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  • Writer's pictureJenny Hunt

The Big Move: Relocating Families To The UAE (or anywhere else)

23rd March 2016

Guest post from Simon Dermody, Founder & Creative Director, Family Wellbeing and Relocations, about the importance of preparing the family for relocating, signs to look out for if there are problems, and how professional assistance can help to ensure the overseas appointment is a success. This article will be useful for families planning to relocate and employers relocating their staff on oversees postings.

Moving jobs, moving house, moving countries, moving family, moving children, moving schools = The Big Move. Here are some important psychological signs to look out for in your family relationship prior to or following a family relocation.

  • The family is an emotional system and dynamics will change on relocation

  • Children will feel temporarily insecure and can develop chronic anxiety

  • Adolescents may resent or oppose a move and feel anger

  • Anxiety and anger can manifest in a variety of ways

  • The at home parent may feel overloaded with their children/teenagers’ negative reactions and behaviours

  • Couples can become emotionally distanced from each other

  • “Problems” at school may reveal other learning difficulties

  • Problems at school may reflect/mirror emotional disturbances at home

  • A spouse may become unhappy about the move

  • Couples can become split and partnerships de-stabilised

The important issue is to take early action on these problems. Working with a team of psychologists will help the emotional education of family members prior to and during a relocation period. These professionals follow client families from the beginning of their assignment right through to their repatriation, advising and supporting them in managing the challenges of their transition from one culture and country to another. By following them through to their eventual repatriation, assignment failures can be significantly reduced, importantly families can be assisted in maximising continuing assignment success.

  • On average we estimate each “assignment failure” costs an employer approximately £100K

  • The overall cost of a typical family relocation service is £2-3K

  • Professional services can reduce assignment failure by up to 80%

Simon Dermody, Founder & Creative Director, Family Wellbeing and Relocations

Induction Service (London)

Induction Service (Online)

Intervention Service

The Induction Service assesses child and family well being prior to relocation in the four key areas of emotional, educational, health and social functioning and is available both as a live face to face service, and now also as an online service.

e-Induction Service, utilising online interactive technologies. The outcome is to profile families and help prepare them for relocation to and from the UK, using Skype, Facetime and online questionnaire profiling.

Intervention Service offers a full clinical diagnostic follow up service, for those times when things can go wrong for children and families who are either living abroad but can visit the UK, or have moved back to the UK.


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