Parenting in direct provision: a mother's perspective.
In order for children to mature in terms of their social, emotional and cognitive development there must be an attachment figure present. Traditionally, the responsibility of childcare has been placed on mothers (Komisar,). Refugees and asylum seekers are among the most vulnerable and stigmatised groups in society (Burchill, 2011; European Migration Network, 2006; Honohan and Rougier, 2016;Mooney, 2015; Pacquiao, 2008; Rape Crisis Network, 2014; Stewart, 2005; Stewart, 2006). Such stigmatisation can hinder a mothers parenting capacity. Another component restricting mothers parenting to their full potential in direct provision is the lack of parental support they receive compared to their wider community in terms of financial income and services. The purpose of this study was to examine mother’s perspective of parenting in direct provision using a direct provision centre in the Midlands region as a case study site. To date, no research has been conducted on mother’s perspectives of parenting in direct provision in the Midlands region. The researcher decided to focus on mothers in direct provision, as they tend to be the main primary care givers across all cultures. A reception centre in the Midlands region was chosen by the researcher as it is a facility designed to accommodate families and is representative to all other direct provision centres nationally in terms of the similar facilities and services available in direct provision centres accommodating parents and their children. The researcher intended to determine how mothers experience parenting in direct provision, the concerns they had for their children while living in direct provision and establishing what changes and reforms could be applied in order to improve and support mothers and their children living in direct provision. In order to access participants, the researcher liaised with a staff member of a local community development organisation, who acted as a gatekeeper. As this group is a typically hard to access group, a gatekeeper was essential to secure successful access. This study was conducted using a qualitative method in the form of semi- structured interviews. A purposive sampling technique was applied to this research process, with an in-built snowball sampling technique to access a typically hard to vii access research population. The researcher interviewed four asylum-seekingmothers who had proficient English.The findings indicated that although mothers do appreciate what the reception centre has provided them with, they carry a sense of frustration in terms of their cramped living conditions, the availability of services within the centre, the feeling of stigmatisation that is among them compared to their wider community, and the limitations that are involved in regard to accessing education in areas that are of interest to them. Recommendations for change and reform were also established in this process.
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