About

Occupational Opportunities for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (OOFRAS) is an international network of occupational therapists responding to people displaced by war and persecution by:

  • working to create and enable occupational opportunities so that displaced people can participate fully and fairly in the community,
  • working to strengthen this field of occupational therapy practice, and
  • using the site and network to advance and accelerate these aims.

Since the Occupational Therapy Australia conference where the network started in 2003, there have been many welcome developments that support practitioners to work with displaced people. For example:

  • World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) issued position statements on human rights (WFOT, 2006), cultural diversity (WFOT, 2010), and human displacement (WFOT, 2014).
  • Human rights has been integrated into the Revised Minimum Standards for the Education of Occupational Therapists have integrated human rights (WFOT, 2016) and undergraduate students are increasingly exposed to theory and practice approaches necessary to develop emerging fields of practice.
  • Addressing occupational injustice in practice is embedded into the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia (OTBA) competency standards (OTBA, 2018).
  • Professional Association members can network directly with each other. For example, founded in 2011 a national Refugee Settlement Special Interest Group (Occupational Therapy Australia, n.d.) and a Occupational Justice for Newcomers Network (Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists, 2018).
  • With the advent of online platforms and social media, international colleagues can network directly with each other via the Occuaptional Therapy International Online Network (WFOT, 2016b) and Public Facebook Group (Forced Migration 4OT, 2016), and by regions such as Europe (OT Europe Interest Group Displaced Persons, 2018).
  • Increasing number of publications by occupational therapists about displaced people as listed on the Practice Support page (OOFRAS, 2018).

These developments are encouraging and a credit to both formal and emerging leadership within the profession.

Ultimately, ‘progress’ in this field of practice reflects the extent that the occupational therapy profession’s contributions result in:

  • a positive impact on the occupational needs and rights of displaced people, and
  • a field of practice that maximises this impact by being strategic and sustainable.

To purpose of this OOFRAS site is to advance and accelerate these outcomes.

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References

Adriel, C. (2018). Practice Support. Occupational Opportunities for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (OOFRAS). Retrieved from: http://www.oofras.com/practice-support

Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists. (2018). Occupational Justice for Newcomers Network. Retrieved from: https://www.caot.ca/site/pd/otn/nn?nav=sidebar

Occupational Therapy Australia. (n.d.). Interest and Regional Groups. Retrieved from: https://www.otaus.com.au/about/interest-regional-groups

Occupational Therapy Board of Australia. (2018). Australian Occupational Therapy Competency Standards. Retrieved from: https://issuu.com/ahpra/docs/australian_occupational_therapy_com/1?ff=true

Public Facebook Group. (2016). ForcedMigration4OT. Retrieved from: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1801393130103531/

World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT). (2006). Human Rights. Position Paper. Retrieved from: http://www.wfot.org/ResourceCentre.aspx

World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT). (2010). Cultural Diversity. Position Paper Revised. Retrieved from: http://www.wfot.org/ResourceCentre.aspx

World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT). (2014). Human Displacement. Position Paper Revised. Retrieved from: http://www.wfot.org/resourcecentre

World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT). (2016a). Revised Minimum Standards for the Education of Occupational Therapists. Retrieved from: http://www.wfot.org/Store/tabid/61/CategoryID/1/ProductID/55/Default.aspx

World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT). (2016b). Occupational Therapy International Online Network (OTION). Retrieved from: http://otion.wfot.org/index.php