The Children’s Legal Centre Wales, with the support of Welsh Government funding, has updated a series of guides designed for children seeking asylum in Wales, and the social workers and foster carers who look after them.
Available in 12 different languages (Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Farsi, Kurmanji, Oromo, Punjabi, Sorani, Tigrinya, Vietnamese, Dari and Pashto) the Children’s Guide covers:
- The asylum processes
- The legal rights and entitlements children can access
- Being cared for by a social worker
- An explanation of how the immigration system works
- A Pathway Plan for when they turn 18
- A list of organisations that can help them
Alongside the Children’s Guide, guidance for social workers who work with vulnerable children looking for safety in Wales has been updated. The guidance will help them navigate the need to make sure children are safe and looked after, while making sure that the UK’s immigration requirements are met.
Foster carers who may find themselves with the vital role of welcoming children seeking asylum into their home can also access a tailored guide designed to provide them with the information they need.
All the guides will be available on the Welsh Government Website
In creating the factsheets and the guides for social workers and foster carers, the project team from the Children’s Legal Centre Wales, based at Swansea University’s School of Law, consulted widely with social workers who work with children in Wales, the Fostering Network, and with organisations which support asylum seeking children in Wales, to make sure the information included was relevant for the young people, and easy to understand.
Siȃn Pearce, an experienced solicitor in the field of children seeking asylum in Wales and who has supported the revisions to the guides, said: “This is an extremely exciting project to be involved with. As part of its commitment to being a Nation of Sanctuary Wales has a real opportunity to develop child-centred approaches to working with children who are navigating the asylum system, and this is just the beginning.”
Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan said: “I am delighted we have been able to work with the Children’s Legal Centre Wales to develop child-friendly, accessible information which outlines the rights and entitlements of unaccompanied asylum seeking children and young people in Wales, alongside developing vital information to support social workers and foster carers working with these children and young people. I look forward to developing further tailored provision to support these children as they adapt to arriving in Wales.”
Hannah Bussicott, Children’s Legal Centre Manager explained the next steps: “Children seeking asylum in Wales have may have travelled here alone, looking for safety. Developing these clear and accessible guides is a vital part of ensuring that those children are respected, informed and safe, and that those looking after them are armed with the information they need.”
“Over the next three years, we are with - Welsh Government and Swansea University support - developing informative, child-friendly videos, pan-Wales professional training, policy advocacy activity and Pledge campaigning, all of which will help ensure that Wales truly is a Nation of Sanctuary.”
To book a place on the professional training and for updates on the video please visit the Children’s Legal Centre Website.