Two new jobs and €220,000 budget to resettle Syrian refugees in Laois

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

Two new jobs and €280,000 budget to settle Syrian refugees into Laois

Syrian nationals will be resettled in Laois from July

A refugee integration programme that aims to resettle 110 Syrians into life in Laois has created two new jobs under the Laois Refugee Resettlement Programme.

Laois County Council is inviting tenders to apply for the roles of a Resettlement Worker and an Intercultural Worker to carry out a resettlement programme to support refugees.

The group of 110 refugees which includes 22 families will be arriving in Laois in phases starting in July.

The refugees are coming from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) camps in Greece and Lebanon, having been forced to flee their homes in Syria as a result of conflict.  

Resettlement support will be provided for 18 months from the time of arrival. The budget for the entire tender including salaries and providing training and support is €221,319. 

Laois County Council has been requested by the Department of Justice and Equality to act as the lead agency supporting the resettlement of UNHCR Programme Refugees in Laois.  

The resettlement will be steered and monitored by the County Laois Resettlement Interagency Working Group (RIAWG) that includes representatives from Laois County Council (Community and Housing departments), Laois Partnership Company, Laois Offaly Education Training Board, HSE, An Garda Síochána, Department of Social Protection, Túsla Child and Family Agency, Cluid Housing Association, Department of Social Protection, and Department of Justice & Equality.

The Resettlement Support Worker will implement the project and will be the point of contact for the refugees. This is a full-time role for 18 months.

The Intercultural Worker will assist with interpretation. This is full time to support this programme for 12 months. 

The implementation programme aims to help with language barriers, money, teenage counselling, anti-racism and diversity training, getting involved with the local community and getting Syrian children involved with sports and youth clubs and more integration. 

The overall objective of the programme is to ensure the Syrian refugees settle into the community, access services appropriately and build lasting relationships with the local community.

The tender documents do not outline where in Laois the refugees will be living. Cluid Housing Association has partnered with Laois County Council on this project. The first meeting to formally start this process takes place on Thursday, June 27. 

€221,319 BUDGET BREAKDOWN

The salary for the Resettlement Support Worker including employer costs for 18 months is €76,248, €1,000 for communication equipment and €5,000 for Travel & Subsistence expenses. 

The salary for the Intercultural Support Worker including Employer costs of €5,000 is €36, 071 for 12 months, €1,000 for communication equipment and €3,500 for travel and subsistence expenses.

The budget breakdown also includes €15,000 for project management, financial management and administrative support.

Anti-racism/Diversity training for local service providers (particularly frontline staff) and local communities is budgeted at €2,000.

Community action to engage with the refugee population and to support integration is €15,000.

Youth programmes for teenagers to progress into secondary school further education is €3,500, teenage counselling is €2,000. 

An afterschool programme and in-school supports, school materials/sports kit and equipment/contribution to uniforms are budgeted at €13,000.

Participation by refugee children in summer, easter and midterm projects over 18 months in multiple locations is €15,000.

€5,000 is budgeted for emergency childcare in exceptional circumstances.

Emergency medical aids, assessments and treatment fund (including counselling) is €10,000.

Transport is €13,000 and housing supports are €5,000.

MORE: Laois Syrian gardeners blooming in Portlaoise.

MORE: More Syrian refugees for Laois but money requested to house them