foster care for unaccompanied refugee minors

Fostering sanctuary seeking children

When an asylum-seeking young person arrives in the UK, the local authority is responsible for their safety and will find them a suitable foster family.

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There's an increasing number of young refugees arriving in the UK in urgent need of foster care. Fostering an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child is an important role and can be very rewarding.

We’re all aware of global problems and the rising number of refugees. This includes an increasing number of children who arrive in the UK, often without parents, from countries including Albania, Afghanistan, Eritrea and Syria.

Most of these unaccompanied children are aged over 14, and most (88%) are boys. They enter care with local authorities who look to place them with short-term foster parents while the child’s application for asylum is considered and long-term care plans are put in place. These placements offer particular challenges but are crucial in supporting a vulnerable child in need.

Foster parent pay for fostering unaccompanied refugee minors

Foster parent pay for asylum-seeking children

You’ll receive a generous weekly fostering payment for each child in your care, together with other allowances for religious holidays and birthdays, all designed to reward your professionalism and commitment.

Plus, you'll have access to our rewards platform where you can find hundreds of discounts to some of your favourite shops, restaurants and family experiences.

Fostering allowance

fostering unaccompanied refugee minors

A very special challenge

The challenges faced when fostering sanctuary-seeking children are often different from other types of fostering. Clearly, there’s the question of language, culture and religion - with many children being unable to speak English. Similarly, the culture they are entering is alien to them, and the whole experience can be bewildering.

Importantly, many of these children and young people have been witness to wars, famine and violence, and many have been on a long and exhausting journey. All have been separated from their families and might not know where they are – or even if their family is still alive. They will be anxious and homesick and, on top of all this, they’ll be facing an uncertain future while their application for asylum is being considered. This in itself involves a long legal process.

As a foster carer, your role is to provide a safe, loving and stable home and help steer the child through the challenges of living in a new country and starting the next stage of their life – all the while encouraging them to maintain contact with their own culture and roots.

Support and training

Part of your role as a foster parent for sanctuary-seeking children is to help them cope with their traumatic experiences while applying for the right to live in the UK.

To support you, you’ll have access to our team which includes therapists specialising in trauma, as well as educationalists, social workers and legal experts. We also offer training to help you understand more about the culture and experiences of the children in your care, on top of all the other standard foster parent training.

Are you suited to fostering sanctuary-seeking children?

To foster unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, you’ll need the skills and qualities all foster parents need. Ideally, we’d like foster parents from a range of cultures, backgrounds and abilities to speak different languages, but we also rely on other qualities – including compassion and understanding of the trauma they’ve experienced.

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Other types of fostering

emergency foster care


This type of fostering provides care to a vulnerable child in an emergency, such as domestic violence.

Find out more

keeping siblings together in foster care


There's a real shortage of individuals who can provide siblings with a loving home so they can stay together.

Find out more

Fostering teenagers


There are many teenagers in care who need unconditional love and support during this critical stage of their life. 

Find out more

Parent and child fostering

Parent & child

Foster parents provide a home to a young expectant mum or a vulnerable parent and their young child.

Find out more

Speak to our team

Whether you’re ready to start your journey or just want to chat to an expert, we're here to talk.

Please make sure you read our terms and conditions because you're agreeing to them by submitting an enquiry. It's also worth reading our privacy policy and cookies policy so you understand how we collect and use your personal data.

Ready to start your fostering journey?

By phone

One of our team is available to talk to you over the phone to answer any of your fostering queries.

0800 369 8513

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Your local office

We have local teams covering most of England. Find your local office today.

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