About the Children′s Section

About the Children's Section

  • The Refugee Council Children’s Section is the only national service of its kind offering advice and support to unaccompanied children seeking asylum.
  • In 2017, 2206 unaccompanied children sought asylum in the UK.
  • The Children’s Section support around 500 separated children each month, either by working directly with them or liaising with other professionals offering indirect support.
  • We also receive around 200 referrals every month from statutory and voluntary organisations, as well as directly from children themselves. 
  • The Children’s Section is made up of a team of multi-lingual OISC registered Advisors who offer asylum and welfare support to separated children, young people seeking asylum who are under the age of 18 as well as trafficked children and children who are age disputed and held in detention.
  • Advisors also help with other issues such as foster placements, getting young people into education, trying to help them locate their family, health issues or simply being someone with whom they can talk when there is no one else they can turn to.
  • Our trained therapists also offer one to one therapy and psycho-educational groups to unaccompanied children.

 Statistics & Demographics

  • For the latest asylum statistics, including those for unaccompanied children and children in detention please click here.
  • The top countries of origin are: Eritrea, Sudan, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Iraq, Iran, Albania, Ethiopia and Syria.
  • Boys make up just under 90% of those accessing our services, with girls just over 10%.
  • The majority are aged between 14 and 17 years of age but we do work with younger children.


Separated Children in Europe Programme

The Refugee Council is also a partner in the Separated Children in Europe Programme. Together with Save the Children UK, and UNHCR (London office), we work with the programme to inform and influence policy and practice in this field from a UK perspective. The Programme produces a number of good practice guides and policy positions on a range of issues affecting separated children across Europe.

Click here to find out more.