About

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

The OOFRAS Network exists to accelerate occupational therapy practice that:

  • addresses the occupational needs and rights of displaced people, and
  • builds a strong field of practice to maximise impact.

Members advance these aims in their own context. The OOFRAS Network helps to:

  • Build community, e.g., Google discussion groups, Who’s Working Where.
  • Filter information, e.g., website, Facebook page, LinkedIn.
  • Convene connections, e.g., #OOFRASchat on Twitter.
  • Amplify voice, e.g. professional visibility as a network.
  • Facilitate work, e.g., Status Report to describe field of practice.
  • Align contributions, e.g., make contact if you want to volunteer or donate.

As a network run on goodwill, many colleagues have contributed expertise, time and money into this work since the OOFRAS network started in 2003 at an Occupational Therapy Australia conference.

Since then, many developments within the profession support OOFRAS aims. For example:

  • World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) issued position statements on human rights (2006), diversity and culture (2010), and human displacement (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 Occupational 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).

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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). Diversity and Culture. Position Paper. 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