Identification of stakeholders that made an identification of the practice: Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado (CEAR) – Madrid
Montserrat Otero Arroyo, Jefa de Sección de Atención a la Inmigración e Interculturalidad. Departamento de Inmigración y Refugio del Ayuntamiento de Madrid
Vulnerable migrants and applicants or beneficiaries of international protection, as well as volunteering at CEAR Madrid.
Application setting: context
CEAR promotes a comprehensive psychosocial intervention model where the person is at the center of their own reception and social inclusion process, focusing on a progressive achievement of autonomy. In this way, the professionals of the social, psychological or legal services perform a job linked to the needs of social, psychological or legal support. It is outside this framework, for obvious reasons, the coverage of personal, citizen, and social support needs. The CEAR Madrid volunteering plays a key role in this regard, and especially in those cases of people without a support network in the Community of Madrid.
Promote supportive relationships between local and migrant citizens, through close and personal support that gives refugee and migrant people new tools for social inclusion. The model is based on the company and active listening, favoring a stable relationship over time.
Each experience implies the free disposition of the parties. It is requested at the request of the technical figure, which identifies the convenience, the migrant is consulted and, once it is convenient, a related volunteer profile is sought. Since they know each other until that relationship of citizen support is consolidated, weeks, months or years can pass, it cannot be determined.
Requirements/ accessibility issues
A technical criterion determines the relevance of this relational support, which usually occurs in individuals without a network and with difficulties of sociability, or newly arrived in a municipality or district.
- General informative session to people interested in volunteering in the entity, where the different participation formulas are described: relational activism indicating basic information about each one of them.
- Personal interview identifying in the volunteering possible participants in the experience in response to their hourly disposition, interests and predisposition to personalized accompaniment.
- Validation of the profile of volunteers in charge of social and psychological care professionals, and crossing with a profile of migrants and refugees in need of accompaniment.
- Approach to the person who will be accompanied with an adjustment of expectations.
- Identification of the most similar volunteer person.
- Initial meeting between the technical staff that has requested support, volunteering, and the volunteer. to know the case from general features.
- Voluntary-refugee contact begins with a periodicity of meetings between 1 and 4 times a month.
- The volunteer reports to the technical staff the progress in the relational process and a joint evaluation work is done.
Difficulties or constrains for its implementation
Sometimes it is hard to understand how far the link should go, especially when it comes to people with relational difficulties because of their situation in the country of origin and that often have to do with the cause of persecution / discrimination. Breaking the ice and creating functional supportive relationships from both agents is a tough task and the expectations of both can be affected.
Currently, the delegation promotes 55 experiences of relational volunteering. Although this model has little path and has finally been considered by other areas as an important resource in the reception and inclusion process, we are moving towards its consolidation by creating spaces of relationship between the volunteers who perform this work, who request more support to the entity’s techniques, given that this type of relationship is complex from an emotional point of view.