Foster carers’ narrative; Looking after unaccompanied refugee children in the UK

Prof Doc Thesis

Chowdhury, H. 2022. Foster carers’ narrative; Looking after unaccompanied refugee children in the UK. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsChowdhury, H.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

As the number of refugees increases, the number of unaccompanied refugee children (URC) seeking asylum have continued to surge too as war, famine, and political issues are endless. Following a difficult and often traumatic journey into the United Kingdom (UK) the URC are often placed into foster homes; yet little is known about the foster placements they are placed in as the research in this area is sparse. The current literature has failed to capture the foster carer’s experience of looking after a niche group of children. This study hopes to offer a valuable insight into how we can understand their needs by adopting a narrative thematic method to hear their stories. The research was carried out with five Tower Hamlet foster carers who have had at least one URC in their placement. Each participant engaged in one semi-structured interview which was conducted online due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The interviews were recorded, transcribed by the researcher, and then analysed using narrative thematic analysis, focusing on the stories they shared about their experiences of looking after URC. The analysis found five shared narratives; ‘understanding culture’, ‘accepting help’, ‘feeling safe’, ‘our skills’, and ‘duty to help’ and one uncommon narrative ‘abusing the system’, in which foster carers described their experience.

KeywordsUnaccompanied Refugee Minors; Foster Care
PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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Publication dates
Online03 May 2023
Publication process dates
Submitted17 Oct 2022
Deposited03 May 2023
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License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
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