Symposium 5

Symposium 5: Someone to watch over me: Unaccompanied children and the creation of family life

Date: 26th June 2015
10 am – 4pm
Venue: King’s Fund,
11-13 Cavendish Square, London W1G 0AN

Map here


Case law and policy developments in England and Wales require that the vast majority of unaccompanied and separated children (UASC) seeking asylum should now be accommodated under section 20 of the Children Act 1989. However there is still a lack of consistency in the response from local authorities to separated young people, and ‘accommodation’ can involve various types of placement. Children under the age of 16 are often placed in foster care, with 16- and 17-year-olds frequently placed in semi-independent accommodation with more limited support.
Good foster care can make a positive difference to the lives of many unaccompanied young people, however foster care is not always experienced positively, with some young people expressing feelings of being uncared for, isolated and treated differently. Very little is known about the experiences of young people in alternative forms of accommodation in England, how they construct their social networks, social capital and ‘family life’.
In this symposium we explore ways in which unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are ‘cared for’ and ‘cared about’ by people in their social networks.

Some questions that will be considered are:
• What do we know about ways of promoting positive family experiences for UASCs in foster placements?
• What do we know about the experiences of foster families and their support needs?
• How are unaccompanied asylum-seeking children ‘cared for’ and ‘cared about’ elsewhere in Europe?
• How do unaccompanied asylum-seeking young, in foster care and independent accommodation create social networks and construct ‘family life’?

The symposium will include presentations by foster carers, academics and social workers. The finalised timetable will be posted soon.

There are a limited number of places for this free event. . If you would like to attend please send the UJ 5 booking form to: