Purpose: Current domestic and international research predominantly examines the past experiences of people seeking asylum and the negative influences such experiences have on health and well-being. However, few studies address the future needs of people seeking asylum, as they transition from Direct Provision. This study aims to address this gap in knowledge by exploring the perspectives of women seeking asylum in Ireland on the skills they think they will need, as they transition from Direct Provision to life in Ireland. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative methodology using a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach was used, to collect data collaboratively and sensitively with a vulnerable population group. Convenience sampling was used to recruit six women seeking asylum in Ireland, to participate in focus groups and semi-structured interviews. Data were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. Findings: Women seeking asylum identified four themes of skills for doing, skills for being, skills for becoming and skills for belonging that are necessary for life in Ireland after Direct Provision. Barriers and opportunities to develop these skills were documented as sub-themes. The skills identified under these themes and sub-themes included work, education, driving, childcare, social integration, money management, home management, health management and leisure. Originality/value: Using participatory methodologies, future research should further explore the skills required for transition from Direct Provision, to continue to raise awareness of the potential for occupational injustice and the role occupational therapists could play in this transitional period.

DOI: 10.1108/IJOT-07-2020-0011
ISSN: 0791-8437