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Host families – FAQs

About the young person (separated child/ an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child)

  • What do I need to provide for a young person? 

    As well as a safe and nurturing home environment, young people will need their own bedroom, access to cooking facilities and food (and perhaps some specific cultural requirements around that) and use of laundry facilities. They may need some assistance with using these facilities initially. Your fee will include funds to meet the cost of utilities, food and consumables.

  • What will I be told in advance about the young person? 

    The nature of the circumstances that have led to the young person seeking asylum means it is unlikely we will know much about them or their background in advance. Along with our multi-agency partners, we will try and find out as much information as we can about the young person. They are likely to be about 16 or 17 years old.

  • How will I be matched with a young person?
    Once we have completed the assessment process, and you have been approved by our panel as a Supported Carer, we will let Dundee City Council know that we can accommodate a young person with you.
  • Who is responsible for the young person?
    The young people are ‘looked after children’ and their welfare is the legal responsibility of Dundee City Council. There will, however, be a planning meeting where agreements are made about day-to-day decision making for the young person when they move in with you.
  • How long will the young person stay with me?
    The young person will need somewhere safe to live while they apply to remain in the UK through the asylum process. This can be a long and process so a young person is likely to be with you for (at least) several months.
  • Will the young person speak English?
    It is unlikely that the young person will speak English. Their social worker will arrange English lessons in the community, or online, and meetings will take place with an interpreter.

About you

  • How old do I have to be?
    You must be over the age of 21.
  • Why do I have to live in Dundee?
    We will be working with young people whom Dundee City Council have committed to supporting. This means that all the resources that they need, such as education and health services, will be provided in Dundee. Ideally, the young people will be given information about Dundee in advance of their arrival so they have some idea of what to expect.
  • What support will I have to help a young person?
    You will be allocated a Supervising Social Worker to support you. You will have regular supervision meetings to discuss how caring is going for you and your family. We also provide 24/7 on-call support where you can always talk to one of our social workers and get advice.We will provide you with training during the assessment process and before the young person arrives in safer caring, child protection, adult protection, trauma and migrant children. You will then have access to our regular training programme as well as support groups with other carers.

    We also have support workers who can offer more intensive one-to-one support to young people and address any specific challenges they are experiencing. This can include life skills, emotional support or coping strategies.

    We have community events throughout the year where you can meet our staff team, other carers and young people which provides an opportunity to get support from your peers.

  • What is the fee that I will receive?
    You will be paid a fee to recognise the time you are offering to support the young person and also to contribute towards the cost of household expenses including the cost of providing accommodation, access to cooking and laundry facilities e.g. rent, utilities, insurance as well as food and some family activities. The fee is paid monthly and is likely to be in excess of £1,000 per month.
  • Do I need experience of supporting young people from overseas?
    You do not need to have supported a young person before as full training will be provided to you. Experience of supporting young people within or from outside your family will be helpful.
  • Can I work when I have a young person living with me?
    Yes. The young person you will be supporting will be aged 16 or 17 when they arrive. As well as helping them settle in the UK, you are also assisting them in learning to live independently.
  • How will you decide I am suitable?
    You will be subject to an assessment process by an allocated social worker which will include disclosure, health and safety, medical and household checks. The process will take around 6 weeks and the decision is made by an independent Approval Panel.

About your family

  • I am single/ married/ living with my partner – is that ok?
    Yes. As long as you have a spare room you can offer a home to a young person regardless of your relationship status.
  • I have children at home. Can we be a host family?
    Yes. We will consider all of your circumstances as part of the assessment process.
  • How will my children be supported to understand the host family arrangement?
    Children and young people can access support from the Support Workers. They can also attend community events and meet other young people who are in similar situations.
  • I have pets at home. Can I have a young person living with me?
    Yes. Pet ownership will be considered during the assessment process to ensure that there are no health and safety issues.

About support for separated children

  • Will the young people receive an allowance?
    Yes. The young person will be paid an allowance directly from the local authority to cover personal costs, e.g. mobile phone, clothing etc. Additionally, depending on their circumstance there may be other allowances they are able to claim, for example if they are in education they will be entitled to a bursary.
  • Do I need to understand the asylum process?
    Not to start with but training will be offered as part of the process.
  • Will the young person be enrolled in school or college?
    The young person is entitled to access appropriate education services which may be in school or college. There are staff employed by Dundee City Council to help facilitate this.

Get in touch

For more information and to ask a question not answered here, email info@carolina.org.uk or call 01382 561279.

If you want to proceed, Submit an Initial Enquiry Form. (Opens in new tab)

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