In the project Healthintro, the aim is to generate scientific knowledge and competency in municipalities that will improve conditions for refugees with health problems in the introduction program, and their chances to succeed in the labour market and society. The project is financed by the Research Council of Norway and led by the Arctic University of Norway (UiT).
Health problems are an important reason why not all refugees, especially women, complete the introductory program and do not find paid work after the end of the program. This can lead to increased inequality and social segregation. Previous research suggests that there may be a mismatch between the policy's ambition to integrate as many refugees as possible into the labor market as quickly as possible, and the demanding situation refugees with complex (health) challenges face after settling in the host country. There may also be very specific barriers related to the lack of flexibility in the legal framework, difficulties in cooperation between public services and in involving refugees themselves in the work with their own individual plan and in making decisions on how the plan can be adjusted according to new circumstances. Municipalities face an increasing number of refugees with complex challenges, often families where one or more members have health problems. It is therefore of great importance to develop strategies that enable municipalities to work more effectively with this most vulnerable group of refugees both in the early settlement phase and during the full length of the introductory program. In collaboration with three northern Norwegian municipalities and not least, with refugees, we will explore how health problems affect refugees' participation in introductory programs at the national level, municipal level and in family contexts. Furthermore, will use this knowledge to generate ideas on how we can improve municipalities efforts to assist and collaborate with refugees with health problems.
The Research Council of Norway