The Dutch Association BPSW placed a special file on the refugee crisis on their website. There is information about the work social workers fulfil in the border areas in the different countries, and how we can support them. A large part is about the help refugees need in The Netherlands, with information on the different ways one can be of help. Almost 30.000 refugees from Ukraine entered the country and are being registered, about 30% of them children. Efforts are made to find schools, sport clubs etc. Special attention is given to vulnerable people who need extra help, and to young women and unattended minors, to make sure they will not fall in the hands of criminals or abusers. The government provides for places to stay in sports halls, hotels, even on cruise ships. There is an allowance for refugees for the most urgent expenses. Social workers can be of help to find the way in Dutch bureaucracy.
Lots of citizens open their homes for refugees, which is heartwarming but sometimes generates problems caused by cultural differences, misunderstandings about house rules, etc. The screenings social workers do in advance of placements appears to be decisive for successful matchings, and can prevent from future disappointment on both sides.
After the refugees are a bit settled in other problems and dilemmas will arise. We try to be prepared to help in practical and psycho-social ways, knowing that there is an urgent shortage of more permanent housing possibilities in the country. In May a special webinar will be organized on the subject.