According to The Fostering Network™ there are many reasons why a child or young person may feel that they are no longer safe in their home country. War, oppression and civil unrest can create situations in which many children may fear for their lives. Asylum-seeking children may have experienced persecution for their beliefs, or because of their ethnic or social group. Some may have seen adults they loved murdered or beaten; others may have had members of their family ‘disappear’ with no warning or explanation. Some may have come from a country where they would have been forced to fight as a child soldier if they remained.
The largest number of unaccompanied children, at the moment, come from Albania, followed by Eritrea and Afghanistan. Syria is in fourth place, with numbers increasing fast. In 2014, 90 per cent of unaccompanied children were over 14, and 88 per cent were boys.
Fostering Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children
Alongside the task of caring for these children on a day-to-day basis, foster carers will also need to support them through the process of applying for permission to stay in the UK, and possibly to prepare for the return. Many unaccompanied children seeking asylum will also have particular emotional, practical, language and cultural needs that their foster carers will have to consider.
We would encourage foster carers who think they might have the skills, experience and willingness to look after a young person who has arrived in the UK unaccompanied to let their fostering service know. Foster carers looking after unaccompanied children will require support to offer them the stability and the help they need; fostering services must ensure that their carers are trained, equipped and supported to deal with the particular challenges of meeting the needs of unaccompanied children.
Interested in finding out more?
If you think you could welcome a child into your home we would be keen to hear from you. Join us at one of our Fostering Information Sessions. Or if you would like further information, please fill in our Online Enquiry Form, call the Fostering Team on 01454 866423 or email firstname.lastname@example.org