Intensive support shelter

Asylum seekers who are not sufficiently capable of functioning independently in a reception centre temporarily go to the reception centre for intensive guidance and support (ibo) in Schalkhaar. They can only go here voluntarily. They could be people with a low intelligence quotient (IQ) or psychological and/or psychosocial problems. In the reception centre, their behaviour causes problems for staff and other asylum seekers. They stay in the reception centre for intensive guidance and support for up to 3 months.

In this reception centre, COA staff give asylum seekers intensive guidance and support 24/7, for the purpose of return to a reception centre. Asylum seekers learn skills, enabling them to become more independent and function better in a reception centre. They get a food and living allowance and cook themselves. We offer a lot of activities, such as sports, and cooking and eating together.

We also make sure they get the specialist support and care they need. We can, for instance, refer asylum seekers to institutions for mental healthcare, or our partner Veldzicht.

Cooperating partner: Centre for Transcultural Psychiatry Veldzicht

If we are unable to assist asylum seekers with a psychological disorder sufficiently in a reception centre, they go to the Centre for Transcultural Psychiatry Veldzicht in Balkbrug. This can be on a voluntary basis or involuntarily by means of being committed (ibs) or judicial authorization (rm). Veldzicht is a centre of the Custodial Institutions Agency (DJI).

Often, these asylum seekers are having to deal with a psychological disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or depression. This can lead to self-harm or suicidal behaviour. The purpose of treatment in Veldzicht is to cure the disorder and/or help asylum seekers deal with it.

There are 40 places available to asylum seekers in Veldzicht. It is a spacious clinic with a secure zone. The building and grounds provide peace and quiet, and security for the staff and patients. If possible, asylum seekers get leave: going for a bicycle ride or doing groceries. If their mood is stable for a longer period, they return to the reception centre.

  • Veldzicht
    © Veldzicht

Enforcement and supervision centre

Asylum seekers stay in the enforcement and supervision centre (htl) in Hoogeveen, if they caused a lot of nuisance in a reception centre: vandalism, bullying, aggression, and frequent breach of the house rules. The COA imposes a so-called htl measure on these nuisance-causing residents. They are then temporarily no longer allowed to live in a reception centre. By taking this measure, we show that we do not tolerate their behaviour and ensure that the reception centres are a safe and pleasant place to live.

The enforcement and supervision centre has room for 50 asylum seekers. They stay here for up to 3 months.

Intensive daily programme

The asylum seekers take a compulsory intensive daily programme. We confront the people causing nuisance with the behaviour they display and enable them to improve it. To this purpose, they take the behavioural training programmes, such as the 'Choosing change' programme by the Custodial Institutions Agency.

We make an individual support plan for all asylum seekers. We make sure they have a clear daily structure and offer activities such as exercise and gardening. The asylum seekers get information about Dutch norms, values and rules on how to behave in society. If asylum seekers have to leave the Netherlands, we support them in their preparation for return.

Asylum seekers go through different phases in the enforcement and supervision centre: red, orange and green. After the 'green phase', they may return to a reception centre. We guide and support nuisance-causing asylum seekers together with staff of the Custodial Institutions Agency (DJI). We also work closely together with the municipality and the police.

Austere and strict regime

The enforcement and supervision centre is not a closed detention centre. However, the Aliens Police (AVIM), IND, or DT&V do impose a so-called freedom restricting measure (Section 56) on the asylum seekers. This measure prescribes where they are allowed to or not allowed to go. Special investigation and arrest officers (boa) monitor this.  

In the enforcement and supervision centre, the house rules are stricter than in a reception centre. Asylum seekers must report to the COA twice a day. Residents do not receive a food and living allowance, like in a reception centre. We provide them with meals and distribute care products. If they behave well, they can do volunteer work in the centre and will get a small payment for this. 

  • Bewoners van de htl volgen training ‘Kiezen voor verandering’
    © Rick Keus