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Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: The response of social work services Wade, J., Mitchell, F., & Baylis, G. 2005 British Association for Adoption & Fostering, London


The displacement of unaccompanied young people to countries far away from home happens for many reasons, from the need to seek safety from armed conflict, political upheaval or natural disasters, to the desperate escape from deprivation or exploitation by unscrupulous traffickers. What unites them all is the experience of being separated from their families, uprooted from their homes and divided from their culture and all that is familiar.
How do social services in the UK respond to these young asylum seekers? Are they entitled to the same service as looked after children and, if so, do they receive it? How are young people's needs defined and assessed? How do the services provided affect their progress and welfare? These are just some of the important questions examined for the first time in this groundbreaking study. Also explored are the ways in which the young asylum seekers themselves attempt to negotiate the transitions connected with resettlement and the complexities for social workers in helping them reconstruct their lives. Chapters focus on assessment, patterns of placement, education and training, health and well-being, social networks and the transition to adulthood.
Illustrated by numerous comments from team managers and social workers, as well as children and young people, this illuminating study will prove invaluable to childcare professionals, asylum teams, those involved with refugee communities, teachers, students and anyone seeking to understand and support unaccompanied asylum seekers.

Suggested citation

Wade, J., Mitchell, F., & Baylis, G. (2005) Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children: The response of social work services, British Association for Adoption & Fostering, London.

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