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Migration and Home Affairs

Call for participants: RAN Families, Communities & Social Care Working Group meeting – Dealing with Families of Foreign Terrorist Fighters, 29-30 June 2020

Digital Meeting

For the RAN Families, Communities & Social Care Working Group meeting about ‘Dealing with Families of Foreign Terrorist Fighters’ on 29 and 30 June, we are currently looking for suitable participants.

Participants during this meeting will explore the impact and specific challenges for families of FTFs and FTFs that are not returning for various reasons. Moreover, the aim is to discuss how community and social care workers can better support families “left behind” with overcoming their challenges to make sure these families remain a part of their community and society as a whole.

Call for participants

We are currently looking for social workers, family and community workers, who have experience with working on the support of family members of FTFs and can share these during a meeting with Chatham House Rules.

In addition, we are looking for participants who are familiar with solutions from other fields, such as the field of dealing with family members of criminals, families of people gone missing or military deployment.

In order to find the best suited participants, we would like to ask you if you could answer the following questions:

  • Have you worked with family members ‘left behind’ by FTFs? Please briefly describe your cases.
  • What are in your experience the main challenges that families and first-line practitioners working with families of (returning and not returning) FTFs encounter?
  • If working in another field: What can we learn from the way you support family members of criminals, missing persons and/or soldiers? Please briefly describe this.

Background and aim of this meeting

In the RAN Returnee Manual, first-line practitioners are informed on how to support returning FTFs and how to involve their families in the period of resocialisation and reintegration. To gain more insights on the impact that the departure of a FTF has on family members, we will address the daily practice of first-line practitioners who work with families of (returning, or not returning) FTFs, and address the challenges that these family members ‘left behind’ encounter to formulate practical tips for solution-focused support by first-line practitioners.

Family members (women, men and children) need, among others, support in addressing the following challenges:

  • Depending on the family constellation, there is always a network of people affected by the departure, death or return of the FTFs and the family members who had left with them to Syria and Iraq.
  • Partners and families of FTFs often have little communication with the FTFs during their absence and might become the physical and emotional carers for them when they return (especially for returning children and women). These carers often play a crucial role in the process of rehabilitation of returning FTFs. They can either be a powerful asset for their reintegration and resocialisation, or one of the obstacles.
  • Family members can be, for example, troubled by the lack of information about their family members who left, and often have a sense of isolation.
  • Also, most family members are unequipped to deal with the legal and financial questions when their FTF relative dies in theatre.


If you are interested in participating at this meeting, could you please elaborate on these questions by Monday 15 June the latest? We will invite participants based on this information. Please keep in mind that we only have a limited amount of places available for this meeting, hence participation is not guaranteed.

Please note, the meeting will be held digitally in English.

If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact Fenna Keijzer and Anja Rockel.