Close this search box.


Effective practices in education, mental health and psychosocial support for the integration of refugee children

Refuge-ed aims at promoting the integration of migrant and refugee children in schools, and more broadly in society.

Grant Agreement Number: 101004717

Funded by: HORIZON 2020        Duration: 01/01/2021 – 31/12/2023




Education contributes to the well-being and sense of belonging of all children and is essential for their successful development. For migrant, refugee and asylum seeker children, education plays an even bigger role as it is crucial for their successful integration into the hosting communities.

At the same time, the large amount of arrivals of child refugees poses a significant challenge to EU member states’ social and mental health services, especially regarding the settings where their education needs to take place, and the contexts where these children reside (including refugee camps, hotspots, or reception centres).

Refuge-ed, in collaboration with migrant/refugee/asylum-seeking children, families, communities, civil society organisations, schools, teaching staff, and policymakers, aims to improve both the academic achievement and integration of these children by bringing together two fields of expertise: education and mental health and psychological support in humanitarian settings.



Refuge-ed will develop a Brokering Knowledge Platform of Effective Practices (BKP), which will host and promote innovative highquality solutions tailored for the dynamic integration of migrant and refugee children in schools and in society. The groundbreaking nature of the BKP is two-folded: on the one hand, it relies jointly on education and MHPSS; on the other, it features dialogic co-creation with children, families, teachers, policymakers, practitioners working on the ground and other relevant stakeholders.

In doing so, REFUGE-ED will identify, implement, and evaluate existing evidence-based practices in education and mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) that have been shown to promote the educational success, well-being and sense of belonging of children (0 to 18 years old – ISCED 0-3) from recent migration cohorts, including refugees and asylum seekers, and unaccompanied minors.

This activity aims to frame the project’s scope and identify practices from the fields of education (including formal, non-formal and informal education), and MHPSS that are efficiently contributing to the successful dynamic integration of children from recent migration cohorts, children of refugees and asylum seekers, and unaccompanied minors in schools and broadly in society. As an overarching criterion, practices will be considered effective to the extent that solid evidence (quantitative and/or qualitative) of their social impact is identified.

The inclusion of the knowledge and experiences of all stakeholders throughout the entire research process through an egalitarian and intersubjective dialogue will be the basis for this co-creation procedure.

This process will pursue the engagement of end-users (that is, the people who will directly implement or benefit from successful practices in the fields of education and MHPSS: children, families, communities, teachers, practitioners, etc.) and stakeholders (that is, the actors with decision-making capacity in the management of programs aimed at migrant children: NGOs, policymakers, etc.) involved in the piloting of actions in each selected setting (i.e. hotspots, reception and identification centres and Facilities/temporary Receptions, schools, non-formal and informal learning environments, institutionalised care). Following the communicative approach, particular emphasis will be given to the voices and experiences of the children themselves and their families, who have been traditionally excluded from decision-making procedures.

Therefore, by engaging all actors (including children and families, communities, civil society organisations and local service providers, schools and teaching staff–including school counsellors or other focal points focusing on MHPSS needs in the educational arena–and policymakers) in a dialogic consultation and co-creation process, REFUGE-ED aspires to identify needs and how these can be successfully met by piloting the selected practices.

The main goal of this activity is to implement pilots of the co-created practices across the different migration stages and entry points in a total of 46 settings, in six different countries (Bulgaria, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Sweden).

Specifically, training actions on the effective practices on education and MHPSS will be implemented in the following settings:

  • Hotspots/Reception & Identification Centres and Facilities/temporary Receptions
  • Inclusive school environments and non-formal and informal social and learning environments
  • Institutional care (including unaccompanied minors)

In particular, these actions will include the development of training for trainers, training for end-users and stakeholders and meetings with the actors involved, with a special emphasis on migrant children and their families.

By developing a set of measures and tools, partners will monitor, document, and evaluate the consultation and co-creation process and its impact on children’s social belonging, educational outcomes and well-being, so it may be scaled to other contexts. For this reason, a socially innovative, supportive process for the inclusion of children’s experience approach (SPICE) will be developed and tested.

A Brokering Knowledge Platform of Effective Practices in Education will be developed in order to broker the knowledge and solutions co-created by the REFUGE-ED community working groups to their wider communities (children and families, communities, civil society organisations and local service providers; schools and teaching and counselling staff) in easy-to-use packages, and to leverage their co-created social capital to other (European) stakeholders, including policymakers.

This novel community-based platform will provide evidence-based, high-quality resources, tools and solutions for inclusive, supportive and transformative learning environments and bring the co-created innovations to scale.

This project description reflects only the author’s view and the Agency is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101004717.

Project Partners

KMOP – Social Action and Innovation Centre
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Project Coordinator)Spain
University of Florence – Italy
New Bulgarian University
New Bulgarian University – Bulgaria
Trinity Centre for Global Health
Trinity Centre for Global Health – Ireland
MHPSS Collaborative – Save the Children Denmark
MHPSS Collaborative – Save the Children – Denmark
IFRC Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support (PSC)
IFRC Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support (PSC) – Denmark
Support Group Network (SGN)
Support Group Network (SGN) – Sweden
Cooperazione Internazionale Sud Sud
Cooperazione Internazionale Sud Sud – Italy


Leave a comment
or ask for help