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  • 1.
    Khan, Ivan
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences.
    Holmström, Maja
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences.
    "Att hjälpa är att lära": En kvalitativ studie om betydelsen av socialt stöd för ensamkommande flyktingungdomar2012Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Every year a great amount of unaccompanied children flee their homelands without their parents or guardians. This means a journey filled with danger and difficulties. The difficulties don’t only exist during the road ahead but also when the children arrive to the new country. Even if Sweden’s work in receiving refugees is one of the best in the world, it still exist problems. The support work with unaccompanied children is done on different levels in society. The work performed nearest to the individuals takes place at the asylum- permanent residence accommodation where the youth are placed after the decision if they can stay in the country or not. We will in this essay illustrate how the support work with unaccompanied children in the age 13-18 looks like and what effect social support has on the adolescent’s identity development. By visiting two agencies that have asylum- permanent residence accommodation we carried out four interviews with professionals who work on a daily base with the young people. Based on the informant’s narratives and interpretations of the young people’s experiences, we seek to gain knowledge of their situation, both physically and psychologically. We investigated the circumstances behind the feeling of security, how reliance is formed and how social support can help the children’s sense of coherence. We use both crises theory, identity theory and the theory of SOC (sense of coherence) to analyze the informants´ stories. The results of this study show that social support is highly important for a child’s identity development. It is the professional who work on a daily base closely to the children who often symbolize the essence of social support. It’s through their work a safe environment is established and upheld. Identity is shaped through social relationships within groups where solidarity and a mutual confidence exist. We have also acknowledged some deficiencies in the structure of the support work, for example regarding which premises are the young individuals expected to adapt to the Swedish society. The adaption and adjustment has become an obligation for the young individuals rather than for the society.

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