The Project Unaccompanied Minors (UAM) is a project developed by Antwerp's public social services to assist unaccompanied minors aged 16 to 18. These minors become recognized refugees or beneficiaries of subsidiary protection during the asylum process. The program provides minors with tailored support and guidance. This personalized service includes: • financial guidance (how to live on a limited budget), • administrative guidance (social security, bills, bank accounts, etc.), • social integration support, • psychosocial support (how to deal with traumatic experiences, self-harm, etc.), • education (registering in special classes, parents meetings, etc.), and • home visits.
Apart from individual support, the program also provides group services such as: • leisure (sports activities), • peer education, • thematic sessions (health, administration, etc.), • holidays and cultural activities, • open house system, and • educational support (language classes, homework help).
When young people reach the age of 18, social workers guide them towards the regular social welfare system.
These young people are also being prepared to work as group workers for the program if they choose to do so.
In 2012, 103 children participated in the project. At the time the project was presented in 2013, the number was 79, with 8 new applicants each month and an overall goal of 150 participants for that year. The majority of the minors in the project were from Afghanistan.
Aims: Supporting the integration of unaccompanied minors into society; Offering them guidance and assistance in the process of integration.