Once someone has made the decision to return home, it’s best to start the reconnection process as soon as you can. Aim to meet the client on the same day as accepting the referral if possible.
Use a location which is familiar to the client, as this can help them feel more relaxed to discuss issues.
Use this first meeting to carry out a needs and risk assessment with the client and to plan with them what support will be provided to achieve reconnection. It’s important to gather information on
support needs and housing history and to confirm that clients really need a supported reconnection, rather than a ticket-only service. Focus on gathering only the details that support the reconnection process rather than carrying out a comprehensive assessment. Also remember to ask for clients’ consent to share relevant information with family and/or services later on.
Meet regularly with clients over the following days. This helps help them remain focused on the reconnection process.
Individuals are likely to have differing hopes and fears about reconnection. It’s important for staff to discuss these issues with clients as soon as possible, so they can start to engage with the
reconnection process and accept the possibility of support back home.
Being culturally sensitive to issues such as work and rough sleeping can really help this process. Staff can also support clients by reassuring them that other EU nationals are experiencing similar problems. Sometimes clients who have been in the UK may not be aware of recent changes which have taken place in their country and it can help clients to hear about services which are now in place and which they may be able to access.
In some cases clients have unrealistic expectations of being able to return to the UK job market. Challenging these views can be useful, especially if staff also use this opportunity to reinforce reconnection as a much better alternative to their current lifestyle.