Today, on UN World Children’s Day, IOM The Netherlands is pleased to announce the publication of the new TOOLKIT ‘Voluntary Return with Children’.
A large proportion of migrants who return voluntarily from the Netherlands with IOM are families with minor children. This toolkit provides guidance to IOM staff how they can help parents prepare their children for return.
Returning to the country of origin, or rather ‘leaving the Netherlands’ – since some children were born here or came to the Netherlands at a young age – can be a big and emotional step for children. It is important that children can prepare for this. Children have the right to be well informed and to be heard about the return plan. This helps them to understand and accept the return better. Moreover, if children experience that they have influence and their interests are included in the return plan, this can increase their self-confidence. It empowers them to adapt to a new environment, reducing the risk of learning disabilities or social isolation upon return. In short, proper preparation is good for children’s well-being and mental health, allowing them to better cope with the challenges of the return.
How migrant families prepare for their return differs per family and depends on various factors. Some parents may find it difficult to involve their children in this process. As an IOM counsellor, what can you do to help improve the interaction between parents and their children on this topic? This toolkit equips IOM counsellors with relevant insights and material when working with families with young children who are preparing for return. It consists of three documents: a guide for counsellors, a guide for parents and a workbook for children (6-12 years).
Have a look the booklets by clicking on their image.