A Warm Welcome?

Rosen, Rachel, Sarah Crafter, and Veena Meetoo. 2017. A Warm Welcome? Unaccompanied Migrant Children in Networks of Care and Asylum. London: UCL Institute of Education.

This report focuses on a pilot study that investigated adult stakeholders’ perspectives on unaccompanied children’s experiences of care, and caring for others, as they navigate the labyrinthine asylum-welfare nexus in the UK. The study concludes that unaccompanied children may be the intended beneficiaries of state and voluntary sector efforts at care, support and protection, but they are subject to contradictory imperatives in the asylum-welfare nexus and fall through significant “cracks” in the care system. Although unaccompanied children are involved in the care of themselves and others, this has received limited recognition by the state and by adult stakeholders in the asylum-welfare nexus. There is every indication that these caring relationships are of central importance for navigating migration journeys and the asylum-welfare nexus, and that these relationships are highly valued by this group of young people. Without understanding more about the meanings, values, and practices of the care of children by children, and without recognising its centrality in the lives of separated migrant children, our pilot study indicates that even well-meaning policy and practice can have detrimental impacts on separated migrant children.