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Empowering Unaccompanied Children in Everyday Life in a New Country: A Resilience Support Centre in Sweden Evaluated from the Perspective of Program Theory
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare. (Samproduktionsforskning inom hälsa och välfärd)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9496-4342
Mälardalen Research Center, Sweden. (MRC)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8690-3002
2016 (English)In: Revista de Asistenta Sociala, ISSN 1583-0608, Social Work Review, ISSN 1583-0608, Vol. 15, no 2, 35-56 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children coming to Sweden are almost all fleeing from violent or threatening situations in their home country and have been sent abroad for their protection. They form a specific growing group of children looked after by local authorities in kinship foster families, network foster families or traditional foster families, as well as in small institutions (HVB-hem) or interim accommodation (Mellanbo) as preparation for independent living. This study explores success factors and impeding factors in a social work intervention for empowering unaccompanied children at a support centre for daily activities in a Swedish municipality from a program-theory perspective. The unaccompanied children in this study are staying in foster families. The data was collected at the centre and with a mixed method design. The results show that unaccompanied children’s relationships with other children improved; they developed their ability to plan and adapt; some of them started to attend regular schools; and traumatic experiences were processed to some extent. All of these can be interpreted as increased empowerment in unaccompanied children’s everyday life. However, there were still significant gaps in participation in clubs and associations and leisure activities, and some children were mentally unwell. Success factors, challenges and risks coexist in a transnational life situation in which most unaccompanied asylum-seeking children continue to interact with their parents and other family members in their home country or another country using modern technology (online parenting).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bucharest, 2016. Vol. 15, no 2, 35-56 p.
Keyword [en]
unaccompanied children, intervention, social work, program theory, migration
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-31270OAI: diva2:911534
Available from: 2016-03-13 Created: 2016-03-13 Last updated: 2016-08-15Bibliographically approved

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Aytar, OsmanBrunnberg, Elinor
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