The Protection System for Asylum Seekers and Refugees (SPRAR), created by Law No 189/2002, made up of the network of local institutions that implement reception projects for forced migrants in cooperation with voluntary sector organisations, undertake ‘integrated reception’ interventions going beyond the simple distribution of food and housing, providing services such as legal and social guidance and support in order to enable forced migrants to regain a sense of independence.
As an experiment of social innovation aimed at strengthening local community resilience and welcome skills, in the framework of SPRAR project called ERA DOMANI - COMUNE FERMO (IT WAS TOMORROW-COMUNE FERMO), for some of the hosted migrants there is the possibility of completing their own process of social integration by spending part of their stay within Italian households.
This is an attempt to move a step forward from concurrent-based integration model to a participative and inclusive process in which local population is directly involved. This kind of social innovation is working experimentally in only 5 Italian cities, including City of Fermo.
Households that show their willing to host migrants are provided with a training and support before and during the period of hosting. Main requirements for households are high motivation and adequate accommodation (individual room) for guests in order to grant privacy.
Transition to household hospitality takes place only after concluding regular reception in the SPRAR project. Families host migrants for 6-9 months.
Expected outputs concerning migrants are increased personal autonomy and greater self-esteem which, in turn, can have a positive impact on personal development, compliance with general rules and job search.
As to families, expected outputs regards enhancing self-consciousness concerning migrants conditions and culture the trigger of a dismantling process regarding stereotypes through more civic engagement. Moreover, as a result of this, sharing the social environment brings locals and migrants to collaborate in common activities, sharing goals and pooling skills.
In order to evaluate the action individual and group meetings are planned. As for the individual dimension: fixed meetings are scheduled with the coordinator and the psychologist of the project involving both the family and the migrant or one of the two. These are planned in 5 steps for a period of welcome of 6 months: initial, final and 3 intermediate meetings. Regarding the group dimension: meetings for families only or for the migrants to bring out problems and to promote the sharing of good practices such as tools for overcoming intercultural misunderstandings that occur during daily life.
The action was implemented thanks to a partnership with the Municipality of Fermo and the associations of migrant residents.