Fostering Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children
There is a real shortage of fostering families who can offer unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) a safe refuge. In light of the current situations in Ukraine, Afghanistan, and other conflicts around the world, Foster Wales Monmouthshire are urgently seeking foster carers who can provide the support, guidance and care needed to help these vulnerable young people.
Fostering young people who are seeking asylum does come with its challenges but it is also hugely rewarding as you start to see them settle into their new life.
So how do I start?
In order to provide a home for unaccompanied children and young people, you will first need to be approved as a foster carer. This process usually takes around 6 months.
The first step is to check that you fulfil the basic requirements to become a foster carer:
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must have a spare bedroom
- You must have the time and availability to dedicate yourself to fostering
What will Asylum seeking children be like?
The most important thing to bear in mind is that most children will be aged between 11-17 – and a large percentage will be male. Unlike fostering a child from Monmouthshire, very little may be known about asylum seeking children when they arrive.
What we do know is that they will have experienced varying degrees of trauma prior to leaving their home country. They may have been separated from their families – some may even have lost family members due to conflict in their home country. Whatever the reasons, they will be arriving tired, vulnerable and possibly very frightened.
What is it like to foster Asylum Seeking young people?
As a foster carer, your task will be to support these young people and create a safe environment, helping them settle into their new community. They will need your help to learn to navigate language barriers, and – most importantly – to feel that someone is there to protect them and advocate for them. You may also be required to support young people through the process of applying for permission to stay in the UK.
At Foster Wales Monmouthshire we try to place children and young people with families where some of their culture, religion and language may already be in place. However, this is not always possible, and we therefore need foster carers who are resourceful and will be able to facilitate the young person to maintain their identity whilst also adapting to a new cultural environment.
We will work very closely with you and provide specialist training to help you support children who are seeking asylum.
Specialist support and training
If you’re interested in fostering refugees and unaccompanied asylum seeking children, we will identify relevant training courses that will help support you in this role. We will ensure that you feel confident and culturally aware of the children’s backgrounds as this will allow you to better understand the young person’s needs.
Our fostering team will be there to support you every step of the way, giving you the guidance and help required to provide stability to the young people in your care. If you think you could make a difference to a child’s life get in touch today!