Open Centres
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Open Centres

What is an open centre?

An open centre is a key part of reception management, offering accommodation and facilitating access by service-users to mainstream services, such as free health and free education


Three models : 

     Open centres run directly by Government
     Open centres owned by Government but whose day to day running is subcontracted to a third-party
     Privately run open centres, receiving financial assistance from Government
At present 2,200 beds are available

Centres also house, to the greatest extent possible, specific client groups, namely:

     Single males or single females
     Unaccopmanied minor asylum seekeers (UMAS)

 initial reception centres (IRC)

Earlies this year, AWAS started operating the IRC at Hal Far, which is the structure to implement this Government's policy not to detain minors. Upon arrival, service users would undergo primarily age assessment and medical clearance and then proceed to an open centre.

The agency is now opening an IRC for adult males and females within the Marsa Open Centre complex.

persons with special reception needs 

 AWAS is responsible for implementing Government policy regarding persons with special reception needs (often called vulnerable persons). We currently operate :

     For adults, the Adult Referral Assessment Tool. This is a holistic assessment process which emphasises resilience, not vulnerability
     For minors, the Age Assessment Team and other services specifically directed towards the needs of minors.

Services to umas

Age Assessment Team ("We acknowledge that in recent months there have been significant improvements in both the quality and the duration of the age assessement procedure, thanks to the unstinting efforts of the AWAS," NGO Statement, June 20, 2014)

     Care Order Regime / Children and Young Person Advisory Board
     Care Team
     Regulation by the Department of Social Welfare Standards


To implement its pre-integration remit, AWAS is running information sessions for residents of open centres on :

     Specialised (social skills, budgeting, hygiene)

Quality information is critical for successfull integration ​​​​


Contact Information:

Contact Icon Contact Name 
Agency for the Welfare of Asylum Seekers (AWAS)
Block C, Beltissebh
Floriana FRN 1700
Phone Icon Telephone
2568 7200
Email Icon Email