Friends of Refugees

A U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program Watchdog Group

The long-term consequences of poor refugee resettlement services

Posted by Christopher Coen on May 29, 2012

The long-term consequences of poor refugee resettlement services include family breakdowns, poor health, social isolation, homelessness and other issues. These consequences are also not easily distinguished from the effects of refugees’ earlier overseas experiences of trauma and neglect, thus easy to hide and easy to ignore. In an article at the ABC media site in Newcastle, Australia (see earlier articles), an Auditor General in spells out what we should be thinking about in the US resettlement program as well:

Auditor General Peter Achterstraat is concerned Newcastle’s humanitarian refugees are not getting the help they need when they settle in the region.

He has been examining how New South Wales deals with refugees who have been granted permanent residency to settle in Australia, after applying from camps overseas…

Mr Achterstraat says many who have settled in [the region] are struggling in terms of housing, education, health and employment.

…There are fears Newcastle’s refugees are at risk of homelessness and family breakdowns as a result of the substandard [resettlement] services…

“There can be long term ramifications if we don’t address settlement quickly then there’s issues down the track in relation to family breakdowns, poor health, social isolation, homelessness and other issues.”… Read more here

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