Supporting refugee and asylum seeking children and young people

It may be that your church, community or school - or even your own home - is welcoming children, young people and their families fleeing conflict. This page is designed to help you think about how best you can support them, help them to feel safe and ensure they have as warm a reception as possible.

When seeking to support refugee and asylum-seeking children and young people, please make sure you have read the section of the Ukraine Toolkit on Safeguarding Considerations.

Be aware of the affects of trauma

All refugees arriving from Ukraine or elsewhere will have lived through a considerable amount of trauma. The impact of this can manifest itself  in children and young people in many different ways. Effects could include (but are not limited to) tiredness, lack of concentration/focus, poor short-term memory, poor academic performance, physical and mental ill health, nightmares, panic attacks, struggling to make friends, irritability and 'tantrums'. For those who have left homes and loved ones behind, the trauma may also not be over yet.

In order to best support refugee and asylum-seeking children, you need to be as trauma-informed as possible. Here are some good places to start:


A few more simple ideas to get started:

Remember that these are just suggestions for ways in which we can show we care and start conversations. Not every person from Ukraine will like the same food, games or music! Make sure you ask about their favourites.

Evidence for Learning recently hosted a webinar exploring two topics: how to talk to children and young people about war and how to support our refugee children. Find supporting resources here.

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