Received formal support in the eyes of the refugees: experiences of refugee parents in exile

Pezerović, A., Milić Babić, M. and Carroll, V. (2017) Received formal support in the eyes of the refugees: experiences of refugee parents in exile. In: 20th Biennial International Symposium of International Consortium for Social Development, 7th - 11th July, Zagreb.

Book-of-Abstracts-v4.pdf - Abstract

Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Presentation)
Item Status:Live Archive


The humanitarian crises triggered by different events and processes will always create common and
different movements and protection needs regardless of the nature of events and reason for its
occurrence. Refugee crisis as one of the humanitarian crisis examples has taken a broad place and
received attention in society today. The aim of this survey was to research experiences of refugee
parents regarding formal support they or their family have received. The qualitative survey was
conducted in 2016 in Bulgaria, the host country for many refugees for decades, and a country
continually criticised for instances of brutal and inhuman treatment of refugees, as well as for
inadequate protection of refugees who have been granted asylum in the country. Research has
shown that refugee parents lack support in both ways: receiving psychosocial, financial, material or
practical support and in help to enrol their children in school. The participants claimed that one of
the biggest challenges they face in Bulgaria is insufficient support from public authorities which
caused anxiety, anger and frustration for parents and difficulties in coping with their present life
circumstances. Those challenges together with a high sense of responsibility and anxiety over the
future prospects of their children represent the key factors of stress for refugee parents. Refugees
who lack social support often feel less motivated to engage in activities that would facilitate their
integration and they are prone to social isolation, because of which further investigation is needed to
understand what is happening with the families who did not receive social support and how to reach
them. Whereas social support represents an effective mechanism for coping with the stress and the
challenges of displacement, these findings suggest the need for continuous professional support and
implementation of psychosocial interventions. Next, the refugee parents expressed their anger and
frustration over denied opportunities for inclusion of their children in the educational system. It is
thus equally important to conduct further investigation on the resulting outcomes for children who
have been excluded from the educational system for longer periods of time. Furthermore, there is
need to investigate who supports children once they are involved in the educational system in a host
country and what kind of support is provided to them and to their families. This research study has
shown many challenges and issues faced by refugee parents in Bulgaria, and emphasises the need for
Bulgarian authorities to act responsibly and in accordance with international and national law.

Keywords:refugee, support, exile, parenting
Subjects:L Social studies > L500 Social Work
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
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ID Code:30346
Deposited On:12 Mar 2018 12:15

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