Supporting Children in Scotland Seeking Asylum: Guardianship Scotland

The Scottish Government is providing £1million this year and for a further two years to Guardianship Scotland. The service run by Aberlour Children’s Charity and the Scottish Refugee Council provides support for unaccompanied asylum seeking and trafficked children arriving in Scotland.

Catriona MacSween, Head of Guardianship Scotland, said:

“It is wonderful that we can continue to deliver the excellent service. It is testament to the commitment and fantastic work of our guardians who work closely with local authorities and many other organisations to support unaccompanied children and young people.

“Asylum seeking children and victims of trafficking arrive in Scotland alone, confused and scared, having been through unimaginable trauma. We are so pleased that our work has been recognised and we can continue to help them.”

The Guardianship Scotland scheme supports children by accompanying them when they claim asylum and provides them with expert advice.

SallyAnn Kelly OBE, Chief Executive of Aberlour Children’s Charity, said:

“We are thrilled to have been awarded the contract to run Guardianship Scotland.

“Aberlour has worked alongside the Scottish Government, Home Office and local authorities to ensure every unaccompanied asylum seeking child who is a victim of trafficking or potential victim of trafficking has the support of a guardian over the past 12 years. Recently, we have seen a significant rise in the numbers of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and there is an even greater need for the service.

“We are delighted to build on this successful partnership with the Scottish Refugee Council and provide support to more unaccompanied children.”

The scheme will also support children and young people to make their own decisions.

Sabir Zazai OBE, Chief Executive of Scottish Refugee Council said that the service was essential.

“The young people we work with have been through things no child should have to endure. Many have survived human trafficking or fled countries torn apart by war, arriving in Scotland traumatised and alone with no friends or family to take care of them.  

“We are committed to ensuring that every unaccompanied child in Scotland gets a dedicated guardian to support them, speak up for them and be by their side as they rebuild their lives.”

At the launch of the service Scottish Government Minister for Children and Young People Natalie Don said:

“It is a privilege to help launch this new guardianship service, which is another example of how Scotland is offering a welcoming environment to people arriving in our country.

head and shoulders image of Natalie Don

“Arriving alone can have a devastating and lasting impact on the lives of children and young people – so it is vitally important for them to be given access to the care and support they need to help them adjust to their new life here.

“I look forward to working with the Scottish Refugee Council and Aberlour to ensure that we are getting it right for all of the young people in need of our support.”

Leave a Reply