Journal Article

Social Support Interventions in Migrant Populations

Sonia Hernández-Plaza, Enrique Alonso-Morillejo and Carmen Pozo-Muñoz

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 36, issue 7, pages 1151-1169
Published in print October 2006 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online November 2005 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Social Support Interventions in Migrant Populations

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The phenomenon of immigration has led to an important increase in the number of social programmes and services for migrant populations in many European countries. However, some investigations have shown that the use of formal resources is extremely low in these groups. In contrast to the limited utilization of programmes and services, research in the field of social psychology has revealed that the primary source of help and support for immigrants is their own informal social network. After analysing the characteristics, advantages and limitations of formal and informal support systems, this paper presents a typology of social support interventions with migrant populations that integrates both types of support. Four levels are differentiated: dyadic interventions, social network interventions, mutual aid groups and community interventions. The development of programmes to strengthen the informal support system is emphasized as an alternative to integrating formal and informal resources in social work practice with migrant populations.

Keywords: formal and informal social support; immigration; social intervention

Journal Article.  7974 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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