Scottish Guardianship Service

Guardianship Service Photo by Iman Tajik

Who this service is for

The Scottish Guardianship Service works with children and young people who have been separated from their parents and arrive in the UK frightened and alone. Many of the children we work with have lived through things no child should experience, including various types of exploitation. They now find themselves separated from their parents, alone in a foreign country with no one to rely on.

Our lifeline service provides advice, guidance and one-to-one support to help these young people recover from their experiences and come to terms with their new circumstances.

The Scottish Guardianship Service is run in partnership between Scottish Refugee Council and Aberlour Child Care Trust.

Around 42% of the young people we work with have been trafficked into the UK for exploitation. This horrendous human rights abuse goes on across Scotland and, although hidden from most of us, has a devastating effect on those affected. Many of the children we work with have experienced multiple exploitation but it is rare for children to able to articulate this themselves. Most often it is professionals such as our guardians who identify trafficking indicators through their relationships of trust and the confidence-building process they develop with each child.

Support we can offer

Our guardians offer a professional, friendly pillar of support to help each of the young people through the journey ahead of them. This includes understanding their rights within a foreign country, supporting them through the complex asylum, trafficking and welfare systems, supporting them to return to school or college, building confidence and social networks and providing a much needed reliable listening ear. Overall our guardians help the young people feel supported and empowered and able to make informed decisions about their future.
The service creates opportunities for young people to meet their peers and to make friends and supports them to socialise, play and have fun. The participation groups and activities we host also opportunities for young people to interact with their guardian in a social setting and helps build a more trusting relationship.

How to access the service

Referrals to the service can be made from any Local Authority or agency in Scotland. Visit Aberlour Child Care Trust's website for more information.