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Switzerland: Caritas, a call to find foster families for unaccompanied children

Caritas Switzerland is looking for foster families for unaccompanied minors who have come to Switzerland. According to the State Secretariat for migration of the Confederation, 2,736 unaccompanied minors arrived in Switzerland in 2015, seven times as many as those arrived in 2014; 8 out of 10 are boys, and 66% of them are over 16 years old. 1,100 come from Eritrea, 900 from Afghanistan, over 200 from Syria. “Caritas is working hard for all minors, regardless of the country they come from, to have the same rights” and be able to “find a welcoming atmosphere in which they can recover from the traumas that marked their departure and their journey” to Europe. Taking in one of these minors, the Caritas explains in its appeal, means “taking full responsibility for them”; the prerequisites are having “intercultural openness and human warmth”, being willing “to support these young people in their development and in finding new prospects”, being prepared to go though a socio-pedagogic self-training process. Caritas will provide its own skilled staff to support in this process the foster families that will have to enter into a veritable agreement with Caritas. In 2015, the number of unaccompanied minors arrived in Europe dramatically escalated: 50 thousand in Germany, 12 thousand in Italy, 5 thousand in Belgium, over 23 thousand in Sweden, about 2 thousand in Denmark.

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