Sense of place, migrant integration and social work

Susan Levy (Lead / Corresponding author), Maura Daly

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Working with cultural diversity, and specifically asylum seekers and refugees, is an emerging field of practice in Scottish social work, little covered in social work education. This chapter explores approaches to the integration of migrants broadly and specifically within Scotland. The chapter is contextualised within cultural social work, working with difference, and developing a sense of place and wellbeing to achieve sustainable and inclusive cities. The Indicators of Integration Framework (Ager and Strang, 2004), a relational approach to integration, and the Capability Approach (CA) (Sen, 1999) are used to frame and conceptualise the work. Some of the challenges and tensions that are emerging within Scottish social work with asylum seekers and refugees are discussed, these include, 1. Balancing working with UK government immigration legislation and Scottish welfare legislation; 2. Social work practice with asylum seekers and refugees being located within mainstream practice; and 3. A lack of preparedness for working with cultural diversity and the complexity of issues associated with supporting migrants to transform the unfamiliar into the familiar. We call for re-imagining working with cultural diversity through an approach that is inclusive of a migrant’s evolving sense of place and belonging.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMigration and Social Work
Subtitle of host publicationApproaches, Visions and Challenges
EditorsEmilio J. Gómez-Ciriano, Elena Cabiati, Sofia Dedotsi
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPolicy Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781447361824
ISBN (Print)9781447361800
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2023

Publication series

NameResearch in Social Work


  • Integration
  • Migrants (refugees and asylum seekers)
  • Capability Approach
  • Cultural Social Work
  • Scotland, UK


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