In 2015 the UK saw 3043 unaccompanied children arrive in the country and claim asylum. Some of these children came from Syria, but also Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea and dozens of other countries. They didn’t arrive through any formal process, they just managed to get themselves into the UK and asked for help. Accommodation and support has to be found for these children wherever they arrive. Ideally that’s in a foster home, but if there aren’t enough foster carers they can end up in less suitable accommodation. Over the last six months Home for Good has been working with local authorities to recruit more foster carers from the 10,000 who stepped forward to help meet this initial need.
One barrier to caring for these children coming into the UK is that there is no simple mechanism for placing these asylum seeking children in homes around the country. Too often they can’t be moved out of the area they arrive and into other parts of the country. Home for Good has been working with national and local government and other charities to try and find a system that will work for the best interests of these children. Over the next few months we hope to see an unaccompanied child hosting scheme, where children can be placed with foster carers all over the country where they can be best supported.
There are many more unaccompanied children travelling through Europe who are exposed to the elements, at risk of trafficking and have no safety and security. Working with Save the Children, Home for Good has called on the Government to bring in 3,000 unaccompanied children from Europe to the United Kingdom. Over Christmas more than 700 people wrote to the Government offering up space in their homes.
The Government heard this and promised to do more to help unaccompanied children in the refugee camps around Syria but the request to welcome children in transit from Europe is as yet unanswered. Home for Good are still passionate about seeing unaccompanied refugee children from Europe brought into the country where they can have safe homes.
The most important thing for these children is to have a stable home environment. There are unaccompanied teenagers arriving into the UK who need homes, could you welcome one of these refugee children into yours? Fostering can be challenging and the process to become a foster carer takes time, but it is incredibly rewarding. You’ll need to have a spare room, plenty of time and energy, and be a suitable adult. By signing up you’re saying that you are willing to consider fostering and learn more about the process. You can sign up at www.homeforgood.org.uk/journeytogetherVisit the Homes for Good Website
To develop appropriate solutions to the crisis and to recruit foster carers costs money. There’s lots more Home for Good would like to do to help find safe homes for these vulnerable children. Could you give a one-off financial gift, or set up a regular standing order to help us find homes for children who are and will be in the UK care system? For details visit www.homeforgood.org.uk/journeytogether.
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