Citizens of nowhere? Paradoxes of state parental responsibility for unaccompanied migrant children in the UK

Meloni, Francesca and Humphris, Rachel (2019) Citizens of nowhere? Paradoxes of state parental responsibility for unaccompanied migrant children in the UK. Journal of Refugee Studies. ISSN 0951-6328 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1093/jrs/fez037

Abstract

Social workers are confronted with a contradictory task: that of acting as state parents for unaccompanied asylum seeking children, in an era of hostile migration policies and austerity. Mobilizing Young’s (2006) concept of ‘responsibility’ we ask: how is state parental responsibility towards unaccompanied minors given meaning, and with what consequences, for both frontline workers and unaccompanied minors alike? Drawing on interviews with frontline workers and unaccompanied minors in the UK (n = 107), we delineate three modes through which responsibility operates: namely outcomes, capacity and morality. We argue that the underlying logic of responsibility shifts the blame from sociopolitical structures to migrant children themselves, with crucial consequences for questions of social justice.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Unaccompanied minors, children, migration, responsibility, duty of care, policy, social workers
Subjects: L500 Social Work
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2019 10:03
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2019 15:45
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/38851

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