The Government needs to do a lot more to help people to transition from the Direct Provision system into mainstream society, according to a report published today by the Irish Refugee Council.
It calls on the coalition to provide a resettlement grant and other assistance like permission to study and work before leaving the system.
Today’s report titled ‘Transition: from Direct Provision to Life in the Community’ is based on interviews with 22 former asylum seekers, 12 of whom had transitioned out of Direct Provision and ten of whom were attempting to so.
The Refugee Council calls on the State to support people leaving Direct Provision after having their status regularised in the same way as it helps programme refugees who have been invited here in groups from world trouble-spots.
It says that 18 months ago, several months after getting their official papers, 679 people remained in Direct Provision.
It highlights the shortage of rental accommodation as a major factor, especially in cities.
It blames the near-absence of targeted supports for exacerbating the difficulties of people in transition and calls for strategic planning, and more information and support.
Among the innovations advocated are:
– A resettlement grant to help with the cost of transition
– Special help with home rental deposits and rent itself
– A specialist Department of Social Protection officer to deal with asylum seekers
An improvement on the €19.10 weekly allowance to adults in Direct Provision centres and slightly smaller payment in respect of children and the provision of self-catering accommodation for residents.
And strategies for better integration into local communities.