Focus Ireland had recently recruited a group of Community Service Volunteers, who were recent graduates of social science related disciplines participating in a 12 month programme. Focus Ireland sought to incorporate legal training into the graduate programme.
PILA organised for lawyers from the Irish Refugee Council Independent Law Centre to give the new volunteers an introduction to the asylum process, associated social welfare entitlements, statutory agency powers, and naturalisation.
The Legal Education Session allowed Focus Ireland develop knowledge around supporting homeless people who have refugee or asylum seeker status in gaining access to accommodation and relevant supports. The volunteers found it “overall very good training that I have confidence to use again”, “a complex area, however the presentation style was clear and comprehensive”, and felt “the training clarified a number of issues we are currently facing in cases, very worthwhile training”.