IOM publishes additional module on Return Counselling of Children and their Families
The IOM has published an additional module on Return Counselling of Children and their Families, developed in collaboration with UNICEF and Save the Children. The module is conceived as an integral part of the Return Counselling Toolkit, but it can also be used as a stand-alone learning tool. While the first five Modules of the Return Counselling Toolkit are geared towards counselling adult migrants, this additional module focuses on the provision of return counselling to children returning either alone or with their families.
The Module on Counselling Children and their Families has been developed under the project “Support to Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration from the Western Balkans through the provision of two key interventions: 1. The development of a return counselling toolkit and 2. Provision of AVRR from the WB”, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. It represents a collaborative effort between IOM, UNICEF, and Save the Children to promote rights-based and child-sensitive return counselling for children and their families.
Access the new module:
Facilitating returns for children whether unaccompanied or travelling with their families can be complex and time consuming, as it requires specific competencies and skills. This demands a holistic approach to address specific needs and vulnerabilities and to uphold the child’s rights and safeguards. To guarantee safe and dignified return and sustainable reintegration, the return process needs to be accompanied by the provision of rights-based and child-sensitive return counselling assistance, as well as sustainable reintegration in line with the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child and the guiding principles of IOM’s Policy on the Full Spectrum of Return, Readmission and Reintegration.
The content of the Module is based on a literature review, consultations, and ad hoc focus group discussions with return counsellors, child protection experts and practitioners working across different countries and operational contexts. The support and technical review provided by IOM, UNICEF and Save the Children thematic experts further ensured that the content of the module is in line with international standards and interagency guidelines.
The module targets a range of stakeholders involved in the provision of return counselling assistance at various levels and stages. Furthermore, it provides insights and useful guidelines to professionals supporting children and families during the return process, such as social workers, cultural mediators, psychologists and legal counsellors.
The content of the Module on counselling children and their families has been integrated into the Return Counselling Toolkit in-person training package.