Unaccompanied minor refugees in the Child welfare services 2011
This report describes unaccompanied minor refugees in the Child welfare services in 2007 and 2011. Unaccompanied minor refugees are persons below 18 years, not accompanied by their parents, who have applied for asylum and are granted residence in Norway based on this application.
In 2007 the total number of unaccompanied minor refugees was 1 323 and 470 of these received child welfare services. In 2011 the number unaccompanied minor refugees was 2 970 and 1 746 of these received measures from the Child welfare services. This means that both the total number of unaccompanied minor refugees and the number receiving measures from the Child welfare services have increased. The share of unaccompanied minor refugees with measures from the Child welfare services has seen a pronounced increase from 36 to 59 percent from 2007 to 2011.
The share of unaccompanied minor refugees under 15 years with measures is higher than for those older than 15 years. More boys than girls are registered as unaccompanied minor refugees in both 2007 and 2011, respectively a share of 71 and 84 percent. The unaccompanied minor refugees with measures from the Child welfare services was also dominated by boys, having a share of 73 percent in 2007 and 86 percent in 2011.
Of unaccompanied minor refugees with measures from the Child welfare services in 2011 almost 93 percent was older than 15 years. The share above 18 years who still received measures was much higher among unaccompanied minor refugees than for all children and youth in the Child welfare services, respectively 58 and 12 percent.
The unaccompanied minor refugees principally came from six countries both in 2007 and 2011. These countries are: Afghanistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Eritrea, Iraq and Ethiopia. Afghanistan covered 60 percent and Somalia 13 percent in 2011, and in 2007 the order was opposite, Somalia covered 30 percent and Afghanistan 22 percent.
Of the unaccompanied minor refugees who received child welfare services in 2011, a share of 63 percent came from Afghanistan, and 10 percent came from Somalia followed by Sri Lanka, Eritrea, Iraq and Ethiopia with shares of 7 percent and lower. In 2007 the shares were 29 percent from Somalia and 24 percent from Afghanistan.
The unaccompanied minor refugees are living in all counties in Norway. In 2011 Oslo, Akershus and Nordland had the highest total figures, but Finnmark had the highest share; followed by Troms, Aust-Agder and Nordland. On average almost 60 percent of the unaccompanied minor refugees received measures from the Child welfare services, but there was marked differences among the counties here. In Hordaland, Finnmark and Akershus the share of unaccompanied minor refugees receiving measures was more than 70 percent, but in Vest-Agder, Nord-Trøndelag less than 35 percent received child welfare measures.
The most commonly used child welfare measures during 2011 among the unaccompanied minor refugees were economic assistance and housing with support which respectively 59 and 55 percent received. In addition the measure leisure activity and education/work was more common when compared with all children in the Child welfare service.
Unaccompanied minor refugees are younger than 18 years when they arrive in Norway, therefore they often receive placement measures from the Child welfare service. The most commonly used placement measures were own housing and housing with support, and at the end of 2011 76 percent received one of these two measures. At the same time 14 percent lived in a foster home and 10 percent in an institution.