Inside our first Young Asylum Guide workshop

News

On 17 May 2024, Right to Remain hosted our first ever workshop on the Young Asylum Guide. We were delighted to be joined by many new faces, and to introduce ourselves and the Young Asylum Guide to a new audience!

The Young Asylum Guide is an innovative resource designed for unaccompanied children going through the asylum system in the UK. It follows the model of our Asylum Navigation Board, in presenting a visual guide through the asylum process. 

This workshop follows our Young Asylum Guide ‘Relaunch’ Event in September 2023, where we shared the newly updated resource, shared our intention to develop a brand new workshop on it, and heard from experts working in the field.

What happened in the workshop?

After introducing the work of Right to Remain, and the resource, we explained how the Young Asylum Guide is designed to be used. 

We covered how the Young Asylum Guide:

  • is best used on your phone (as are all of Right to Remain’s resources!)
  • is a visual guide through the asylum process, with information about every stage
  • has problem and action cards, with common problems that might occur 
  • has ‘People who can help’ section, with the names and job titles of people in a child’s life
  • is beautifully illustrated, by children going through the asylum system! 

Once all participants were familiar with the resource, we considered different scenarios in which the Young Asylum Guide could be used to support a young person. Using the guide, participants considered how they might be able to support a young person in this situation. In breakout rooms, participants discussed scenarios such as:

The young person you are supporting is worried about going through an age dispute process, and asks you for help. They have heard from friends that the Home Office may take scans of their body and they are frightened about this.

The young person you are supporting is 17 and a half, and has come to you with a letter that says their asylum claim has been refused. What can you do to help?

Participants found the answers to these questions in the Young Asylum Guide, and discussed best practice together. 

A space for information sharing

As well as sharing Right to Remain resources, we were also able to use this workshop to share the resources of other organisations working with unaccompanied young people. 

We heard from Adrian Sell, at the Refugee Council who shared the Refugee Council’s work on age assessments, and plans to create a toolkit for working with young people. 

We also highlighted important resources, such as the asylum support advice network (ASAN) mailing list, the amazing work of Social Workers Without Borders, and a report by the charity Young Roots called ‘They made me feel like myself’.

We also shared a helpful best practice guide on age assessments from the British Association of Social Workers (BASW).

What were we hoping to achieve with this workshop? 

We specifically tailored the workshop to public sector workers who work with young people (including support workers, social workers, carers, and teachers). As a result, the majority of attendees were not familiar with Right to Remain’s work, and had not personally used the Toolkit before. 

Many workshop attendees work in public sector roles, outside of the asylum and migration support sector. This is incredibly important, particularly as Right to Remain workshops aim to build radical solidarity with people in other areas. 

Because most attendees were people working outside of the traditional migrant support sphere, this contributed to our vision of knowledge and radical solidarity outside of the usual spaces. 

This workshop was during ‘Operation Vector’, the Home Office action to detain people under Rwanda powers. As a result, there were questions about how the Rwanda plan might impact young people, and we were able to share our blog summarising the Rwanda Act/Treaty. 

Immigration is a fast changing area of law, and there remains a huge amount of uncertainty around the implementation of the ‘Illegal Migration Act’, and its possible impact on unaccompanied children in the UK. We have newly updated the Young Asylum Guide, with links to a helpful guide for young people in understanding how the Illegal Migration Act might affect them.

Thanks to all the participants for a great session, and get in touch with us if you’d like to attend a future session on the Young Asylum Guide!

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