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Care for a young asylum seeker

Could you care for an unaccompanied young asylum seeker?  Become a host family with the City of Edinburgh Council and support trafficked and asylum seeking young people into independence. We need homes for young people aged 16-21 years and in return we offer training, support and a maintenance payment.

Read our Frequently Asked Questions  below to find out more:

1. Why do we need host families?

Edinburgh is hosting an increased number of trafficked and asylum seeking young people aged 16+.  These young people require host families who can provide a safe, nurturing environment to support them into independence.

2. Who are the young people seeking asylum?

The young people are aged 16+ from a range of countries across the Middle East and North Africa as well as Vietnam.  These 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)
  • separation from their families.

These young people also face uncertainty about their future life in Britain as their immigration status and right to remain are uncertain.

3. What are the criteria for becoming a carer?

  • You must live in Edinburgh or within travelling distance of the City.
  • You must have a spare room (and permission from your housing provider if in rented accommodation).
  • It would be helpful to have relevant experience/transferrable skills in caring for young people
  • You can be married, single or in a partnership
  • You can be employed/unemployed
  • We welcome enquiries from all cultures and backgrounds
  • You must be available and flexible to work in partnership with other professionals.

4. What’s involved in hosting?

  • The young person may live with you until they are able to safely sustain an independent living situation.
  • Prior to any young person being placed with you we will expect you to attend a two day training course where you will be given information to assist in looking after these traumatised teenagers.
  • We will carry out a number of checks with you and any adult members of your household i.e. health/PVG(police)/personal references/local authority checks.
  • A dedicated social worker will carry out an assessment of you and your family. This assessment will collect evidence of your circumstances and ability to meet these young people.  The recommendation of this assessment is presented to one of the Council’s agency decision makers for their consideration and decision.  Should this recommendation be approved, you will then be allocated a link social worker.
  • We will also provide ongoing social work support, and links to third sector providers for any additional support required.
  • While the young person is living with your family we will pay a maintenance payment to assist with living expenses.

5. What is the process for hosting with Edinburgh?

  • Register your interest by ringing our Fosterline on 0800 174 833  to speak to a member of the team.
  • Should both parties conclude it is appropriate to progress, you will be invited to a one-off group information session.
  • If you are still interested, you will them be invited to attend a two day training event.
  • Following the training event, a designated social worker will be allocated to undertake a host family assessment.
  • Your designated social worker will undertake a number of visits before compiling a report.  This will take approximately 3-4 months
  • Completed assessment reports will be shared with you and our agency decision maker who is responsible for ratifying any recommendation.
  • This report will later serve as a profile when considering matching with a young person.

Call 0800 174 833 or fill in our online enquiry form to find out about becoming a host family with us.