The Home Office requires all Community Sponsorship groups to keep records during their support of a family throughout the Sponsor Agreement period. Not only is this essential for managing both the support of a family and the running of the sponsor group, but it is also necessary for fulfilling your sponsor obligation to the Home Office to provide data for monitoring and evaluation purposes. Each group will be invited to submit data once a year, for as long as they are providing support. The aim of this data collection exercise is to understand:
- the range of individual needs upon arrival;
- the service provision in place to support individuals;
- outcomes against a range of Indicators of Integration; and
- what services are working well in supporting individuals towards integration.
Findings from the evaluation, including the self-reported experiences of resettled refugees, will inform the future resettlement of refugees in the UK, with a view to improving the support available for future arrivals.
What will I be asked to provide?
You will be asked to provide information on:
- English language – information on English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) levels, class attendance, start date, average weekly hours of formal and informal provision, any barriers to attending classes, and access to ESOL funding.
- Education – Unique Pupil Numbers for any children in the family registered in schools (available via schools), educational attendance and any barriers to attending non-ESOL based training or education for adults
- Employment – economic status, period of time from arrival to securing first employment opportunity, barriers to securing a job, and type of contract;
- Health – general practitioner (GP) and dentist registration, number of visits, self-reported health measures, access to healthcare services, and need for interpreters;
- Housing – number of people in households, type and length of tenure, secondary migration, number of bedrooms, and bridging accommodation;
- Social bridges and bonds – volunteering, participation in a group/club/organisation, perceptions on local community cohesion, satisfaction with local area, sense of belonging and feeling welcomed;
- Digital access – frequency of use, ability to use technology to communicate with others and access key services.
What is the refugee self-completion component?
In addition to the information your group will provide, the Home Office evaluation team is also interested in understanding integration outcomes from a refugee’s point of view. The family you are supporting should be provided with a self-completion question sheet which should be completed for each family member, and which includes questions about health, language, community participation and more. The self-completion is not mandatory and families can choose whether or not to participate in this part of the evaluation exercise. However, we strongly encourage families to take part to enable the Home Office to better understand their experience first-hand.
Note from Reset: You will be asked to pass the self-completion forms to the family and submit the data on their behalf during your call with the Home Office. Remember that it’s important that you remain neutral for the self-completion. For example, in previous evaluation windows, family members have been asked if they feel their health has improved since they arrived; some may feel that this is not the case for them. It is the way that they may feel in general, not necessarily indicative of the support you have provided.
The Home Office operates a mixed methods evaluation of its resettlement schemes which comprises of a monitoring process and qualitative research.
The work is underpinned by the Indicators of Integration Framework (2019), which was commissioned by the Home Office. This Framework:
- Investigated different understandings of ‘integration’ as a concept;
- Established a common understanding of ‘integration’ to be used by those working in the field of refugee integration in the UK; and
- Offered a practical toolkit to assist local projects and policy makers in planning and evaluating service provision for refugees (ibid.).
The Framework conceptualises integration into:
- Means and markers (including employment, housing, education, health and leisure);
- Social connections (social bridges, social bonds and social links);
- Facilitators (language and cultural knowledge, digital skills, safety and stability); and
- An understanding of rights and responsibilities.
How will the data be gathered?
If your group is required to participate in the evaluation, you will be notified by either Reset or the Home Office. The Home Office evaluation team will provide you with a blank spreadsheet to gather the data and a guidance pack containing other useful supplementary documents. You will be asked to book a time to speak to the Home Office evaluation team to submit the data, or you will also have the option to upload the data via the Home Office’s secure portal moveIT.
There is also a refugee self-completion component to the exercise which your group should ask the family to participate in.
In order to better understand some of the local complexities in post-arrival support and explore the experiences of those involved in resettlement in the UK, the Home Office may consider additional research projects to support the data collection. You may be invited to participate in future research projects to provide a Community Sponsorship perspective.
Just a reminder that the data you will be collating is personal and will contain information relating to the family you support. The data should be handled in a confidential way and should not be shared with anyone outside of the Home Office Evaluation Team. Reset will never ask to see the information you provide.