In the frame of SOAM Programme, SOAM PM Unit organized in February 2017 a reflection meeting which was attended by representatives from all SOAM funded Reception Centres (RCs), UDI and Norwegian Embassy.
The goal of the meeting was to discuss about the findings of 2016 quality control cycle and exchange views on practices and methodologies that the organizations have been applying at the centres throughout the Programme’s implementation.
Among the first things that someone comes across while monitoring the SOAM RCs is the different composition of the consortiums that have been running them; some of them have extended experience on the provision of specific services e.g. medical, educative etc, but altogether as partners attempt to compose the centres’ daily routine. As a result some SOAM beneficiaries have being having direct daily access to the project’s lawyer while others had to express the wish to meet him/her and get an appointment for specific date and time. With regards to medical services the relevant staff employed by the project could be either a health visitor, nurse or/and a specialized doctor. Concerning the educative activities each RC has been applying its own methodology either organizing them at the centre or at partner’s space or by establishing a strong network for activities outside the centre with the support of other actors operating at the centre’s area.
The SOAM PM Unit has been stressing out the importance of having scientific staff, at least during two swifts daily, efficient to respond to the needs of the centre’s beneficiaries, in respect with the number of hosted beneficiaries. In the same line beneficiaries need to feel safe and secured, thus, RCs’ management ought to occupy, throughout the day, security staff by considering the structure of the RC and the number of beneficiaries.
Due to the broad age coverage, RCs are required to be flexible with the educative activities that they organize for the beneficiaries in order to trigger their interest and assure their participation; they should be age-targeted, adjustable and inclusive. Effectiveness very much depends on the personal action plan that is decided for and with the beneficiaries considering different factors such as age, length of stay in Greece, final destination, personal skills etc.
Furthermore, through the quality control cycle it was emerged the need for escorting the beneficiaries, especially the unaccompanied children, to authorities or other service providers. This need requires flexibility on staff’s availability and preparedness to respond to urgent situations. RCs’ management is often asked to involve, in their daily routines, trainees and volunteers and as a result establish a stable and well monitored network of people, who are trained and frequently assessed by the centres’ operators.
In the same line RCs need to optimize other sources available at the community where they operate; this requires a strategy which introduces to the community the target group and the objectives of the centre while encourages the interaction between hosted beneficiaries and community members.
Finally, no matter what methodology a RC applies for the provision of psychosocial services its whole daily routine should follow specific procedures and protocols that can be re-assessed in order to respond to any emerged situations and be monitored for their impact and effectiveness. This mechanism should be in place in order to assure that all beneficiaries have equal access to services and material support.