you are supporting. This could be harmful to your own well-being and, also unhelpful for the family.
Signs of overworking as a befriender are:
- your private / family life being affected
- new, higher levels of physical or mental strain
Ways of avoiding being overworked include:
- Having set visiting times. Set a weekly visiting time and duration each week and trying to stick with that schedule. Flexibility will be required sometimes, but diverting from the set schedule should be kept to a minimum.
- Not being ‘on call’. You may decide that volunteers should not give out their own home phone number.
- Using your group support network – perhaps set up regular peer-to-peer support sessions, where you check in as a group.
- Remember that your ability to support is limited. You are not expected to “solve” all their problems. You can only provide key information, support them to access appropriate services, and to show warmth and kindness as they navigate their new life.
We recommend that you read these example guidelines, and then decide your own approach as a group.
The Personal Integration Plan (PIP) is a practical tool that helps to structure your work towards integration. It helps family members to consider their short and long-term goals, and to plan how you will work together to achieve these goals.
Reset and Refugee Action have produced some excellent resources on PIPs here.
Within the first six weeks, you will need to support the family with the following tasks (this is in no particular order):
You should also set time to have the following conversations with the family:
Over the following year, you will be expected to offer the following support: