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Forced repatriation of unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children: towards an interagency model
Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
2017 (engelsk)Doktoravhandling, med artikler (Annet vitenskapelig)Alternativ tittel
Påtvingade återvändanden av ensamkommande asylsökande flyktingbarn : mot en interorganisatorisk samverkansmodell (svensk)
Abstract [en]

Introduction Not all children seeking asylum without parents or other relatives are entitled to residence permits. In the last few years, more than one in four unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children have been forced to repatriate, either to their home country or to a transit country. Mostly the children refuse to leave the country voluntarily, and it becomes a forced repatriation. Five actors collaborate in the Swedish child forced repatriation process: social workers, staff at care homes, police officers, Swedish Migration Board officers and legal guardians. When a child is forced to repatriate, the Swedish workers involved must consider two different demands. The first demand requires dignified repatriation, which is incorporated from the European Union’s (EU’s) Return Directive into Swedish Aliens Act. The second demand requires that the repatriation process be conducted efficiently, which means that a higher number of repatriation cases must be processed. The fact that the same professionals have different and seemingly contradictory requirements places high demands on the involved collaborators. Two professionals have a legal responsibility for the children until the last minute before they leave Sweden: social workers and police officers. That makes them key actors in forced repatriation, as they carry most of the responsibility in the process. Further, they often work with children who are afraid what will happen when they return to their home country and often express their fear through powerful emotions. Being responsible and obliged to carry out the government’s decision, despite forcing children to leave a safe country, may evoke negative emotional and mental stress for the professionals involved in forced repatriation.

Aim The overall aim of this study is to explore and analyse forced repatriation workers’ collaboration and perceived mental health, with special focus on social workers and police officers in the Swedish context.

Materials and methods The study combines a qualitative and quantitative research design in order to shed light at both a deep and general level on forced repatriation. In qualitative substudy I, a qualitative case study methodology was used in one municipality in a middle-sized city in Sweden. The municipality had a contract regarding the reception of unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children iv with the Swedish Migration Board. The municipality in focus has a population of more than 100,000 inhabitants. The city in which the data were collected has developed a refugee reception system where unaccompanied asylumseeking refugee children are resettled and await a final decision regarding their permit applications. This situation made it possible to recruit participants who had worked with unaccompanied refugee children without a permit. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a total of 20 social workers, staff at care homes, police officers, Swedish Migration Board officers and legal guardians. A thematic approach was used to analyse the data. In quantitative substudies II, III and IV, a national survey of social workers (n = 380) and police officers (n = 714), with and without experience of forced repatriation, was conducted. The questionnaires included sociodemographic characteristics, the Swedish Demand-Control Questionnaire, Interview Schedule for Social Interaction, Ways of Coping Questionnaire and the 12- item General Mental Health Questionnaire. Factor analysis, correlational analysis, and univariate and multivariable regression models were used to analyse the data.

Results The qualitative results in substudy I showed low levels of collaboration among the actors (social workers, staff at care homes, police officers, Swedish Migration Board officers and legal guardians) and the use of different strategies to manage their work tasks. Some of them used a teamwork pattern, showing an understanding of the different roles in forced repatriation, and were willing to compromise for the sake of collaboration. Others tended to isolate themselves from interaction and acted on the basis of personal preference, and some tended to behave sensitively, withdraw and become passive observers rather than active partners in the forced repatriation. The quantitative results in substudy II showed that poorer mental health was associated with working with unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children among social workers but not among police officers. Psychological job demand was a significant predictor for mental health among social workers, while psychological job demand, decision latitude and marital status were predictors among police officers. Substudy III showed that both social workers and police officers reported relatively high access to social support. Furthermore, police officers working in forced repatriation with low levels of satisfaction with social interaction and close emotional support increased the odds of psychological disturbances. In substudy IV, social workers used more escape avoidance, distancing and positive-reappraisal coping, whereas police officers used more planful problem solving and self-controlling coping. Additionally, social workers with experience in forced repatriation used more planful problem solving than those without experience.

Conclusions In order to create the most dignified forced repatriation, based on human dignity, for unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children and with healthy actors, a forced repatriation system needs: overall statutory national guidance, interagency collaboration, actors working within a teamworking pattern, forced repatriation workers with reasonable job demands and decision latitude, with a high level of social support and adaptive coping strategies. The point of departure for an interagency model is that it is impossible to change the circumstances of the asylum process, but it is possible to make the system more functional and better adapted to both the children’s needs and those of the professionals who are set to handle the children. A centre for unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children, consisting of all actors involved in the children’s asylum process sitting under the same roof, at the governmental level (Swedish Migration Board, the police authority) and municipality level (social services, board of legal guardians), can meet all requirements.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2017. , 87 s.
Serie
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1920
Emneord [en]
collaboration, coping, forced repatriation, interagency collaboration, mental health, social support, social workers, Sweden, police officers, psychosocial job characteristics, unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-140166ISBN: 978-91-7601-772-2 (tryckt)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-140166DiVA: diva2:1146239
Disputas
2017-10-27, Aulan, Vårdvetarhuset, Umeå, 09:00 (svensk)
Opponent
Veileder
Tilgjengelig fra: 2017-10-06 Laget: 2017-10-02 Sist oppdatert: 2017-10-06bibliografisk kontrollert
Delarbeid
1. Collaboration patterns among Swedish professionals in the repatriation of unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children: an explorative study
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Collaboration patterns among Swedish professionals in the repatriation of unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children: an explorative study
2016 (engelsk)Inngår i: European Journal of Social Work, ISSN 1369-1457, E-ISSN 1468-2664, Vol. 19, nr 6, 901-916 s.Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

This study explores patterns of collaboration between Swedish professionals involved in the repatriation of unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children. A qualitative case study methodology was used. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a total of 20 statutory social workers, social workers at care homes, police officers, Swedish Migration Board officers, and legal guardians. A thematic approach was used to analyse the data. The results showed low levels of collaboration among the professionals and the use of different strategies by the professionals to manage their work tasks. Patterns were found among the professionals: some tended to isolate themselves from interaction and acted on the basis of personal preference, and others tended to behave sensitively, withdraw, and become passive observers rather than active partners in the repatriation process. These behaviours made it difficult for the relevant professionals to employ dignity and efficiency in the repatriation of unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children.

Abstract [sv]

Denna studie undersöker svenska aktörers samverkansmönster i arbetet med ensamkommande asylsökande flyktingbarn som ska återvända. Kvalitativ metod har använts. Semistrukturerade intervjuer har genomförts med totalt tjugo socialsekreterare som arbetar med ensamkommande flyktingbarn, personal vid hem för vård och boende, poliser, handläggare på Migrationsverket och gode män. En tematisk analysmetod har använts. Resultatet visade låg nivå av samverkan mellan aktörerna och att de använde sig av olika strategier för att hantera sina arbetsuppgifter. Varierande samverkansmönster kunde ses: vissa tenderade att isolera sig från att interagera med andra aktörer och agerade utifrån personliga preferenser, andra tenderade att bete sig känslomässigt, dra sig undan och bli passiva observatörer snarare än aktiva deltagare i återvändandeprocessen. Dessa beteenden gjorde det svårt för aktörerna att både praktisera ett värdigt och effektivt arbete gällande de ensamkommande asylsökande flyktingbarnen som skulle återvända.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Taylor & Francis Group, 2016
Emneord
collaboration, Sweden, repatriation, unaccompanied children, refugee children, samverkan, Sverige, repatriering, ensamkommande barn, flyktingbarn
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-108889 (URN)10.1080/13691457.2015.1082981 (DOI)000389213800007 ()
Merknad

Samverkansmönster bland svenska professionella aktörer i arbetet med ensamkommande asylsökande flyktingbarns återvändande: en explorativ studie

Tilgjengelig fra: 2015-09-17 Laget: 2015-09-17 Sist oppdatert: 2017-10-02bibliografisk kontrollert
2. Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Refugee Children's Forced Repatriation: Social Workers' and Police Officers' Health and Job Characteristics
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Refugee Children's Forced Repatriation: Social Workers' and Police Officers' Health and Job Characteristics
Vise andre…
2015 (engelsk)Inngår i: Global Journal of Health Science, ISSN 1916-9736, E-ISSN 1916-9744, Vol. 7, nr 6, 215-225 s.Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

During the past ten years the number of unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children has dramatically increased in Sweden. Some of them are permitted to stay in the receiving country, but some are forced back to their country of origin. Social workers and police officers are involved in these forced repatriations, and such complex situations may cause stressful working conditions. This study aimed to bridge the gap in knowledge of the relationship between general mental health and working with unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children who are due for forced repatriation. In addition, the role of psychosocial job characteristics in such relationships was investigated. A questionnaire including sociodemographic characteristics, the Swedish Demand-Control-Support Questionnaire, and the 12-item General Mental Health Questionnaire were distributed nationally. Univariate and multivariable regression models were used. Poorer mental health was associated with working with unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children among social workers but not among police officers. Psychological job demand was a significant predictor for general mental health among social workers, while psychological job demand, decision latitude, and marital status were predictors among police officers. Findings are discussed with special regard to the context of social work and police professions in Sweden.

HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-106870 (URN)10.5539/gjhs.v7n6p215 (DOI)26153185 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-84959071602 (Scopus ID)
Tilgjengelig fra: 2015-08-11 Laget: 2015-08-11 Sist oppdatert: 2017-10-02bibliografisk kontrollert
3. The association between social support and the mental health of social workers and police officers who work with unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children’s forced repatriation: A Swedish experience
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>The association between social support and the mental health of social workers and police officers who work with unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children’s forced repatriation: A Swedish experience
(engelsk)Manuskript (preprint) (Annet vitenskapelig)
Abstract [en]

This study aims to contribute to the knowledge of social support and its association with mental health amongst social workers and police officers in forced repatriation work of unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children. Nationally distributed surveys to social workers and police officers with and without experience of forced repatriation were used, measured by an abbreviated version of the Interview Schedule for Social Interaction, ISSI, and analyzed by univariate and multivariable regression models. Social workers in forced repatriation showed significantly poorer mental health than other social workers, but simultaneously relatively high access to social support. Irrespective of working with forced repatriation, police officers reported relatively high access to social support, but no difference in mental health. Furthermore, low levels of satisfaction with social interaction and close emotional support increased the odds of psychological disturbances for police officers in forced repatriation. Findings are discussed with special regard to the complexity of forced repatriation, particularly when children are the focus.

Emneord
mental health; police officers; social support; social workers; unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-140160 (URN)
Tilgjengelig fra: 2017-10-02 Laget: 2017-10-02 Sist oppdatert: 2017-10-05
4. Coping with Stress in the Forced Repatriation of Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Refugee Children among Swedish Police Officers and Social Workers
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Coping with Stress in the Forced Repatriation of Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Refugee Children among Swedish Police Officers and Social Workers
2017 (engelsk)Inngår i: Psychology, ISSN 2152-7180, E-ISSN 2152-7199, Vol. 8, nr 1, 97-118 s.Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

Police officers and social workers are key actors in the forced repatriation of unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children. Police officers are tasked with arranging the children's departure, whereas social workers are responsible for the children's well-being during their stay in Sweden. To gain a better understanding of how to handle stressors and cope effectively with forced repatriation work, the current study aimed to describe and compare police officers' and social workers' coping strategies for forced repatriation work, controlling for sociodemographic characteristics and social support. Nationally distributed surveys to social workers (n = 380) and police officers (n = 714) with and without experience of forced repatriation were used, analyzed by univariate and multivariable regression models. The police officers used more planful problem-solving and self-controlling strategies, whereas the social workers used more escape-avoidance, distancing and positive reappraisal coping. Additionally, social workers with experience in forced repatriation used more planful problem-solving than those without experience. Police officers involved in forced repatriation manage their work stress via adaptive coping strategies and control over the situation, whereas social workers use more maladaptive coping strategies. Concrete tools are needed at the individual level to strengthen key actors' ability to support the well-being of unaccompanied asylum-seeking refugee children.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Scientific Research Publishing, 2017
Emneord
Coping, Police Officers, Social Workers, Sweden, Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Refugee Children
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-131713 (URN)10.4236/psych.2017.81007 (DOI)
Tilgjengelig fra: 2017-02-19 Laget: 2017-02-19 Sist oppdatert: 2017-10-02bibliografisk kontrollert

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