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Community Pract. 2011 Feb;84(2):23-6.

Safeguarding vulnerable families: work with refugees and asylum seekers.

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Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust.


This paper will highlight one of the key findings of a qualitative study based on the analysis of in-depth interviews with 14 health visitors describing their experiences working with refugees and asylum seekers. Despite changes in government legislation to improve children's services in order to prevent harm to children, this recent study demonstrated that health visitors were working with the complexities of needs among refugees and asylum seekers related to safeguarding both children and vulnerable women. The health visitors often worked with families and individuals with no support from other professional services, they worked with failed asylum seekers who were unable to access other forms of support and they worked with women and children who were caught in a cycle of domestic abuse due to their immigration status. They were also working with families who would disappear from the systems in place to safeguard children.

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