Separated Children in State Care

Rachel Larkin

This chapter in the book "Separated Migrant Young Women in State Care" explores how state care systems respond to separated young migrants, using examples from across the globe. It considers the experiences of children held in detention or accommodated in different forms of reception services. Areas of good practice are recognised, but bordering practices that lead to children being separated from parents at borders are also considered. The role of social work within problematic age assessment processes is examined and the ethical tensions explored.

This chapter considers the contradictions between notions of permanency and policies of family reunion, and the precarity of youth migration is considered in relation to young migrants leaving care at 18. This chapter argues that the overarching focus on immigration status can overlook the impact of young migrants’ intersecting identities, maintaining separated children within border spaces and placing them low in hierarchies of care.

Separated Migrant Young Women in State Care