Researchers issue a policy brief recommendation on the housing of unaccompanied minors

Submitted on Wed, 05/10/2017 - 13:44

The TRUST research project, which is working with unaccompanied minors who seek asylum, issued a recommendation concerning the housing arrangements of unaccompanied children and youths in Finland. The recommendation highlights the importance of needs-based planning of the housing arrangements for these minors.

The policy brief recommends the following key issues:

• Family group homes should be seen as only one housing option among many.
• The foster care of unaccompanied minors should increase and the principles of fostering be made clearer.
• Binding regulations on the number of staff in supported housing are needed.
• Supported housing for youths who are becoming adults, i.e. who are at a transition point in their lives, should be developed.
• Obstacles to independent living should be removed.

“At present, housing arrangements of unaccompanied children and youths are not supporting their needs to become independent actors while growing up in Finland,” says Docent Anna-Kaisa Kuusisto-Arponen, leader of the TRUST project.

“Moreover, at the moment, unaccompanied minors are not receiving the social support they would need in order to integrate into Finnish society. They are especially lacking trustworthy adult contacts and friendships with their Finnish peers,” Kuusisto-Arponen continues.

In the recent years, thousands of unaccompanied minors have sought asylum in Finland.

Strengthening the social support of unaccompanied minors would require a cross-sectoral approach in order to enable co-operation between, among others, teachers, care providers and personnel in child and youth work. The Academy of Finland-funded TRUST research project is producing information in co-operation with these minors and the professionals who work with them. The project focuses on the everyday life of the young asylum seekers.

TRUST is generating understanding and practical tools for acknowledging, recognising and supporting unaccompanied minors in their new home countries. TRUST will conduct pilot projects and experiments in Finland, Sweden, Germany and Australia. The project is producing knowledge on the social integration and sense of belonging of the refugee children, which can be utilised in developing the care practices and governance processes.

The policy recommendation (only in Finnish), May 2017

Authors

TRUST, the Academy of Finland Key Project, Anna-Kaisa Kuusisto-Arponen, Kristiina Korjonen-Kuusipuro, Jaakko Tuominen and the Dwellers in Agile Cities (DAC) project in the Strategic Research Programme of the Academy of Finland

The website of the TRUST research project

For more information, please contact:
Docent Anna-Kaisa Kuusisto-Arponen, leader of the TRUST project
tel. +358 40 190 4019, anna.kaisa.kuusisto@uta.fi
Faculty of Management, University of Tampere