UNACCOMPANIED CHILDREN APPEAL
UNACCOMPANIED CHILDREN APPEAL
The Stations is a unique project tracing the emotional journey of refugees. It sets out to challenge current narratives about the crisis and inspire people to get involved in supporting refugees on the different stages of their journeys towards safety and a new life.
For details visit thestations.org.uk
Home for Good is one of a number of organisations working alongside The Stations project, with a particular focus on supporting unaccompanied children. They work throughout the UK with the aim of seeing every child currently in the care system placed in loving homes. When the UK Government said it would bring in vulnerable Syrian refugees to the country, Home for Good saw there would be a need for families to welcome unaccompanied children into their homes.
As a foster carer, I have received children from all over the world including Nigeria, Ethiopia and Somalia. When the refugee crisis began to break acorss the news and the Government said it would focus on bringing vulnerable chldren and orphans to the UK from the refugee camps outside Syria, I knew there was a high likelihood these would be accommodated through the UK care system.
Knowing there is a national shortage of foster carers, we put out an appeal, expecting a few hundred to respond. So imagine how shocked (and delighted) we were when 10,000 people expressed an interest in fostering unaccompanied minors in one weekend alone. Since then we have been working hard with local authorities, potential carers, churches and the Government to prepare ourselves to receive the ever-growing number of children who need welcoming into safe, loving homes.
I am delighted to be part of The Stations, working collaboratively with groups and individuals who share the same desire to support refugees and play their part in responding to the crisis.
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 acommodation. Over the last six months Home for Good has been working with local authorities to recruit more foster carers from the ten thousand 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 to which 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.
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 chldren. 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?
To give a one-off sum click the link below to visit our give.net site:
To give a regular amount please download this PDF form:
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.