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Moving on: Multiple Transitions of Unaccompanied Child Migrants Leaving Care in England and Sweden

Roberts, HM; Bradby, H; Ingold, A; Manzotti, G; Reeves, D; Liabo, K; (2017) Moving on: Multiple Transitions of Unaccompanied Child Migrants Leaving Care in England and Sweden. International Journal of Social Science Studies , 5 (9) pp. 25-34. 10.11114/ijsss.v5i9.2523. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper explores the priorities of young people who arrived in England or Sweden as unaccompanied minors and are leaving the care of the state to transition to adult life. Policy and practice for these young people are themselves in transition in Europe, and we aim to contribute to the slender first person qualitative evidence base for those delivering services. Our methods comprised a scoping review of scholarly and grey literature, and group and individual interviews. Despite a commitment in both countries to listening to the voices of young people, we identified few studies representing the voices of unaccompanied care leavers. In both the literature and our interviews, health in a clinical sense was rarely among their priorities. Their accounts focused on the determinants of health, and in particular housing, education, food and employment. In Sweden, where services are universal rather than targeted, the Health and Social Care Board (Socialstyrelsen) notes the paradox of unaccompanied children being surrounded by adult supporters, none of whom takes overall responsibility for the young person and his/her everyday life. Those we spoke to describe the vital role played by foster carers, health and social care professionals and friends that they could rely on. The young people whose narratives appear in the research literature and those in our own sample are working hard to cope with multiple transitions and to manage health in its widest sense, whether by finding the right place to live or attending to their education or training.

Type: Article
Title: Moving on: Multiple Transitions of Unaccompanied Child Migrants Leaving Care in England and Sweden
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.11114/ijsss.v5i9.2523
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.11114/ijsss.v5i9.2523
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright for this article is retained by the author(s), with first publication rights granted to the journal. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Keywords: unaccompanied asylum seeking children, care system, qualitative, scoping review, Sweden, UK, voice
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > ICH Pop, Policy and Practice Prog
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > VP Research
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > VP Research > Library Services
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1573618
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