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  • Shelters for UASC in Toronto, Canada
  • Canada
  • In CANADA, the Red Cross First Contact Program was first established by the Canadian Red Cross - Toronto Region in partnership with the City of Toronto’s Refugee Housing Task Group. It has since expanded to other parts of Canada. This supportive programme for asylum-seekers also facilitates, in the Greater Toronto area, the release and referral of UASC of 16-17 years of age to shelters. Following an agreement with the Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA), when an UASC arrives at an airport, the Red Cross is contacted by CBSA; and the First Contact Project locates a suitable shelter within the city that provides appropriate services for children.

    Also at that point, CBSA contacts McCarthy Tetrault, an international law firm to request interest to act as a “designated representative” for the UASC at the port of entry examination. This proposed designated representative programme was established by UNHCR in co-ordination with CBSA, the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), the Red Cross, the Peel Children Aid’s Society and McCarthy Tetrault. The designated representative is subsequently appointed to the child by the IRB and is responsible for protecting the interests of the child at IRB procedures, as well as explaining the asylum process to them. The designated representative has to decide whether to retain counsel and, if counsel is retained, instruct him/her or assist the child to instruct counsel.

    A drop-in centre where refugees can access services and obtain information as well as a 24-hour emergency telephone service is also run by the Canadian Red Cross, allowing children, asylum-seekers and refugees already on the territory, to contact them at any time. The Project operates 7 days a week and allows new UASC seeking asylum in the city of Toronto to find immediate shelter upon arrival.
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Legal advice and interpretation
  • Asylum seekers
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Supporting unaccompanied children and youth in Egypt
  • Egypt
  • Founded in 1979, St Andrew’s Refugee Services (StARS) is a refugee service provider in central Cairo that works to enhance the quality of life for refugees and vulnerable migrants through four main programs: education, legal, community outreach, and psychosocial services. StARS’ Unaccompanied Youth Bridging Program (UYBP) provides a hybrid education and psychosocial program for unaccompanied children and youth (UCY) in Cairo. These are refugee and migrant children and teenagers in Egypt without their parents. Children and youth in the program take Arabic, Math, Computer and English classes; and participate in psychosocial group activities aimed at increasing their life skills, their self-reliance and their self-protection capacity.
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Basic needs
  • Refugees
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Transit
  • Supporting and empowering unaccompanied child asylum seekers in the United Kingdom
  • United Kingdom
  • Scottish Guardianship Services - The Service works to help young asylum seekers to feel supported and empowered throughout their journey whilst their claim is assessed and their status determined. It enables them to access the assistance they need when they need it and help them to make informed decisions about their future. On referral, the young person is appointed a guardian, who will represent a point of contact and continuity through their progress through the asylum and immigration system. The guardian is there to make the young person aware of their rights, explain aspects of the asylum, trafficking and welfare system to them, introduce them to social opportunities and to begin to integrate them into community life. Local authorities are obliged by the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 to provide UASCs with accommodation under section 25, which makes them formally looked after. For the purposes of Section 25, children are defined as up until 18 years of age, the same as the definition of children in immigration legislation. The Scottish Refugee Council together with Glasgow City Council and partners including COSLA, the Scottish Government and UKBA have taken practical steps to help ensure that best practice is followed when young people need to be age assessed from the outset and developed practice guidance, which is a first in the UK. This is aimed at helping social workers in Scotland to conduct the difficult task of accurately assessing the age of young asylum seekers.
  • Practice
  • Case Management
  • Case management and support
  • Asylum seekers
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Group homes for unaccompanied refugee children in Spain
  • Spain
  • The regional government of Andalusia last year became the first in Spain to host unaccompanied Syrian refugee children such as Mahmud. Since September, it has welcomed eight youngsters aged 15 to 17 – six boys and two girls – all relocated from Greece. The aim was to provide a safe, nurturing environment in a residential setting with social, health, education and culture and leisure resources designed to “favour their social development” and help them feel integrated. ... Now they live at a group home in a quiet backstreet where the loudest sound is a trilling canary. The youngsters share spotless rooms, sit together for meals and attend secondary schools, in a project run by the regional government of Andalusia and supported by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. ... The children are offered after-school activities as part of the effort to integrate them into the town of 60,000 inhabitants south of the provincial capital, Granada. These range from Spanish evening classes at the Club UNESCO Motril, where Bienvenido teaches, to work experience and volunteering.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community without conditions
  • Refugees
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Holistic care for unaccompanied children in Italy
  • Italy
  • The Zampa law, as the new measure is known, is the first comprehensive act for unaccompanied children in Italy. It calls for a series of measures - fully aligned with UNICEF recommendations - to protect refugee and migrant children, including: Unaccompanied and separated foreign children will not be subjected to “refoulement” or returns that may cause them harm; Reduce the time these children spend in first-line reception centres; Promote guardianship for children by using trained volunteers from the regional child and youth agency and promote foster care and host families for children; Harmonize and improve procedures for age assessment in a child-sensitive manner; Establish a structured and streamlined national reception system, with minimum standards in all reception facilities; Roll out extensive use of qualified cultural mediators* to communicate and interpret needs of vulnerable adolescents. The new law includes additional budgetary provisions on top of €600 million which the Government of Italy had already allocated in 2016 to municipalities, groups and caregivers to help them cope with the large influx of refugees and migrants in reception centres.
  • Policy
  • Placement Options
  • Community without conditions
  • Migrants
  • Refugees
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • An obligation to report victims of trafficking in Sweden
  • Sweden
  • Officials in Sweden are obliged to notify the social welfare committee on any suspicion of trafficking of a child, even if evidence is not clear. The obligation to notify is absolute in the sense that it is not up to the staff to decide whether it is a clear-cut case of trafficking. Difficulties in identifying child trafficking victims stem from a lack of human resources and the subsequent backlog in individual needs assessments that should be done for each child upon arrival at the municipality. These assessments frequently reveal past or ongoing exploitation. Due to the decrease in arrivals in the first four months of 2016, the municipalities have started to reduce this backlog. In view of the high risk of trafficking of unaccompanied children, the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) has developed guidelines (riktlinjer) and recommendations (råd) on this topic for the municipalities. At the accommodation centres for unaccompanied children in Sweden, access to NGOs has been reduced to decrease the risk of unauthorised persons contacting children. Besides this measure, the Swedish Health and Social Care Inspectorate (Inspektionen för vård och omsorg) has not observed any specific safeguards or information material at these centres. According to the Inspectorate, the number of children placed at the centre, their whereabouts at night or contacts with unauthorised persons have been unknown at some accommodation centres.
  • Practice
  • Screening & Assessment
  • Vulnerability
  • Migrants
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Ensuring migrant children have the same care as citizen children in Sweden
  • Sweden
  • Swedish law provides that all children should receive the same level of care, irrespective of whether they are citizens or foreigners. UMC are usually accommodated in a children’s home (‘home for care or residence’ or ‘HVB housing’ which may be special housing established specifically for the reception of UMC) or a foster family (foster families are drawn from the same pool of families that care for Swedish children in need). While their applications are being processed, UMC asylum seekers are treated as “asylum applicants” and provided access to a certain number of rights, such as the rights to accommodation, schooling, health and dental care. As with adult asylum applicants, they are provided with the LMA identity card. Pursuant to the Act on Guardians Ad Litem for Unaccompanied children, a temporary legal representative or guardian ad litem will be appointed by the Chief Guardian to represent and assist the UMC during the asylum procedure, and to generally look after the child’s interests during this period. The role of the guardian ad litem is to act both as a legal guardian and custodian of the child, with the right and duty to decide all matters relating to the UMC’s affairs, however, this does not extend to daily care and supervision of the child
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Basic needs
  • Asylum seekers
  • Migrants
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Holistic care for unaccompanied refugee children in Thailand
  • Thailand
  • The Bangkok Child Protection program is implemented through a partnership between UNHCR and the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in Thailand. Initially established as a three-month pilot project in 2014, the program aims to respond to the needs of unaccompanied, separated and other vulnerable children residing in Bangkok through providing best interests assessments, referrals to service providers and emergency assistance. There are currently 162 children receiving support through the program. Once a child is registered with the program, a caseworker conducts best interests assessments (based on an interview and home visit) to determine the child’s basic needs and identify protection gaps. Relevant support is then provided through referrals for financial, medical, educational or legal support. The program also organises recreational, educational, and psychosocial activities, as well as opportunities to participate in training courses and workshops. The Bangkok Child Protection program operates in a challenging legal, social and cultural context. Thailand
is not party to the Refugee Convention and lacks a legal and administrative framework for refugee protection. The unstable political environment, the complexity of case management for vulnerable and often traumatised children, and the lack of ongoing support options for young people who have turned 18 pose further challenges. Nonetheless, the support provided through the program plays an important role in assisting asylum seeker and refugee children to survive and meet their basic needs in this difficult context.
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Basic needs
  • Refugees
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Holistic support for refugee children in Austria
  • Austria
  • In Austria, SOS Children’s Villages has 15 years of professional experience in providing quality care to refugee children and supporting their integration. To respond to the current refugee crisis in Europe, SOS Children’s Villages Austria has been creating customized places for 300 children in newly established facilities since 2015, offering a range of alternative care options: small group homes, semi-independent living, foster care, integration and specialised education programmes. Recently, a group home in Linz was established to accommodate 15 unaccompanied refugees. Native-speaking psychiatrists and therapists, as well as professional interpreters, are available to support the children. The nearby public schools offer a great opportunity for the successful integration of the young refugees. SOS Children’s Villages Austria has also set up ‘Biwak’ living communities for unaccompanied refugee children between the ages of 12 and 18, who require a daily structure and specialised socio-pedagogical support. They stay at the ‘Biwak’ until the age of legal adulthood. Furthermore, SOS Children’s Villages Austria advocates for the right of all children to quality care and education, which is not equally ensured to refugee children by current leg- 8 11 islation. For example, compulsory schooling is provided by law for children aged 14-18, but not for young asylum seekers, because of their uncertain status.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community without conditions
  • Refugees
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Law to prevent detention vulnerable populations from being detained in Turkey
  • Turkey
  • The Law on Foreigners and International Protection, ratified by the Turkish Parliament on 4 April 2014, does not under any circumstances, allow detention of: • UAM IP applicants (they are to be placed “by the Ministry of Family and Social Policies in suitable accommodation facilities, in the care of their adult relatives, or in the care of a foster family, upon taking into account the opinion of the unaccompanied minor” if they are over 16 they can be placed in reception centres); • identified victims of trafficking (the problem is that they are often not identified); international protection status holders; international protection applicants not covered by Art 65 (four criteria specifying when IP applicants can exceptionally be detained); • stateless individuals after their stateless status is determined and documented; • a number of vulnerable groups are exempt from deportation orders, which means they are also protected from detention: Includes: people who are at risk of torture/ill-treatment if expelled; risk in travel due to health, age, pregnancy; cannot receive treatment in country; identified victims of trafficking; & victims of serious psychological, physical or sexual violence, until their treatment is completed. For such persons, humanitarian residence permit is issued and they may be asked to reside at a certain address and carry out reporting at requested forms and periods.
  • Law
  • Liberty
  • Prohibit the detention of vulnerable individuals
  • Asylum seekers
  • Refugees
  • Stateless
  • Trafficked
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Transit
  • Identifying risks for children as soon as possible in Norway
  • Norway
  • In June 2014, Norway’s Immigration Authority (UDI) introduced a new fast-track procedure for cases of UAMs where there was a perceived risk that the minor could disappear or be in need of urgent assistance both due to security issues (trafficking in human beings, forced marriage or other forms of severe abuse) or due to severe health problems. In the fast-track procedure the registration by the National Police Immigration Service (PU), the initial conversation by the UDI and the carpal and teeth x-rays are all carried out on the same day, or as fast as practically possible. The purpose is to secure enough information at an early stage in order to carry out the age assessment, to make a decision in the asylum case, and to follow up on identified needs.
    The initial conversation with UDI, in addition to mapping the reasons for seeking protection, also investigates whether the UAM is at risk of issues such as trafficking, violence or health issues. If there is concern about such risks or other forms of severe abuse, Child Welfare Services are notified of this concern, and the minor may be referred to special accommodation by Child Welfare Services (see above). The following groups of asylum seeker UAMs are put through the fast-track procedure: those from North-Africa, those who apply for asylum after having been apprehended by the police, those who have resided in Norway for some time already, those who have previously absconded from reception centres, and those who can be at risk of trafficking or other forms of severe abuse (indicator-based approach). The fast-track procedure also aims to better coordinate between the different agencies that work with UAMs who disappear.
  • Practice
  • Liberty
  • Establish a presumption of liberty
  • Migrants
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Using exisiting child welfare systems to protect migrant children in Hungary
  • Hungary
  • Since May 2011, following the recommendations set out in a report of the Parliamentary Commissioner, UAM asylum seekers (UAMAS) and UAM beneficiaries of international protection have fallen within the scope of the general child protection regime and a child protection facility in Fót (‘Fót Children’s Home’) has been designated to host them. This change resulted in the qualification of UAMs, primarily, as children and only secondarily as migrants. UAMAS (and non-asylum seeking UAMs who are provided interim placement) have to thereafter be appointed a child protection guardian by the Guardianship Authority, who is legally responsible for the overall care, property management and legal representation of the minor. The child protection guardian is employed by the Department of Child Protection Services (TEGYESZ) and can ensure the guardianship of max. 30 children. Non-asylum seeking UAMs are accommodated in a child protection facility in Hódmezővásárhely run by the Catholic Church within the framework of a contract concluded with the Social and Child Protection Directorate. However, the limited capacity (18 UAMs) of the facility remains an issue. Age assessment must take place within 24 hours of detection of the UAM. It has been reported that the lack of uniform age assessment procedures may lead to the detention of UAMs. In case of doubt, until the minority of the UAM is confirmed, he/she is treated as an adult, thus may be accommodated either in an adult reception facility for asylum seekers or put in immigration/asylum detention if the conditions are met.
  • Policy
  • Placement Options
  • Community with conditions
  • Asylum seekers
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Comprehensive reception and care arrangements for unaccompanied children seeking asylum in Austria
  • Austria
  • Guardianship - The Children and Youth Service Authorities becomes the guardian of UAMs. This is for all minors, irrespective of age and status. Usually the guardians’ duties include care and education, asset management and legal representation but some duties may be outsourced to reception facilities, NGOs or law firms. Practical implementation varies according to UAM's place of residence as guardianship is the competence of each individual province and that there are no guidelines concerning its implementation - practice has been criticised as being inconsistent. Each UAM is allocated a "Supervisor" who s/he can refer any questions or problems to. Legal representative - UAMs who seek asylum are also appointed a legal advisor during the admission procedure. Once admitted, have access to free legal advice as per other asylum seekers. Accommodation and reception - Organized reception facilities (apartment-sharing groups (majority)), residential homes; supervised accommodation). Access to education - equal access to primary education as Austrian children; secondary education more challenging and often only with help of NGOs and private organizations. Asylum seeking minors can be granted work permit for vocational training with certain conditions/restrictions. Access to healthcare - general health insurance system. Residence Options -asylum status (permanent residence); subsidiary protection status (1 year residency, extendable for 2 year periods); residence permit or residece permit plus (on grounds of Article 8 ECHR); residence permit for individual protection (trafficking, victim of violence or grounds for tolerated stay); Red-White-Red Card plus ; Tolerated Stay (if removal is not possible). Age Assessment - The multifactorial medical age assessment includes physical, dental and radiological examinations. The combined results of these examinations lead to a defined minimum age. Until the assessment has been undertaken and the results are available, the potential UAM – as a matter of principle – is treated as a minor.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community without conditions
  • Asylum seekers
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Ad hoc foster care practice in Austria
  • Austria
  • Reception and living in families is not common for unaccompanied minors in Austria. At the moment, the city of Graz in the federated state Styria (Steiermark) is the only place in Austria that accommodates unaccompanied minors in foster families. is is seen by those delivering the family care environment as a good practice which delivers positive outcomes in the children’s lives.

    The foster care organization Pflegefamilie Austria was more or less coincidentally asked by the city of Graz to accommodate some unaccompanied minors in 2012. Therefore, they have 6 unaccompanied children aged 13-15 living with foster families (children over 16 are accommodated by Caritas in Graz and not in foster families). A distinction is made between children that are allowed to stay in Austria and those that have to return, as the organization strongly believes that a child should be able settle and integrate. Although Pflegefamilie Austria is quite satisfied with the results and even managed to provide foster families with the same cultural backgrounds, it is not aiming to expand this approach, nor is it being requested to.

    Another good practice is taking place in Salzburg, where Kinder- und Jugendanwaltscha (Kija) is preparing a project on accommodating unaccompanied minors in foster families. Kija is the ombudsman for children that exists in every federated state in Austria. It looks at the functioning of the youth care system and advises on changes to the system where necessary. Although Kija does not yet have the financial means for the project and is currently looking for ways to fund it, the first placement (of a 16-year-old Afghan boy) in a foster family in Salzburg was a promising development in August 2014. The social department of the federated state of Salzburg states that this was an exception, as unaccompanied minors do not fall under the regular youth care system but rather under basic care arrangements. However, together with Kija, Asylkoordination Österreich believes foster care is useful and legally possible for unaccompanied minors. They maintain that federated states should realize that a minor is a minor, regardless of where they come from, and that all children should therefore be treated equally.

    The member of the federated state council in Salzburg who is responsible for integration agrees, and embraces the idea of foster care for unaccompanied minors. She has proposed to facilitate it everywhere in Austria within a nationwide working group of people responsible for the reception of unaccompanied minors. She has also urged the federated state of Salzburg to investigate whether such foster care can be organized within the state. The general idea in the federated state of Salzburg is that such a placement will cost €670 euro a month, which is the amount of money received by youth care foster families who care for an 11-year-old.

    The various stakeholders do not regard the general situation in Austria concerning foster care for unaccompanied children as an overnight change, given that integration and awareness of the main issues are still di cult topics concerning refugees in Austria. However, they are beginning to think of ways to realize a more individual approach towards the reception of unaccompanied minors, with foster care being one of the options considered. is is also the case for the youth care department of Tirol, for instance. When contacted about this project, the coordinator for unaccompanied minors in that federated state explained that foster care for unaccompanied minors is not yet available in Tirol but that it is believed to be a good alternative to institutional care and worthy of consideration for the future. Another expert stated that everybody in the field would welcome foster care for unaccompanied minors, especially for the younger ones.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community without conditions
  • Asylum seekers
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Reception facilities for unaccompanied children in Greece
  • Greece
  • The reception facilities for unaccompanied minors in Greece are operated by non-governmental and sometimes by Governmental institutions, mainly with funding from the European Refugee Fund. At the time of this report, the total capacity was 320 places, although the needs were much higher and there was a waiting list of approximately 200 children. While waiting to be referred to an open accommodation centre, identified minors stayed either in the limited space in the First Reception Centre (FRC) or in detention facilities. It should be noted that both in the FRC and in detention centres, it is foreseen that unaccompanied children are placed in a different section than adults. In January 2013, the European Commission entrusted IOM Greece to address the challenging issue of unaccompanied minors in Greece. The 21-month Programme “Addressing the needs of unaccompanied minors in Greece” included enhanced family tracing and family assessment procedures which, along with the views of the children, could be used in determining whether it was in their best interest to be provided with assistance to voluntary return and be reintegrated in their country of origin. Throughout the implementation of this programme, our main objective was to ensure that each child exercised his or her right to be heard, provided with the necessary care and support they needed and, that ultimately, the best interest of the child was taken into consideration throughout the assistance process and that the outcome of each case was based on the best interest of that child as well. As the report goes on to say, the operational lessons learned included working with both caution and speed to respond to the children’s sense of urgency about family reunion; enabling and assisting communication between the child and family was essential; and the critical need for experienced, motivated and knowledgeable professionals.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community with conditions
  • Asylum seekers
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Residential schools for unaccompanied children in Israel
  • Israel
  • In ISRAEL, based on a joint decision by an inter-ministerial committee led by the Ministry of Justice, UASC aged between 14 and 17 are integrated in residential schools called “youth villages” together with Israeli youth. Israeli youth opting for this kind of secondary education are mainly from migrant backgrounds or youth facing socio-economic difficulties.

    UASC are placed in small groups in these youth villages gathering up to 150-300 young people (the number of UASC generally constitutes a maximum of 10% of the total school population). Each child that arrives from detention centres undergoes an intake and his/her situation is monitored by the staff in charge (usually a child and youth care worker/social worker). Children are divided in the youth village by age groups, boys and girls separately, and live together with Israeli youth in the same groups. Emphasis is on a community approach – e. g. where staff live with their families alongside the students. The staff includes directors, teachers, educators, child and youth care workers, social workers and other psycho-social staff as needed and also volunteers like national service volunteers. Children are provided with a safe environment, access to local school and all other comprehensive services in accordance with their developmental needs (health care, dental care, cloth- ing, full board accommodation, sports and other social activities, pocket money, psychological counseling if needed, etc.). Wherever possible, Israeli “host families” are matched with the UASC for hosting them in vacation periods.
    Children enjoy freedom of movement and are provided with identity certificates that are issued by each youth village separately. The Israeli immigration authority issues UASC living in youth villages a “conditional release” visa, similar to the visa all asylum-seekers receive in Israel. The youth villages are supervised and financed by the Ministry of Education. From 2008-2014, more than 400 UASC from African countries were placed in the youth villages.
  • Policy
  • Placement Options
  • Community without conditions
  • Migrants
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Assessing the quality of care for unaccompanied refugee children in India
  • India
  • Recognising the vulnerability of the approximate 500 unaccompanied and separated refugee children living in the sprawling Indian capital city of New Delhi and the lack of detailed information on their care arrangements and general protection environment, the operation and partners conducted a joint needs assessment. After a detailed preparation stage, a questionnaire was developed focusing on the alternative care environment as well as questions on health, education, livelihoods and tracing needs. A multi-disciplinary team of interviewers was assembled and training was conducted for staff with less child protection experience. Over the course of 8 days over 200 children agreed to participate in the assessment and were interviewed, ensuring of age, gender and diversity (AGD) were considered. At the end of the process the findings were presented to the refugee community through two focus group discussions as well as community animators working with refugee children. The assessment found that 48 per cent of the children had found their current care arrangement through the refugee community leaders and 89 per cent of those who participated in the assessment felt safe in their current care arrangements.
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Respect of fundamental rights
  • Refugees
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Foster care for unaccompanied children seeking asylum in France
  • France
  • In 2011, 16 representatives from 10 EU Member States reviewed and evaluated each country’s approach to caring for unaccompanied minor asylum seekers. The top-ranked practice with 400 points (79 per cent of all possible points) is the placement of UAMAS under 16 years of age with foster families, as practised in the UK. Comparisons were made between the UK practice and similar practices in other EU Member States such as the Netherlands or France, where children are also placed with foster families. Compared with the UK, placement of children in other countries does not take place on such a wide scale, foster families do not receive state support, and only younger children benefit (in the Netherlands children up to 13 years of age and children who are considered vulnerable).
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community with conditions
  • Asylum seekers
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Foster families for unaccompanied migrant children in the United Kingdom
  • United Kingdom
  • In 2011, 16 representatives from 10 EU Member States reviewed and evaluated each country’s approach to caring for unaccompanied minor asylum seekers. The top-ranked practice with 400 points (79 per cent of all possible points) is the placement of UAMAS under 16 years of age with foster families, as practised in the UK. It is significant that this practice, ranked highly positively by both interviewed UAMAS and experts, has been implemented for several decades now and is well institutionalized, is state-regulated and funded (foster families receive contributions to cover their expenses associated with fostering), and is subject to rigorous rules and monitoring. Comparisons were made between the UK practice and similar practices in other EU Member States such as the Netherlands or France, where children are also placed with foster families. Compared with the UK, placement of children in other countries does not take place on such a wide scale, foster families do not receive state support, and only younger children benefit (in the Netherlands children up to 13 years of age and children who are considered vulnerable). Several other countries, including Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia and Slovenia, mentioned that finding foster families is difficult. Societies are not as ethnically diverse as in the UK and families are often reluctant to receive people from different ethnic backgrounds. In addition, Central European countries have a strong tradition of institutionalized care and finding foster families is not a priority for state institutions responsible for childcare.
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Basic needs
  • Asylum seekers
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Refugee Camp Design Promotes Family Based Care in Ethiopia
  • Ethiopia
  • The Shire operation in Ethiopia in recent years has seen an average of around 100 unaccompanied children (UAC) arriving per month. Sheer numbers dictated that as a last resort, small group-care would have to be an interim option pending efforts to place children in family based care including reuni cation with their family members. A major struggle was the camp layout, with one section of
    Mai Aini refugee camp being designated to house over 1,000 unaccompanied children. This camp layout discouraged more family and community-based child protection responses, with the general refugee community considering the ‘group-care children’ as predominately the responsibility of the international community and local authorities. To overcome this, an inte- grated shelter layout was designed for a newly opened camp, whereby UAC live side by side with families who agree to support the children, in communities of 8 shelters facing each other with communal space in the middle (instead of rows of shelters) to facilitate social interactions.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community with conditions
  • Refugees
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Transit
  • Reception options for unaccompanied minors in Estonia
  • Estonia
  • Article 35 of the Act on Granting International Protection to Aliens says that an applicant who is an unaccompanied minor shall be placed in the reception centre or a social welfare institution for the duration of the asylum proceedings, and welfare services appropriate to the age of the applicant shall be guaranteed to him or her. An applicant who is an unaccompanied minor may be placed with an adult relative or a social care family, if the host is appropriate for taking care of a minor.
    In placing an applicant who is an unaccompanied minor in the reception centre or social welfare institution, or with an adult relative or a social care family, the rights and interests of the minor shall be the main consideration. Unaccompanied minor sisters and brothers shall not be separated, if possible. The applicant who is an unaccompanied minor may be placed in the initial reception centre until the necessary procedures are conducted.
  • Law
  • Liberty
  • Prohibit the detention of vulnerable individuals
  • Migrants
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Transit
  • Guardianship arrangements for undocumented arrivals
  • Netherlands
  • Nidos is an organization commissioned by the Dutch authorities to be temporary guardians to unaccompanied minors who are refugees, asylum seekers or other migrants for whom return to their homelands is a realistic option. The organization employs social workers with specific expertise working with children cross culturally. Nidos is responsible for the minor’s reception, although the daily education and care is sourced to third parties under the supervision of the guardians. The ‘guardian is expected to focus on the promotion of the child’s best interests, his/ her education, care and protection and the prevention of abuse, disappearances and an existence in illegality.’
  • Policy
  • Case Management
  • Case management and support
  • Migrants
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Guardianship arrangements
  • Belgium
  • Guardians in Belgium are entirely unrelated to immigration authorities. They are also independent from, but monitored by, the body charged with their administration, Guardianship Services. Where a conflict arises between a guardian and the Guardianship Services, courts determine whether or not another guardian should be appointed. The guardian’s role, taking the child’s view into account, is:
    ‘To ensure the well-being of the child (which includes education, mental and physical health).
    To build a relationship of trust with the child.
    To help him/her with his/her asylum application and be present at every hearing/interview.
    To appoint a lawyer for the child and also find him/her accommodation.
    To assist the child in family tracing.
    To seek a durable solution for him/her.
    To explain the decisions and ensure the child understands all processes, manage his/her finances and provide reports on the child.’
  • Policy
  • Case Management
  • Case management and support
  • Migrants
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Access to education
  • Hungary
  • As minors, the residents of the UAM shelter are required by Hungarian law to attend school until they are 18 years old. Initially, the young people attend Hungarian classes provided on site. There have been challenges in getting these young people into the local school system. However, in partnership with a small NGO, the shelter has now developed a relationship with one of the local schools to create a class for UAMs with a dedicated teacher. The class focuses on Hungarian and maths; however, individual learning plans are developed to have these students work through the standardised exams used to graduate students through the first 8 years of school in Hungary. It is only after passing these exams that students can enrol in secondary school in Hungary. At the end of the 2008 school year, the first eight UAM students graduated in this way, allowing them to enter a secondary education scheme for refugees in Budapest.
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Basic needs
  • Migrants
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Transit