Dost Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: an evaluation of a 360º relationship-based model of practice with young refugees and migrants

Conference paper


Price, H. and Deveci, Yesim 2013. Dost Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: an evaluation of a 360º relationship-based model of practice with young refugees and migrants. UEL Research and Knowledge Exchange Conference 2013. University of East London, London 26 Jun 2013 London University of East London.
AuthorsPrice, H. and Deveci, Yesim
TypeConference paper
Abstract

This presentation reviews a qualitative research project undertaken with Dost Centre for Young Refugees and Migrants. Dost means friend in several languages. The Centre was founded in 2000. It works with children who arrive in the UK alone seeking protection and asylum, and with young migrants who have arrived in this country with their families. Dost provides a range of services for them, including advice, advocacy and therapeutic support, and education, play and youth activities. Dost is committed to sharing knowledge and influencing policy and practice, and provides consultancy services and workshops to professionals working with this service user group.

In the summer of 2012 three researchers from UEL conducted 20 self-selected face-to-face semi-structured interviews with male and female Dost service users aged between 12 and 26 years. Some of the interviewees had been involved with the project since its inception; others were very recent recruits to the youth sessions. Interviewees spoke for between 20 and 120 minutes. Interviews were subsequently transcribed and subjected to thematic analysis using NVivo as a research tool.

The young people helped by Dost were overwhelmingly grateful for a child-facing organisation that aimed to 'join up' the fragmented pieces of their lives. They spoke about Dost as a lifeline, a safety net, a place containing real friends, and a desperately needed 'home' in a context where parents, wider family and community had often been lost. We were told with some urgency by almost all of the young people that Dost’s services needed to be able to continue and develop. The young migrants also frequently stressed the opportunities Britain offered them and their desire to make something of themselves here.

The 360º relationship-based model at Dost, focussed on 'developing positive minds', does seem to deliver something qualitatively different from other more process-driven services for vulnerable children and young people. From the point of view of the young people, we found Dost to be a highly effective organisation providing what is in effect 'guardianship' for vulnerable service users. An evaluation of the Scottish Guardianship Service Pilot (Crawley and Kohli, 2011) obtained similar very positive views about 'guardians' from young asylum seekers.

Presentations have been or will be given at the Trinity Centre, East Ham, to Dost staff and trustees; and at the Dost Away Day at UEL in March 2013; and to the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust’s Policy Seminar Series. A research report will shortly be available on the charity’s website at www.dostcentre.org.

Keywordsrelationship-based; refugees; migrants; social value; guardianship; mental health; emotional well-being; positive minds
Year2013
ConferenceUEL Research and Knowledge Exchange Conference 2013
PublisherUniversity of East London
Publisher's version
License
CC BY-ND
Publication dates
Print26 Jun 2013
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Jun 2013
Place of publicationLondon
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https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/85wy7

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