Fostering Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Young People: creating a family life across 'a world of difference'

Research output: Book/ReportBook


  • Jim Wade
  • Ala Sirriyeh
  • Ravi Kohli
  • John Simmonds


Publication details

DatePublished - 2012
Number of pages324
PublisherBritish Association for Adoption and Fostering
Place of PublicationLondon
Original languageEnglish
ISBN (Print)978-1-907585-55-5


Unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people form a small but significant part of the UK looked after children population. Their circumstances and needs are complex and as a group they require careful and sensitive assessment, planning and placement. Foster carers are at the heart of this task, providing family care against a background of uncertainty, anxiety and potential risk. How do the young people and foster carers build relationships? How do local authorities address the challenge of caring for unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people? And do their actions result in successful integration into UK society of these young people, or continuing problems?

This research study details and examines the results of a census survey of four local authorities, collectively looking after over 2000 unaccompanied young people. Postal surveys and interviews were undertaken with a number of foster carers and young people to identify their experiences in placements, and a policy and practice study included focus groups to gather the views of social workers, young people and key stakeholders.

The results of this extensive study reveal ongoing changes in the way in which unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people are looked after and the main features of the fostering task, insights into how young people and foster carers felt about their placements, and key implications for policy and practice.

This is essential reading for all those with an interest in the care and support of unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people.

    Research areas

  • unaccompanied asylum seeking young people, foster carers, young people, looked after children, foster care, social work services


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