Could you be a host family for a young asylum seeker?
We are looking for host families to care for unaccompanied young people arriving here from overseas. Aged 16 plus, they are arriving from a range of countries across the Middle East and North Africa as well as Vietnam.
The young people may speak little or no English when they arrive and may have travelled for many months before arriving here. They may have experienced:
- living in refugee camps
- physical and sexual assault on a regular basis
- being trafficked across Europe
- living in war zones
- basic needs not being met (i.e. a lack of food, shelter, clothing or warmth) and
- separation from their families.
Host families provide these young people with a home and support them into independence. Families receive training, support and a financial allowance to help them do this.
Sandra’s* family took in a 16-year-old trafficked Vietnamese boy last year who has now ‘blossomed’ into an incredible young man who has very much become part of their family. She said:
“We have been humbled by the respect, joy and fun that he has brought to our family home. Our own children have learned so much and have gained their own insights into how lucky we are to have our home and our family and friends around us. I would encourage anyone in Edinburgh to get involved with this opportunity.”
Last year John’s* family hosted a 17 year old Vietnamese boy. John said:
“I remember our first meeting when we were introduced to each other by social workers. He seemed to be shy, quiet and very anxious. We were chatting with the help of the interpreter. He wasn’t fluent in English, but more than this, he didn’t feel confident to speak. With the passing weeks and months he became more confident in his new life in Scotland, improved his English and our relationship with him became stronger. He can be more open about his emotions and thoughts.
John found being a host family very rewarding:
“Being a host family is a fascinating and rewarding experience in which both sides – carers and young people – can learn from each other, open minds and build relationships despite cultural and language differences and life’s inevitable challenges.”
To become a host family you need to have a spare room and live in Edinburgh or within travelling distance of the city. It would be helpful to have experience/skills in caring for young people. You can be married, single or in a partnership, employed or unemployed. We welcome enquiries from all cultures and backgrounds.
*names have been changed