Jules has been supporting children as a foster carer for Capstone for over 9 years in Westward Ho. Jules wanted to do something to support unaccompanied refugee children after reports emerged of 1500 children living in desperate conditions in Calais once the ‘Jungle’ was destroyed and burnt down. Children were sleeping in the burnt out and demolished camp, with no water, little food and Jules responded to a social media campaign by ‘Calais Action’ requesting donations of food and belongings to support the young people. Eventually the children were accounted for by French authorities, and the plan was to move them to the UK once legislation was agreed.
“Firstly I wanted to get people together on the Westward Ho Community Facebook page to donate a welcome present for the children to help them feel accepted here. I rang the Mayor and councillor of Torrington who thought it was a wonderful idea and thanked me. She suggested if I was going to do anything would I ask for clothes shoes toiletries etc. I also asked the locals to write some welcome cards, they responded, the cards were fantastic, so very thoughtful and kind.
I always put myself in others shoes and just can’t imagine how traumatised these children must feel coming here standing up in the clothes they were wearing. I’m so glad I was able to help these young people with the support of my the community.”
Jules collected trainers, clothes and toiletries. The items were donated to North Devon Refuge Solidarity Group in preparation of the arrival of children. It’s likely that many unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) will be looked after in time by foster carers, and we support our foster carers very closely to look after unaccompanied and refugee children and young people. Our training covers topics to help foster carers:
- understand the legal status and position of unaccompanied asylum seeking and refugee children
- identify the complex and diverse needs of this group of children and the possible ways of meeting these needs
- understand the impact of the “refugee-making” process and the role of carers in this
- describe the impact of trauma, loss and separation on children and young people
- consider the impact on carers and the specific skills that may be needed to care for unaccompanied asylum seeking and refugee children.
There are many ways that you can support children children in crisis, from both home and abroad. If fostering is something you are interested we would like to hear from you.