Please note that there are two different conference venues:
June 14/15 - Century City Conference Centre
June 16 - Kirstenbosch Conference Centre (transportation available)
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Wednesday, June 14 • 18:00 - 20:00
The role of services in facilitating the resilience of unaccompanied asylum seeking minors - Ebony King

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The role of services in facilitating the resilience of unaccompanied asylum seeking minors
Presenter: Ebony King (Griffith University, Australia)
Introduction:  Guided by a social-ecological approach to the resilience of unaccompanied asylum seeking minors (UAMs), this study analyses the role of service providers in connecting UAMs to the “seven tensions” identified by Ungar and colleagues (2008) in the International Resilience Project and which are associated with positive adaptation. Recognizing that UAMs face significant and varied challenges without the support of parents, family or established social networks, services should not only provide access to basic material resources, but also nurture UAMs resilience through facilitating mental health-enhancing experiences that foster positive development and outcomes after significant adversity. This study is the first to investigate the relationship between service provision and the social-ecological facilitation of resilience among UAMs in Australia.
Methods:  This is a qualitative study based on semi-structured interviews and focus groups with both former-unaccompanied asylum seeking minors (aged 18 – 30 years) and service providers. In total, 10 service providers and 12 former UAMs were interviewed and four focus groups were conducted with former UAMs in Victoria, Australia. This study employed a grounded theory approach (with constructivist advances) to data collection and analysis.
Findings:  Three key findings have emerged from preliminary analyses. First, at the level of political ecology, the ability of UAMs physical and social ecologies to provide resources necessary to meet their needs is significantly shaped by distal decisions in policy, legislative, economic and social systems in the context of anti-asylum-seeker (and more specifically, ‘boat people’) political and public sentiment. Second, the quality of service provision was inconsistent across services and within the UAM cohort, which related to issues at the level of macro-, meso- and micro-systems. UAM perspectives reveal that high-quality support from services, programs and community organisations opens-up opportunities to experience the mental health-enhancing experiences associated with positive adaptation in contexts of adversity. Supportive relationships with case workers, teachers, and youth workers not only provided access to material resources, but encouraged the development of positive self-identify, facilitated participation in cultural traditions, provided experiences of social justice and a sense of cohesion with others. The third theme to emerge from the data was the highly agentic nature of UAMs, as they described actively navigating towards the resources that enhanced a sense of wellbeing and which worked towards their goals of educational attainment, contributing to their communities and supporting family members who remained in dangerous situations overseas. Together, these preliminary findings support a multi-systemic, multilevel, political-social-ecological model of resilience that can inform a deeper understanding of the processes that contribute to the resilience of unaccompanied asylum seeking minors.

avatar for Ebony King

Ebony King

PhD Candidate, Griffith University

Wednesday June 14, 2017 18:00 - 20:00 SAST
Century City Conference Centre Western Cape Town, South Africa

Attendees (2)