The world is facing unprecedented numbers of people forcibly displaced, and there is a need for an enhanced global response. In turn, there are significant implications for those seeking asylum and the service providers working with them. Using thematic analysis, the current research analyses qualitative data from 16 semi‐structured interviews with individuals providing services to people seeking asylum in Australia, exploring the relevance of policy to service providers. There were two meta‐themes identified that linked government policies to their adverse impacts (1) on asylum seekers and on staff and volunteers, and (2) on organisations and their service provision. Participants identified changing and unpredictable policies, the uncertainty over lengthy application review processes for those seeking asylum, and the limited access to resources and financial supports available as impacting service delivery and overall well‐being. The findings highlighted the negative impact of federal policies on those seeking asylum, and on service provider and organisational capacity to provide services and to fulfil their duty of care. Participants highlighted how changing policies compromise their ability to plan for current and future needs and add further strain and uncertainty to the system. The findings can inform Australian conversations on policy and practice for people seeking asylum.
Australian Journal of Social Issues – Wiley
Published: Oct 11, 2021
Keywords: Australia; immigration policies; onshore detention; refugee policy; seeking asylum