- Publication date
- 30 May 2022
- Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs
The small-scale expert meeting on the training of practitioners who are dealing with returning children took place on 30 September 2021. The overall goal of the meeting was to explore the main needs and current gaps in building capacities of European practitioners in dealing with returning children.
The outcomes of the meeting are relevant for practitioners who deal with returning children from different sectors. They include mental health workers, community workers, youth workers and family workers, teachers and police. The main outcomes of the meeting are presented below.
- The overall institutional architecture dealing with children is multi-agency and should, to the extent possible, involve existing institutions and skills.
- The approach has to be individualised to meet the unique needs of each child, and should focus on normalisation. It is not necessary to put a label on the children early on. Special treatments and therapy should be decided on a case-by-case basis.
- Topics proposed for training include: awareness raising on returning children, resilience building, communication strategies, specialised training on particular topics such as the mental health of a returning child and on carrying out supervision and mentoring.
- When designing trainings, it is important to include a number of aspects: interactive methods; empirical data on existing experiences with child returnees and concrete cases; the voices and perspectives of the children; self-reflexivity; specialisation of the content depending on the target audience.
This paper will elaborate on the main themes discussed during the meeting and will subsequently select a number of recommendations concerning the training of practitioners dealing with returning children. The paper also presents three relevant practices. It concludes with an outlook on future meetings dealing with related topics.