Suppport programmes: for now and later

In every asylum seekers' centre we offer programmes aimed at supporting asylum seekers. The programmes are about living at a COA location, preparation for integration in the Netherlands and preparation for return to their country of origin or another country. 

Personal guidance and support

Alle COA-medewerkers in een azc geven individueel en groepsgewijs begeleiding aan de asielzoekers. De begeleiding kan gaan over their future in the Netherlands, their country of origin or elsewhere. Maar ook over het meedoen aan activiteiten, vrijwilligerswerk binnen of buiten het azc, of het wonen in het azc. Als asielzoekers vragen hebben, kunnen ze terecht bij een informatiebalie in het azc. Meer weten over hoe wij begeleiden? 

Asielzoekers werken achter computer in open leercentrum van azc
© Inge van Mill

MyCOA: search for information yourself

MyCOA is a dedicated website for asylum seekers in our reception centres. It contains information about the asylum procedure, living in the asylum seekers' centre and life in the Netherlands. Each asylum seekers' centre also has its own pages about activities at centre, public transport and shops in the area. MyCOA is available in more then 10 languages: Arabic, Armenian, English, Farsi, French, Dutch, Russian, Somali, Spanish,Tigrinya and Turkish.


Neem een kijkje op MyCOA

Young people: 24/7 guidance in small residential facilities

Unaccompanied minors (young people who have travelled to the Netherlands without adult supervision) live in a foster family or we accommodate them in small residential facilities. We assist them 24/7 in their development into adulthood so that they can live independently at the age of 18 either in an asylum seekers' centre, their country of origin or their own house in the Netherlands.

  • Alleenstaande jongeren in kamer azc
    © Inge van Mill

Children: activities, resilience training and information

About a quarter of the residents are under the age of 18. The COA pays specific attention to the interests and needs of the children. They should be able to live just like any other child: to be able to play, do homework and feel safe in the reception centre. Each asylum seekers' centre provides a basic programme of sports and games, art and music, resilience training and information.

Attention for LGBTIs 

LGBTIs (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersexual persons) are in an extra vulnerable position at the reception centre. That is why they can always approach our staff if they have a question or a problem. If LGBTIs wish to build a 'pink network', we refer them to organisations such as COC Netherlands.

Extra support and supervision in special reception centres

Some asylum seekers cannot live in a reception centre independently or they cause a disturbance to employees or other asylum seekers. For these people we have 2 types of reception centres: a reception centre with intensive support or an enforcement and supervision centre.

Integration activities: language, work, training and network

New Dutch citizens cannot start integration early enough. That is why the COA offers various integration activities for asylum seekers and status holders that focus on the Dutch language and culture, work, education and a social network. By laying a good foundation in asylum seekers' centres, permit holders can get off to a flying start when they move to their municipality.

How do we counsel asylum seekers for return?

The COA counsels asylum seekers who have exhausted all legal means when they are preparing for return to their country of origin, or to the country responsible for processing their asylum application. A case manager prepares them for return in interviews and stimulates voluntary return. In every reception centre we offer the COA's Future Training to asylum seekers who have exhausted all legal means.