West Dunbartonshire to support refugee children on their own

Posted: 7th March 2022

A new service to support unaccompanied refugee and asylum-seeking children has been launched in West Dunbartonshire.

Funded by the Scottish Government New Scots Integration Fund, the new service, which launched in January, is being run by Barnardo’s Scotland in partnership with Renfrewshire Council and West Dunbartonshire Council.

The focus will be on supporting the wellbeing and mental health of children and young people, who may often be here alone, as well as helping them integrate into the local community.

A key component of the service will also be to use Barnardo’s B-Wild approach, which offers children and young people the chance to benefit from outdoor learning and activities, outdoor play and therapeutic practice in nature.

Martin Crewe, director for Barnardo’s Scotland, said: “We are proud to be working in Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire to be providing this essential service to help these children and young people settle in Scotland.

“We can’t imagine what some of these young people may have experienced in their journey to start a new life here. The aim of this service is not for them to forget what they have been through, but to provide a positive environment that celebrates their culture and makes them feel welcome and supported, whilst exploring with them what their local area has to offer.

“It is vital that these young people feel part of their new community and our staff will work alongside them to help them to look towards a positive future.”

Bailie Denis Agnew, chair of West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Barnardo’s and Renfrewshire Council in this new initiative.

“The opportunities to be involved in this shared area of work will add significant value to the support offered to unaccompanied young people who reside within our area.

“We are looking forward to the chance to shape support that will help to close a gap in the provision around mental health.”

Barnardo’s Scotland works with more than 16,300 children and young people in over 140 specialised community-based services across Scotland.

Their work includes fostering and adoption services and support; helping children break free from sexual exploitation; supporting young people leaving care; helping young people into employment and helping children living in poverty.


Source: Clydebankpost

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