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Host families sought for young unaccompanied asylum seekers

Perth & Kinross Council is seeking people locally who would be willing to act as host families for young unaccompanied asylum seekers.

Alongside other local authorities in Scotland, the Council has a responsibility to meet the needs of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) who are arriving daily in the UK.

The majority of the young people arriving as asylum seekers are 16 or 17 years old, may have travelled for many months before arriving in the UK and may have experienced very difficult and traumatic living circumstances including time in refugee camps, separation from their families, being victims of human trafficking, physical and sexual abuse and their basic needs generally not being met. Many of them also face uncertainty about their future life in Britain while their immigration status and right to remain are determined.

They need safe and supportive environments that living with a host family can bring to help them prepare to lead independent lives.

Potential carers for young unaccompanied asylum seekers in Perth and Kinross can be married, single or in a partnership. Carers must have a spare room available (and permission from their housing provider if living in rented accommodation) and be ready to work in partnership with other professionals to provide support. Relevant experience or skills in caring for young people would also be very helpful. Enquiries will be welcomed from all ethnic groups and cultures.

Young people will live with their host families until they are able to move on to independent living, which can be a period of time between 6 and 12 months. Potential host families will go through a detailed assessment to ensure they are best placed to meet the needs of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and once confirmed will go through training. Carers will receive ongoing support alongside the young person they are caring for. Perth & Kinross Council will  pay host families an allowance to assist with living expenses whilst the young person will receive financial support themselves.

To register your interest in becoming a host family, please call Sarah from the Council's Throughcare and Aftercare Team on 01738 783466 or email supportedlodgings@pkc.gov.uk.