Understanding occupational transitions in forced migration: the importance of life skills in early refugee resettlement

Aakifah Suleman*, Gail Elizabeth Whiteford

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    33 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The value of an occupational perspective in addressing issues of forced migration, in particular resettlement in a new country, is instrumental in facilitating successful occupational transitions for newly arrived individuals and families. Through the adoption of an occupational perspective both at a theoretical and practical level, the Multicultural Development Association (MDA), a refugee resettlement service in Brisbane, Australia, has introduced a life skills program that represents an innovation in resettlement practice. Through a rich description of this program, we explore how occupation can be used to understand the transitions involved in early refugee resettlement. We also consider the relationship between occupational deprivation and occupational adaptation as addressed through resettlement life skills and the complex process of reconstructing meaning and identity in new sociopolitical contexts. The Participatory Occupational Justice Framework 2010 (Whiteford & Townsend, 2011) is suggested as a tool to further explore and develop insights into the occupational processes of refugee resettlement.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)201-210
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Occupational Science
    Volume20
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Keywords

    • Forced migration
    • Life skills
    • Occupational deprivation
    • Occupational transition
    • Refugee resettlement

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