Occupational outcomes of refugee men, women and children settled in Australia: risk and protective factors

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Pont, K & Yoxall, JS 2013, 'Occupational outcomes of refugee men, women and children settled in Australia: risk and protective factors', paper presented to the Occupation Therapy Australia 25th National Conference & Exhibition, Adelaide, South Australia, 24-26 July.


Introduction: Over 13,500 humanitarian visas are granted in Australia each year. Refugees consistently have poorer set- tlement outcomes than people who have voluntarily immi- grated to Australia. Participation in occupations and life roles are disrupted prior to fleeing their home country, dur- ing the journey to seek asylum, and throughout the process of settlement in a host country, and can further exacerbate existing physical and mental health issues. Objectives: This review aims to identify the risk and protec- tive factors associated with occupational outcomes for first generation refugee men, women and children in Australia. Method: A literature review of published and grey literature was undertaken to examine individual, family, community, and societal risk and protective factors for first generation refugees who have settled in Australia. Results: Occupational outcomes such as employment, edu- cation and social inclusion are adversely impacted by men- tal health issues, exposure to violence, loss or separation of family members and detention. Social support, stable settle- ment environments (including schools, workplaces and health services), engagement in settlement and English lan- guage supports were associated with positive occupational outcomes and resilience among refugees in Australia