Guidance on how to support families that are considering moving to a different area in the UK
After arrival, some families might express an interest in moving elsewhere in the UK. There could be many reasons for this; they may have relatives or friends elsewhere, they might wish to live somewhere more or less quiet than where they currently are or where there is a larger population of people who speak the same language as them. This resource is designed to give you advice on how to approach this conversation with the family you support should they express this wish.
It is essential that if the family you support express the wish to relocate that you address this with impartiality; it is not a reflection on the Group’s support or the work you have done, of course, it is a disappointment but the best advice we have is to encourage the family members to explore the options they have; you may choose to do this with them, or sign post how they can research what this will mean to them. We’ve provided a template including an Arabic translation) of research areas prior to a move below that you may wish to make available to the family.
In our experience, exploring what a move will involve often is overwhelming for a family, and it is advisable to break this down into manageable goals over the course of the year of your support so that they feel more able and prepared to move. We have provided downloads on this page in English and Arabic to go through with the family to discover the steps of moving. If you would like to use these and require word versions, please email us.
Should a family decide to move, there is no guarantee or expectation that support will be offered by a local authority or Community Sponsorship Group in the new area, and it might be the case that the family will need to find support and access help independently. There is no denying this is a difficult situation; the family may wish to move but not have the capacity or resource to do so leading them to feel that there is no option for them. Remember that working toward an end goal takes time and is made of small steps.
Families who have been resettled through Local Authority-led resettlement schemes and Community Sponsorship have decided to leave the resettlement programme and move area. It can be a common conversation in the early days of resettlement as families are adjusting to life in the UK. In our training, we talk to Groups about the stages of resettlement and how accepting the limitations of life in the UK can lead to disappointment and dissatisfaction. Some Local Authorities and resettlement agencies have not been notified that a family will move and have found out once this has taken place, if this happens to you, please notify the Home Office as soon as possible.
Impact on your Group
- If the family decided to relocate outside of your area, you would not need to source ongoing accommodation or support, the family would be voluntarily leaving the resettlement programme which means that they may not be able to access support in their new area.
- If the family have decided to move, please do alert your Home Office Contact Officer. They will be in contact regarding next steps.
- As you will have secured a property for 24 months for this family, there may be financial or legal implications on breaking a tenancy part way through, you should explore what impact that might have on your group.
- You are not required to fund or support a move elsewhere in the UK for the family.
Talking to the family
- Take time to understand why they would like to move, explore this with each adult family member and ensure they are able to express their opinion and each be clear on how this will impact them. Whilst this is something for them to decide as a family unit, do ensure that everyone has all of the information you can provide to help them reach a decision as a family.
- Don’t place pressure on the family to make a decision one way or another. You are likely to have a view of what would be in their best interests, but remain impartial and be clear what it is your group can do and what you are prepared to facilitate in terms of a move.
- Acknowledge that this is not an easy decision to make and assure them that you are not offended or see this as a reflection on the support you’ve offered to their family
- Do not promise or commit to something you cannot influence or control, and make sure that you discuss what you can offer as a group with your Lead Sponsor and as a team should a move go ahead and stay consistent as a group on these parameters.
You won’t be the first Community Sponsorship Group who has this conversation, and if you do need assistance or support, Reset are here to help.