The report is the result of an online questionnaire first developed in March, as well as presentations and group discussions held at an ESN seminar in October. The questionnaire was submitted to public social services, local authorities and third sector organisations working with migrants and migrant children. Thanks to the questionnaire, ESN also learned of specific practices in relevant areas of work with migrant children and young people which were then presented at ESN’s seminar and are included in the report.

The report explores the issues that emerged as crucial for social services when supporting the integration of migrant children and young people in their host societies. After an initial overview of reception of migrant children in Europe, the care and support available for unaccompanied children were analysed. Specifically, access to key services such as accommodation, healthcare, psychosocial support and education plus the coordination of these services through a guardian were reviewed.

The publication also discusses the barriers and success factors connected to the integration of children of refugee families, as well as best practice in terms of support for young migrants turning 18 with a focus on aftercare plans and access to education and vocational qualifications.

Each chapter includes practice examples that illustrate how peers from other countries are supporting the social inclusion of unaccompanied children, migrant families and young refugees. Practices include:

  • access to healthcare for unaccompanied migrant children in Melilla (ES),
  • education for unaccompanied migrant children in Dublin (IE),
  • support for single mothers in the city of Hannover (DE),
  • vocational trainings offered in the Youth College in Vienna (AT),
  • flat shares between young refugees and Flemish buddies in Antwerp (BE).