Borough marks Refugee Week with recruitment drive
Refugee children from Syria. Picture: Russell Watkins/Department for International Development
A drive is currently recruit more foster carers for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) to help them settle into their new home in the London Borough of Hounslow.
Refugee Week took place recently and the theme for this year was ‘We cannot walk alone’ a phrase taken from Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream speech.’
Over the past year (2020-21) the Council has helped 76 UASC into foster care or supported care. The children have often had a perilous journey to get here leaving their family behind and coming to a new country where the language and culture is unfamiliar.
The council is looking for Foster Carers who are willing to foster asylum seeking children and young people.
.Foster carers will also need to support the children or young person through the process of applying for permission to stay in the UK, help them integrate into life in the UK, or possibly to prepare for their return if it is safe to do so. This may involve foster carers accompanying these children to the Home Office. Many unaccompanied children seeking asylum will also have emotional, practical, language and cultural needs that their foster carers must consider. Foster Carers will be given access and will be supported by interpreters if appropriate. Approved carers will be provided with enhanced specialist training, an allocated social worker to help equip carers to handle the specific challenges that come with meeting the needs of children and young people seeking asylum. An allowance of up to £868.60 per fortnight is paid as well as free leisure centre membership and council tax rebates.
Foster carers, Freweini and Goitom, said. “We have fostered unaccompanied asylum seeking children for many years. Though many good things can be said about them one thing that sticks out is their cultivated inner resource and best use of the help offered to them. It’s like helping those who help themselves and we see the rewards there and then. As successful asylum seekers to begin with we are a good role model to them too.”
Foster carers aim to offer a stable, safe and supportive environment for asylum seeking children to flourish and find a new normal. Many of the UASC who come into Hounslow’s care are from Afghanistan, Albania, Eritrea, Iraq and Vietnam.
Cllr Tom Bruce, Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Youth Services, said, “To be uprooted from your family, friends and home is traumatic for anyone but especially children. Every child deserves to have a childhood that is safe, happy and stable.
“As a Council we are very proud to have a fantastic network of Foster carers who provide their time and care to these children, giving them the space and the opportunity to rebuild their lives. We are always looking for more carers to join our network. Through fostering you can make a positive difference to help empower a generation.”
If you would like to find out more about becoming a Foster Carer our carers information sessions are on;
Tuesday 6 July 2021 from 11am – 12pm
Tuesday 20 July 2021 from 6pm – 7pm
Visit www.hounslow.gov.uk/fostering or call 020 8583 3426 to register your interest.
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June 25, 2021