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Children from all backgrounds might need the love and support of a foster carer at some time.

But this is especially true of child refugees or unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (sometimes referred to as UASC).

What does UASC mean?

The Home Office definition of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children is: children who are outside their country of origin to seek asylum in the United Kingdom, are separated from parents and relatives, and are not in the care of someone who is responsible for doing so.

UASC are often over 15, but some are younger. The majority are boys and come from various countries though recently the main ones have been Afghanistan, Iran, Eritrea, Somalia, and China. Conflict zones also see children leaving, such as Syrian children.

UASC have the right to a school place, they need access to medical appointments and counselling services as well as a safe and stable household.

Foster carers have an important part to play in supporting young refugees through the asylum process; from helping with practical issues such as ensuring young people are supported to attend meetings and interviews with their solicitor and the Home Office, to emotional support for children and young people going through the asylum system, which is extremely stressful.

You are providing the young people with safety, support, and a chance to recover from trauma they experienced in their past. In turn, this will give the young people the necessary tools to take on the challenges that lie ahead.

Nexus foster carers Sylvia and Denis cared for a UASC. Heres what they had to say:

"A 15-year-old unaccompanied asylum seeker came to our care two years ago. When we first met MA we found that he could not speak one English word. When we greeted him in his first language, he was thrilled as if he was lost and then found himself again. He was illiterate in his first language with no previous knowledge of schooling.

But with our support and effort he has managed to turn his life around. He attended the school and is doing really well. He is planning to go to the college next September. We are proud of him as he has a real future ahead of him."

If you think you could offer safety and stability to an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child, contact your local Nexus Fostering team today for more information.