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

A. Suleman, G.E. Whiteford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 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. © 2013 The Journal of Occupational Science Incorporated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-210
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Occupational Science
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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