When a foreign terrorist fighter (FTF) leaves for Syria or Iraq, there is always a network of people affected by the FTF’s departure, death or return - whether a partner and children, or (grand)parents and siblings.
In the past years, attention has focused on ways to involve families of FTFs in the process of resocialisation and reintegration in case of an FTF’s return. However, it is crucial to also address other scenarios: Family support needs to be in place for those families, whose (grand)child, sibling, parent or other family member has not yet returned to their home country or will never return. It is vital that these families ‘left behind’ remain a strong and active part of society as a whole and therefore receive solution-focused support.
Therefore, the RAN Families, Communities & Social Care Working Group gathered family, community and social workers on 29 and 30 June 2020 in order to exchange insights. This conclusion paper reflects the outcomes of this meeting about:
- Challenges that family members of FTFs are encountering in their daily life, such as psychological issues, dealing with authorities, stigmatisation and/or practical and legal issues;
- Practical tips for solution-focused support by practitioners working in family support and adjacent fields in order to respond to these challenges.