ISSN 1753-0849

Childhoods Today Online JournalChildhoods Today

An online journal for childhood studies

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Volume 1 Issue 1 - July 27, 2007

Looking Forward: unaccompanied asylum-seekers leaving care

Bianka Atlas

This paper is based on a small-scale qualitative study that explored the experiences of nine unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, examining their perspectives on their in-care experiences, preparation for leaving care, and after-care support. The research also enabled seven professionals to share their views on practice and policy affecting unaccompanied asylum-seeking children leaving care. The research showed that unaccompanied young people face considerable challenges in the transition from care towards independence and that practice falls short of the standard envisaged by the leaving care framework. This paper focuses on one aspect of the empirical research, leaving-care preparation, and highlights a range of inadequacies. The paper also highlights broader policy issues that create a challenging environment for service delivery to care-leavers with uncertain immigration status.