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Family troubles?Exploring changes and challenges in the family lives of children and young people$
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Jane Ribbens McCarthy, Carol-Ann Hooper, and Val Gillies

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447304432

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447304432.001.0001

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Families left behind: unaccompanied young people seeking asylum in the UK

Families left behind: unaccompanied young people seeking asylum in the UK

(p.223) Chapter Eighteen Families left behind: unaccompanied young people seeking asylum in the UK
Family troubles?

Elaine Chase

June Statham

Policy Press

This chapter focuses on young people who migrate to the UK without other family members. As well as bringing with them troubled memories of traumatic experiences from the past, troubles in the present include isolation, loss of family, emotional and spiritual concerns, and what might be termed ‘external’ factors and systems (i.e. the UK legal and administrative processes through which they incur the stigmatizing label of ‘asylum-seeker’ and an overwhelming uncertainty about whether or not they will be accepted as a UK resident). In these circumstances, the young people’s accounts convey their struggle to cope with a loss of ontological security, expressing their desire to recover a sense of belonging and a level of predictability and routine. Education emerges as a significant source of hope for a potential trajectory of better times ahead, along with a sense of belonging as a more immediate benefit, and thus a sense of purpose and narrative continuity.

Keywords:   Young people, Asylum-seeking, Trauma, Trouble, Belonging, Education

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