Afshin’s Story

What was the presenting issue?

Afshin (not his real name) was referred to 1625ip by social services as he had arrived in the county as a part of the National transfer scheme and was placed in foster care.  Afshin was 17 years old and appeared to be overwhelmed and uncertain by what was happening to him.  Afshin struggled with the foster care placement he was in and didn’t feel that the foster carers particularly cared for him and at times felt they were cruel.  He was removed from foster care and placed in a crash pad within a supported housing scheme.

 

What did we do?

The UASC support worker met with Afshin to assess his needs and start building a trusting relationship with him.  It was suggested that Afshin may wish to consider a specialist UASC placement within 1625ip’s Supported Lodgings Scheme and that this may give him more of sense of safety and security.  Afshin agreed to meet the Supported Lodgings host family who are Muslim and live near the centre of Bristol.  The initial meeting was very positive, and the matching process began.  Afshin moved in with the host family at the beginning of February this year.

 

Afshin, like most UASC young people, has had to repeat his story of seeking asylum several times and when meeting his solicitor had to do this in some detail.  These stories are inevitably traumatic and for Afshin this had a detrimental impact on his mental health.  The UASC support worker encouraged Afshin to consider accessing specialist mental health (PTSD) support and eventually he agreed.  Together they completed the trauma assessment to refer him into the service.

What strengths did the young person demonstrate?

Afshin has shown some true resilience in the face of adversity.  He has been willing to trust again after experiencing so much trauma and having a negative experience in foster care.  Afshin was willing to try a placement within Supported Lodgings and has set about building a positive relationship with his host family.  This has given him the stability he needs to feel able to access support around his mental health and begin to address the trauma he has been through.  This is especially positive for a UASC young person as generally the idea of mental health and having mental health issues is either a new concept to which they struggle to find the language for or has a negative connotation with their culture.

 

What difference did our intervention make?

When the UASC support worker asked Afshin about how he feels in respect of the support he has received from the UASC project he said, “I thank you very, very much for this new place you found me”.