About Us Who we are How we work How we work We provide services and support to people seeking protection and those recognised as refugees in Ireland. We advocate for legislative and policy improvements to the asylum procedure, reception conditions and Ireland's engagement with EU refugee policy and raise awareness of the issues affecting the lives of those we work with and for in Ireland. Frontline Services Our frontline services are the engine of our work at the Irish Refugee Council. We have assisted over 10,000 people over the last five years through our Drop-in Centre and Law Centre. Through our casework services we have an immediate understanding of the issues people face, which informs and refines our policy work. Our Drop-in Centre is at the core of our work and is the first point of contact for our clients. It provides easily accessible information and support to people seeking protection and those recognised as refugees in Ireland ensuring cross-referral to other areas of our work when necessary, as well as external referrals to specialists. Our Law Centre provides Early Legal Advice to people seeking protection and representation in family reunification cases and other areas of law concerning the rights of refugees and demonstrates best practice in the representation of asylum applications. Integration Supports We believe integration should begin from day one. Ensuring people are best placed to integrate and build an independent life in Ireland once they receive their status creates enormous benefits for people seeking protection, the community in which they are living and society as a whole. All of our key areas of work are developed in response to emerging needs identified through our frontline services. Our Integration from Day One Model includes our: Housing Programme; which involves the delivery of housing to people who cannot exit Direct Provision (DP), in addition to key support for people moving out of DP or who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness. Education Programme; which provides financial supports for people wishing to gain access to education or training in addition to advocacy work to make further education more accessible for people seeking protection. Employment Programme;, which aims to assist people in accessing the labour market and getting job ready. This work includes a programme of work specifically with women. Resettlement work; which supports people with refugee status across the country, promoting their rights and integration. We work with individuals, families and the local communities into which refugees have been resettled, to assist them in their transition and resettlement. We also provide resettlement and intercultural training to staff, local communities and refugees. Youth Work; which provides specialist support to young people seeking asylum or with refugee status, particularly to enhance their voice and active participation, and to assist their welfare and personal development. Community Sponsorship Programme; we are a ‘Regional Support Organisation’ (RSO) which means we can help provide support to communities who are interested in sponsoring a refugee family Policy and Advocacy At the Irish Refugee Council, we strive for an Ireland where people seeking protection are treated with humanity and dignity. In addition to our services and integration supports, we also have ongoing policy, advocacy and awareness raising programmes, which work to ensure Ireland continues to expand pathways to safety for people fleeing persecution around the world. Our advocacy and policy work is, and continues to be, based on sound research as well as presenting constructive solutions on a number of pertinent issue areas, including: Asylum Policy; Asylum Process Reform; Direct Provision; Children and Young People; LGBT; Domestic and International Submissions; and the Refugee Crisis. Best Practice We continue to pilot pilot best practice models such as Early Legal Advice and training of interpreters working on asylum cases. Networks We play a leading role in a number of Irish and European networks working toward improved coordination and collaboration on asylum policies and practices across the country and region. Outreach We also work with different groups and communities, including young people through our Schools Outreach programme, to inform and raise awareness of the issues affecting the lives of people seeking protection and those recognised as refugees. Through campaigning, events and other activities we continue to raise the voice of those we work with and for in Ireland.