Good practice in Social Care for refugee and asylum-seeking children

Newbigging, Karen and Thomas, Nigel orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-5310-9144 (2011) Good practice in Social Care for refugee and asylum-seeking children. Child Abuse Review, 20 (5). pp. 374-390. ISSN 0952-9136

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This article seeks to identify key components of good practice in social care services for safeguarding refugee and asylum‐seeking children. It is based on a wider research study, conducted in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which aimed to identify indicators and examples of good practice in social care for asylum seekers and refugees (both adults and children). Methods included a systematic literature review, focus groups with asylum seekers and refugees, and a survey of voluntary and
statutory agencies. This paper reflects on the findings as they relate to children, including both unaccompanied children and those in families, with particular attention to safeguarding issues, and identifies key components of good practice from a synthesis of the findings. The
primary component identified is a clear commitment to seeing the wellbeing of children and young people as the primary focus of practice, rather than the demands of immigration policy. Others include provision of safe and appropriate accommodation, support for engagement in
appropriate education and leisure pursuits, attention to emotional well‐being, good support and information for families, and inclusion of families and communities in the safeguarding agenda. The research showed that the needs of unaccompanied asylum‐seeking children and young people tend to be more visible than those living with their families, and that more research is needed, particularly in relation to the latter group.

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