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Influence of family hosting on refugee integration and its implication on social work practice: the French case

Ran, Guanyu Jason; Join-Lambert, Hélène


Hélène Join-Lambert


In addition to existing institutional barriers in European societies, refugee settlement and integration also faces numerous social challenges, such as discrimination and stigmatisation towards refugee groups. Family hosting is a bold refugee accommodation solution promoted by social workers across the European continent, which draws attention to the complexities of refugee support. This study examines family hosting in France to assess its influences on refugee integration in the host society. Through in-depth interviews with 34 multi-stakeholders (20 refugees, 10 hosting family members and 4 social workers) from different family hosting projects, family hosting has been proven to bring comprehensive influences to refugee integration, such as accumulation of social connection and cultivation of the sense of belonging. Nonetheless, it has also revealed potential limitations alongside the cohabitation process, for instance, the risk of negatively impacting refugees’ privacy and experience of independence. In terms of the implication for future social work practice, the evidence showed that family hosting is not a once-and-for-all solution; it depends on the refugee’s situation and requirements. In addition, for those refugees who are ready to be hosted, the research shows that different hosting schedules, either long-term or short-term, impact on how each case functions, with pros and cons.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Dec 24, 2019
Publication Date May 3, 2020
Deposit Date Dec 5, 2022
Journal European Journal of Social Work
Print ISSN 1369-1457
Electronic ISSN 1468-2664
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Issue 3
Pages 461-474
Keywords Family hosting, refugee accommodation, refugee integration, European social work, French social work, accueil familial, hébergement de réfugiés, intégration de réfugiés, travail social en Europe, travail social en France
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