Daphne Catherine Spyropoulos (2018) Young Refugees as Peer Mentors to European Foster Children: A Suggestion for Integration

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Categories: Paper, Youth Voice Journal



The aim of this paper is to suggest that European communities integrate young refugees as peer mentors to indigenous foster children. This proposal relies on the idea that policy makers view refugees as fixed in the receiving end of help, while their potential to reciprocate and to inspire host societies is underestimated. After analyzing four cognitions academically shown to promote resilience in refugees, making meaning, persevering, appreciating help and discrediting attacks, the author proposes that they communicate these ideas to children in alternative care through a peer mentorship program. By determining the features and the needs of foster children in Europe, she pinpoints the common grounds between them and their close-in-age refugees and she acknowledges pre-existing strengths such as their own sense of determination. To conclude her paper, the author recommends that young refugees work with foster children to help them create meaning of their experiences, review their opinions about the agents who help them and rebuff non- constructive criticism.

Keywords: refugees, integration, mentorship, foster children

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