Voluntary Return Good Practice Project

Close up of man's hand filling in a form with a pencil. Refugee Action Voluntary Return Good Practice Project

The Voluntary Returns Service and Assisted Voluntary Return Service (AVR) are services offered by the Home Office to people with no legal right to be in the UK and who wish to return to their country of origin.

The Voluntary Return Good Practice Project supports organisations across the UK to build their capacity to deliver accurate information surrounding options of voluntary return, through an intensive mentoring programme to:

  • Comfortably provide non-directive and impartial pre-decision advice

  • Receive advice on complex casework, through a second tier support service

Between 2011 and 2015, Refugee Action’s Choices service delivered non-directive, impartial and confidential advice to asylum seekers and irregular migrants considering return to their country of origin through Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR), ensuring people had the information they needed to make decisions with confidence and dignity and were supported to identify sustainable solutions to their situations, either in the UK or in the country of return. Since 2015, this service has been delivered directly by the Home Office.

The Voluntary Return Good Practice Project seeks to share expertise and promote Refugee Action’s good practice principles on delivering advice to organisations working with people who are thinking about voluntary return. Our intensive mentoring programme includes:

  • Formulating specific action plans reflective of each organisation’s needs & capacity around the delivery of pre-decision counselling
  • Providing tailored training and resources for specialist casework and awareness raising
  • Supporting the delivery of advice through second-tier service and complex casework support and advocacy when necessary
  • Sharing tools for advocacy work to ensure clients can secure best possible outcomes
  • Build capacity in advising on legal implications of voluntary return, relevant legislation and the processes which should be followed

Who does this service support?

This services supports organisations who are:

  • Working with destitute migrants and/or asylum seekers
  • Practitioners who feel ill-equipped to provide accurate and up-to-date advice on options of voluntary Return
  • OISC Level 2 accredited or working towards accreditation
  • Committed to the principles of non-direction, impartial and confidential advice

How to contact this service

If you are interested in finding out more about what the project can offer or are keen to get involved please contact Rebeka Carey on or on 020 7952 1567.

For more information read our FAQs.