ZIRF - Individual counselling on returns
The counselling services of the Information Centre for Voluntary Return (ZIRF) provide country fact sheets and answers to individual enquiries of those interested in returning.
The ZIRF thus offers targeted, individual counselling on assisted returns. A broad spectrum of questions is covered, such as
- economic infrastructure,
- local housing and labour markets,
- reconstruction aid,
- social concerns, and
- basic and further training available.
The ZIRF database – comprehensive information on voluntary return
The ZIRF database provides comprehensive information in a combined form. The answers to previous enquiries for individual return counselling cases are made freely available, in anonymous form, via the ZIRF counselling documents in the database. This makes it possible to provide the necessary knowledge to a large number of users efficiently and quickly. The database is a major focus of the work of the ZIRF, and is being constantly expanded. The database contains
- voluntary return programmes,
- promotional measures (national/international/EU level),
- country of origin information, as well as questions and answers on the countries,
- contacts/advice agencies, and
- other supporting information.
This ambitious tool relies entirely on cooperation with the Federal Länder and the other institutions (in particular the independent welfare organisations) in collecting the abovementioned information.
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The ZIRF: Coordination of assisted returns and enhancement of support measures
The Information Centre for Voluntary Return essentially pursues the following goals:
- to coordinate, design and network assisted return,
- to improve the assistance that is on offer and to promote advice by bundling the information, and
- to use the available subsidies efficiently.
To this end, the ZIRF initiates, examines and promotes project applications in cooperation with other institutions. It coordinates return management by acquiring, collecting, processing and passing on information on assisted returns to
- authorities of the Federal Government, of the Federal Länder and local authorities (especially immigration authorities and social welfare offices), as well as where appropriate international partners or other institutions involved,
- independent welfare organisations,
- churches, and especially
- prospective returnees.
The ZIRF was established at the Federal Office in July 2003 and has been working successfully since that time. The ZIRF counselling project was started in January 2006. It has become effective each year and, is being offered this year too.