Specially trained community outreach staff (case managers) would identify both individual and collective needs and steer the development of the community centre’s programming to meet those needs. Staff could be recruited from the University of Jordan’s School of Social Work with a specialization in Community Empowerment and Organizing. ICMC could take on a training role of outreach staff due to the experiences of the ICMC Fragile Families caseworkers.
Media centers are needed for satisfying the information needs of Iraqis. These would be located inside each of the community centers providing printed materials such as books and pamphlets advertising services and government notices. Computers with internet connections providing email capabilities and web browsing would also be provided. Speakers from Mizan or UNHCR could present the latest news on legal services and the rights of asylum seekers in Jordan. A central website could be created by and for Iraqis in Jordan as a clearinghouse of news, information and services. Computer training courses could be run out of these centers as well.
Comprehensive case management services (as defined in Section 6.2) could be accessed at these centers through case mangers (outreach staff) assigned to each center.
Psychosocial capacity building and staff support
The Iraqi refugees in Jordan have multiple and complex war and displacement related psychological reactions. There has been a breakdown of the traditional health restoring capacity of the community. Most of the general, and especially rural population relied upon traditional healers, such as experts in herbal remedies, Sadi families, the Sheik (or Elderly) and the Quack (or conjurer) for relieving psychological discomfort.27 Almost all of these traditional healers have remained in Iraq. The aforementioned IOM report concludes that individual psychological suffering is still perceived, especially by rural Iraqi populations, as a spiritual issue. Social services staff are ill-equipped to deal with such complicated psychological scenarios.
Concept outline for psychosocial capacity building and staff support
Many organizations are providing basic psychosocial services to begin the healing process and to help restore a sense of safety and security. However, for a small but significant number of persons, severe psychological health issues will remain untreated due to the limited clinical mental health treatment skills and the lack of knowledge of traditional healing methods amongst social services staff. This has been confirmed by many of the agencies interviewed by the mission. Iraqis with severe psychological issues need to have proper treatment, whether it is Western style psychotherapy or based on traditional healing techniques. Psychosocial staff need to have
IOM, Psychosocial Status of IDP Communities in Iraq, September 2005
Report of the ICMC / USCCB Mission – Protection Needs in Jordan