Following ‘news’ that two refugees connected with the Parsons Green tube bombing had been in foster care, TACT is concerned that some may use this as an excuse to demonise vulnerable refugee and asylum-seeking children.
Andy Elvin, Chief Executive of TACT urges those considering caring for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children not to be deterred by the media attention around the case’s links with fostering.
Andy said: ” This case is very unusual and in no way representative of the thousands of considerate and community-minded unaccompanied young people in foster care across the UK. I hope that people are not put off coming forward to become foster carers for refugee children or vulnerable UK children.”
TACT’s experience is that unaccompanied asylum-seeking children tend to be grateful for the opportunities offered and highly value the education and care they receive. Many go on to make a very positive contribution to UK society.
TACT foster carer Val Smith is among many who have found fostering young refugees very rewarding. She has looked after a succession of boys, mostly from Afghanistan, who have all thrived in her care and gone on to useful and productive lives.
Val said: “I feel so lucky that I was given the opportunity to care for and help asylum seeking boys. I choose to foster them because they do not have anyone else to care for them and they really appreciate all the help they are given. I am extremely proud of all they have achieved. And they are all appalled by terrorism”.
Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are deserving of our love, support, care and compassion. It should be noted that the overwhelming majority of recent terror attacks have been carried out by men born in the UK who grew up in their birth families.
Andy Elvin said: “TACT cannot understand why the media felt it was appropriate to publicise the identities of the selfless foster carers who have opened their home to so many vulnerable children over the years. It is unfair and not in the public interest.”
You can read more from Andy on this subject in the Guardian by clicking here.