Nordic Day 2018: Early intervention contributes to successful integration
Around 200 000 child and adolescent asylum seekers came to the Nordic region between 2011 and 2016. Although most came with their families, a large number came unaccompanied. The Nordics as a region is well equipped for receiving new arrivals, and have a good capacity for investing in early intervention for successful integration.
That is the message the Nordic Welfare Centre will present at this year's Nordic Day in Seville on 27 May. The topic for the day is Early intervention for newly arrived children and refugee families. Senior advisers Kristin Marklund and Anna Gärdegård from the Nordic Welfare Centre are guiding the programme.
The Nordic Welfare Centre is coordinating a number of projects concerning the integration of refugees in the Nordic countries, on behalf of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Comparisons between the Nordic countries' work on integration and learning from each other can facilitate a more successful integration. We identify and describe best practices in order to disseminate these among relevant stakeholders. These best practices are also presented at www.integrationnorden.org
All evaluations show that early intervention for children and families is a good financial investment. As well as paying off in financial terms, there are large benefits on an individual level. When a person arrives to one of the Nordic societies, there are various approaches to creating the best possible conditions for successful integration.
MindSpring for parents
The Danish Refugee Council is the humanitarian voluntary organisation behind programmes such as MindSpring, which supports newly arrived parents. The group leaders at MindSpring who introduce newly arrived parents to their new country and new culture are people with own experience of being new in the country and who speak the same language as the programme attendees. The themes that are discussed include identity, culture and norms; stress and trauma; and the challenges of and methods for bringing up children.
MindSpring is a preventative and psychosocial programme that is manual-based. Experiences from the programme show that the parents are given good support in understanding their new culture. It is also an important forum where they can ask questions and draw attention to matters they are pondering. It is an excellent example of an early intervention for families that shows great results.
Model for Nordic family policy
The Nordic welfare model is known for having created economic growth and high standard of living in our countries. The system is based on everyone, men and women equally, contributing to the labour force and paying taxes. This in turn has facilitated the development of a policy that could be described as a Nordic family policy. For example, we have subsidised preschool education for all children which in itself is an important factor for successful integration of children.
The Nordic region is thus equipped to be able to receive and welcome new people, and provide them with a good foundation for integration. Early intervention for newly arrived families and children leads to fewer interventions from social services, less extra need for support in school, and parents gaining tools for active parenting.
Nordic Day takes place in Seville in Spain, as a pre-conference to the annual conference of the European Social Network, ESN.
Getting to the Conference Centre
The Barceló Sevilla Renacimiento is located in the north-west of the centre of Seville, 12km away from the airport.
You will find taxis outside the airport terminal. Travel time to the conference venue is around 20 minutes and costs 20-25 euros.
EA buses operate from 04.30 am to around 00.15 am. A single ticket costs 4 euros and a round trip 6 euros. The journey time is approximately 30 minutes.