…and the social workers and foster carers who look after them!

The Children’s Legal Centre Wales and Welsh Government have been working together to produce a series of factsheets for Young People who find themselves in Wales seeking asylum, without family to care for them. The factsheets cover details of the legal rights and entitlements these young people can access in Wales, information about being looked after and what this means, and an explanation of how the UK immigration system works and how it applies to them. The factsheets have been translated into 9 different languages reflecting the ethnic backgrounds of the children and young people most commonly travelling to Wales on their own, looking for safety.

Sally Sellwood, Legal Content Editor for the Children’s Legal Centre Wales said:

This has been a fascinating and valuable project to work on. The information that has been included in the factsheets is all available on the internet, but it can be hard to know what to look for, confusing to access and is written in very ‘adult’ language. Our task has been to research the relevant information and create user friendly factsheets aimed at young people. We are excited that these will now form part of an online resource prepared by Welsh Government to help and support vulnerable young people seeking asylum in Wales.

Alongside the factsheets for young people, the project has created a Guide for Social Workers working with this vulnerable group of young people, to help them navigate the need to make sure young people are safe and looked after, while making sure that the UK’s immigration requirements are met. Finally, there is an FAQ guide for the foster carers who may find themselves with the important role of welcoming an unaccompanied asylum seeking child into their home. These documents will also form part of the online resources, which can be accessed here.

In creating the factsheets and the guides for social workers and foster carers, the project team from the Children’s Legal Centre Wales consulted with social workers in Cardiff and Pembrokeshire who work with unaccompanied asylum seeking children and young people in Wales, the Fostering Network, and with organisations which support asylum seeking young people in Wales, including EYST, and TGP Cymru to make sure the information included was relevant for the young people, and easy to understand.

Sally Sellwood explained:

It was vital to us that the factsheets and guides were relevant to the people each document is aimed at. A key part of the process was consulting widely with those working with these young people every day. We’d like to thank all the individuals and organisations who took the time to talk to us. Their input has made the documents the useful resources that they are.