The asylum process is tough for anyone, but it can be especially challenging for families. Our new Family Rights Service supports parents and children through every step of their asylum journey.

The project, run in partnership with JustRight Scotland and Latta & Co solicitors, launched in October 2021. Over the next three years we will support 200 newly arrived families, helping them make sense of their new environment as they begin rebuilding their lives in Scotland.

Our Family Rights Service is here to listen and provide a safe space for parents and children. In the first three months after launching, we helped 33 families to access healthcare and education, find legal and financial support and make connections in their new communities.

Gopa’s Story

After fleeing their home country, Gopa* and her three young children endured a long and extremely distressing journey to the UK.

When they arrived in Scotland, they were anxious, uncertain and deeply traumatised. We assigned the family a Case Manager to reassure and support them as they make their way through the complex asylum process.

Soon after claiming asylum, Gopa was told that she and her children would be moved to England. The thought of yet more uncertainty and upheaval was extremely upsetting for the whole family. We worked closely with the Gopa’s solicitor to persuade the Home Office to let them stay in Glasgow where they can get the help and support they need.

The family was placed in temporary accommodation in a hotel. Gopa has no facilities to prepare her own meals and can’t afford to buy food for her children. She told us that the meals provided for her family were poor quality and didn’t meet their needs. We contacted the company that manages the accommodation to ask for their food to be improved. The family now receive better quality, more varied and more nutritious food.

Gopa is a survivor of domestic abuse and sexual violence. We referred her to specialist women’s organisations. With their support, she is coming to terms with that trauma of what happened to her.

Living in cramped hotel accommodation with no space for the children to play has been a struggle. We told Gopa to family-friendly activities in her area. These activities give the family a chance to get out of their hotel room. Gopi can meet mums in a similar situation while their children play together and have fun. We’re also pushing for the family to be offered more suitable accommodation as quickly as possible.

Thanks to the support of her case manager, Gopa feels less overwhelmed by her situation. Her children are healthier and happier too. Gopa now has a better understanding of the asylum process and knows that we are here to support her every step of the way.

Find out more about our Family Rights Service and the support we provide for newly arrived asylum seeking families. 

*Gopa’s name has been changed to protect the identities of herself and her family

Rachel Lamb
Author: Rachel Lamb