Supporting unaccompanied asylum‐seeking young people: The experience of foster care

Jim Wade - Child & Family Social Work


Although research on the experiences of unaccompanied asylum‐seeking young people in the UK has grown steadily in recent years, their experience of fostering and of the role played by foster carers in helping their adjustment have been neglected. This paper [from the Child & Family Social Work special issue on teenagers in foster care] reports findings from the first UK study into these experiences, describing issues arising from initial assessment and preparation for fostering and the ways in which young people and foster carers adjusted to their lives together. It assesses the progress made by young people during placement, the strategies that appeared helpful to relationship building, and the extent to which young people had become integrated within the wider network of family relationships. Given that most young people first arrive as teenagers, it also considers the ways in which foster carers and social workers helped young people prepare for adult life in the context of uncertainties arising from the asylum process.