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How do you think family connections can be used to address the minor’s emotional, psychological and social needs?

Net For U

Forum OIJJ

08/04/2014 - 09:48

How do you think family connections can be used to address the minor’s emotional, psychological and social needs?


It is very important to consider how family tracing can provide useful tools to social assistants and practitioners to get to know the needs of the child and proceed accordingly. First of all, it allows for a better understanding of the youth’s personal history, which includes information regarding the social, educational, economic background, but also regarding personal trauma and fragilities. As a consequence, it is also a necessary step to evaluate the opportunity of return to the context of origin.
On a more practical level, it helps defining the future project of the child, taking into account his/her own expectations and motivations for migrating. Under a social, and even material, point of view, tracing family connections within Europe can provide the youths with concrete support on the territory, besides facilitating a sense of belonging.

Unaccompanied children are a group with very complex and varied needs. Emotionally and psychologically, tracing family connections and facilitating communication can help the youth to be relieved from feelings of loss and homesickness, and to face the integration process more positively. This element seems to be confirmed by the increased number of requests to international search services for family tracing also within the EU territory. This practice also presents social advantages for the child, facilitating integration.

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