Services of the Greek Council for Refugees
The main purpose of the social service is to facilitate the independence and the integration of the asylum seeker/refugee and those under humanitarian status in our country. In order to achieve this goal, social workers provide among other the following services:
-Counseling to refugees aiming at repatriation (with the mobilization of adaptable mechanisms, the mobilization of powers, the gradual solution of problems), - Intervention in the community in organizations and services for the benefit of the refugee (e.g. health issues, accompaniment to hospitals, accompaniment to Welfare Services to secure the necessary grants, help in the enrolment procedure for children to be admitted in daycare centers, schools, camps etc.), - Psychological support and intervention in times of crisis, - Material aid (grants, food, school items from donations, referrals for food, etc) according to the evaluation of the needs of each case.
Office for the reception of the newly arrived:
The Branch of the Social Service that deals with the reception of refugees who arrive in Greece services the newly arrived. Its functions include:
- Securing of housing and coordination of the transfer of newly arrived asylum seekers to the reception centers,
-Cultural orientation and initial information re. the procedures in Greece, with which asylum seekers need to be acquainted.
-Special counseling to unaccompanied minors and preparation for their transfer to specially operating shelters by the EIN with the assistance ofthe Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity.
It is an innovative, pilot program which is funded by the Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity and implemented by GCR. It started in 2001 and aims, through the provision of support for refugees who suffer from mental disturbances and serious psychosocial problems, to contribute mid-term to their independent, autonomous and creative living. The “Iolaos” unit is made up of three distinguishable, interlinked structures:
The Day Center for Care and nursing, The Hostel for psychosocial rehabilitation of refugees, and The Protected Apartment for semiautonomous living At the Day Center patients are psychologically monitored and psychological support is offered to people with minor psychological disorders. Also possibilities exist for creative occupation in the framework of work therapy, socialization, recreational and cultural activities, Greek lessons from volunteers, legal counseling information, professional orientation and prepreparatory actions for promotion in the work field.
The Hostel can house 10 people, provides 24 hours of surveillance and duration of stay of up to 20 months. It is aimed at adult refugees, men and women, who have serious problems of a psychotic nature, that are in remission, and who can take care of themselves and live with other people. It aims to be the in-between step for their integration into Greek society.
At the Hostel the following services are offered:
·Individual counseling and provision of support to the inmates and their families (when family members exist and it isconsidered necessary),
·Training in individual care techniques (personal hygiene, cleanliness), as well as care of the space in which they live,
·Work therapy and creative occupation,
·Music therapy (team)
·Organization of free time activities and recreational visits in the area, and
·Support and development of groups promoting individual and social skills.
The Protected apartment has been operating since November 2004. It houses four refugees with mental problems, who, after staying in the hostel and their mental state has improved, were deemed to be able to move on to a semi autonomous living situation with the support of a housekeeper and a social worker.
For the achievement of their goals, all three structures are staffed by experienced and specialized personnel (psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, work therapist, interpreters and administrative staff). For every patient an individual therapy program is planned and implemented by an inter disciplinary team, according to his needs.