This paper presents a participatory action research project, which engaged a group of unaccompanied asylum seeking young people in a photo-voice project. The research took place in the south west of England with young people who attended an peer support group, facilitated by a charitable fostering agency. The agency was experiencing difficulties in recruiting enough new foster carers who were willing to look after young people seeking asylum, there was also some reluctance from their existing carers to foster this group too. Practitioners in the agency felt that some of the carers held negative perceptions and stereotypes about refugee and asylum seekers, which prevented them from offering placements. The aim of this project was to help shift these perceptions through a photo-voice project. To achieve this, the young people took photographs to show aspects of the day-to-day lives that were important to them, in order to de-mystify the labels of refugees and asylum seekers. The photographs were then used to provide the young people a voice and this had an impact in two key ways; Firstly, the images were presented to a focus group of seven existing foster carers in order to better inform their understanding of this groups day to experiences in foster care; Secondly, the photographs were developed into posters, which were shown at community events and exhibited in community spaces during refugee week, in order to generate wider interest in fostering unaccompanied asylum seeking children. This engagement with the agency and the young people is ongoing and plans are in place to collaborate on the design and delivery of social worker and carer training and to develop future research proposal.
|Publication status||Published - 23 May 2017|
|Event||International Conference on Practice Research - Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong|
Duration: 22 May 2017 → 25 May 2017
|Conference||International Conference on Practice Research|
|Period||22/05/17 → 25/05/17|