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Article

Integration of Newly Arrived Refugee Children into the German School System

1
United Nations University—Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT), Maastricht University, Boschstraat 24, 6211 AX Maastricht, The Netherlands
2
Section for Social Policy and Social Economy, Faculty of Social Sciences, Ruhr-University Bochum, Universitätsstr. 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany
3
Faculty of Social Sciences, Ruhr-University Bochum, Universitätsstr. 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Bukola Salami, Christa Fouche, Saida Abdi and Andre Renzaho
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 7854; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157854
Received: 7 April 2021 / Revised: 14 June 2021 / Accepted: 15 July 2021 / Published: 25 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health of Migrant Children)
Background: The assignment of newly arrived refugee children to the differentiated German school system represents a major challenge for the responsible municipalities. In this explorative research approach, the current assignment procedure, in addition to the necessary assessment of performance and the detection of learning, mental, or social disabilities of newly arrived refugee children in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany, were investigated. Methods: Eight staff members of six relevant Communal Integration Centers (CICs) in NRW were interviewed and a qualitative content analysis was conducted. Results: The current assignment practices varied widely. The binding to guidelines differed; additionally, the school assignment or recommendation largely depended on personal engagement, connections, and attitudes of the relevant CIC staff. None of the CICs used standardized instruments. Instead, the staff assessed the performance with self-developed strategies such as free and playful approaches or self-developed worksheets, and counted on their ‘gut feeling’ and professional experience. Conclusion: The school career and education of newly arrived refugee children in NRW is largely inconsistent and dependent on the responsible CIC (e.g., the allocation of the family) and on the counseling staff member. Additionally, it must be assumed that relevant disabilities remain largely undetected. View Full-Text
Keywords: integration centers; school assignment; mental health; refugee children integration centers; school assignment; mental health; refugee children
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jäger, P.; Ott, N.; Brand, A.; Fereidooni, K. Integration of Newly Arrived Refugee Children into the German School System. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 7854. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157854

AMA Style

Jäger P, Ott N, Brand A, Fereidooni K. Integration of Newly Arrived Refugee Children into the German School System. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(15):7854. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157854

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jäger, Pia, Notburga Ott, Angela Brand, and Karim Fereidooni. 2021. "Integration of Newly Arrived Refugee Children into the German School System" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 15: 7854. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157854

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