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Young refugee fostering campaign launches in Yorkshire

Young refugee fostering campaign launches in Yorkshire

News item 05 June 2019:



Press release

Yorkshire and Humber urgently needs more foster carers for unaccompanied young refugees. Migration Yorkshire has launched Welcoming Young Refugees, a new campaign to encourage more people in the region to become foster carers.

At the event in Leeds, Lord Alf Dubs delivered a keynote speech, concluding: “It’s our job to give people hope.” Among the Jewish children rescued by the Kindertransport before WWII, Lord Dubs is now a member of the House of Lords and life-long advocate for refugees. “Young people are entitled to be helped by us to have a life, to have safety, to have love and affection. To get on with things, instead of this fearful existence, worried about their safety every night,” he told Look North.

Almost 90% of young refugees are boys in their mid to late teens and the number arriving in Yorkshire and Humber has increased significantly since 2018.

One of the most important factors for young refugees’ future well-being can be a foster carer. Last month the Home Office acknowledged this by announcing a £30 million funding boost to help local authorities provide good quality care for young refugees, in particular for 16 and 17 year olds.

Hossein and his foster carer Sally, with Lord Dubs at the Welcoming Young Refugees launch.

Many foster carers find that the young person brings unexpected benefits to their lives. Sally from Leeds fosters Hossein, a Kurdish refugee, who is now studying performing arts: “It was one of the best things we have ever done. Hossein brought sunshine, enthusiasm and fun into our lives. He filled a space that we didn’t even know existed. My daughter had always hated being an only child; suddenly she had a little brother, and her dad had a son.”

Hossein says of his foster family: "I'm so glad that they are in my life, always here for me no matter what. It's not easy to let someone into your house without knowing anything about them. They opened the door for me, gave me freedom and trusted me with everything.”

“We’re calling on people across Yorkshire and Humber to find out more about the campaign and take the first step to support a young refugee,” said Dave Brown, Head of Migration Yorkshire. “These courageous young people have a lot to give and a foster placement is the first step towards a successful life in the UK.”

Hossein, pictured with his foster carers Steve and Sally.

Anyone can apply to become a foster carer, as long as they are aged over 21, with a spare room and permanent leave to remain or British citizenship. Foster carers are paid and receive training and support.

Apply online or find out more about Welcoming Young Refugees at:


Notes to editors

Unaccompanied young refugees

Unaccompanied young refugees are children or young people who find themselves alone and seeking protection in the UK, separated from their families or carers. Some were trafficked and rescued from exploitation. Others have refugee status or are in the asylum process. In 2018, nearly 3000 claimed asylum in the UK, having left their countries of origin due to conflict, persecution, political instability or other reasons. Home Office statistics show that 74% are aged 16–17, 21% are 14–15, 2% are under 14.

Foster Care Fortnight

Foster Care Fortnight is the UK's biggest foster carer recruitment campaign, running from 13 to 26 May. Led by the Fostering Network, the annual campaign aims to raise the profile of fostering and to show how foster care transforms lives. See

Migration Yorkshire

Migration Yorkshire is a local authority-led regional migration partnership. We work with national government, local government, and others to ensure that Yorkshire and Humber can deal with, and benefit from, migration. We work with agencies across the statutory, voluntary, community and private sectors to help support the delivery of high quality services to migrants in a way that benefits everyone living in local communities. Visit




Page last updated:29/08/2019 06:46:16

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