A Family Reunited: Helping Asylum Seekers through Family Tracing
A true account written by one of our foster carers regarding the young person placed with her finding their family.
Reuniting Families: Humanity In Action
I currently care for 2 unaccompanied asylum seekers, both from Afghanistan. After a few months of being in the UK, myself and one of the boys approached the Red Cross family tracing service to see if they could help trace his family back in Afghanistan. A few meeting took place, maps drawn, names of people and places forwarded on to the Red Cross workers in Afghanistan. My YP was very concerned about his family as he had no idea of what had happened to his family, after he had fled. After 11 months of waiting last week we got a very rushed, excited call from the Red Cross; stating they have a very strong lead on a family and believe it to be my YP’s family. The next morning first thing we went to the Red Cross, where they spoke with my YP and then made the call.
An Emotional Reunion
After 20 months of having no idea about his family, he got to speak to his mum, brothers and other family members! They were all safe and well and were looking for him, with help from a charity in Pakistan.
It was an amazing moment to witness, and to be a part of the whole process. The relief and absolute joy on my YP’s face, will stay with me forever. They have exchanged numbers and emails with the help of the Red Cross, so they can maintain contact.
Give asylum seeking children a home away from home.
The Power of Community
When my other YP arrived in the UK 12 months ago, he knew he had a brother in the UK. Although he had no idea where in the country he was, as there had been no contact for seven years!
After my YP had been in the UK for a couple of months he started to find other Afghan boys, and realised there was quite a big community of people from Afghanistan. He started to ask around about his brother, although he had no date of birth and their surnames were different. I got a phone number for the elder of the Afghan community and spoke with him on the phone. He had been expecting my call, as he had heard about a boy looking for his brother. To my surprise he knew my YP’s brother as he himself had been in foster care in the same city! But was now living independently 25 miles away. I passed on my number to the elder, and less than 24 hours later my YP’s brother called me!
This again was an amazing moment. After a few checks were done, and social workers were happy, they were reunited in my house. They had been separated for seven long years, and NEVER thought they would see each other again! They now have regular contact and are very happy.
Never Give Up
I wanted to write these two incredible stories to encourage and give hope to any other person looking for family or friends. It IS possible and please don’t give up trying.
By Shanine – Foster Carer Compass Central
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