Unaccompanied asylum seeking children in foster care

The researchers specialising in this area of work:

Dr Ellie Ott:


Dr Aoife O’Higgins:


Education UASC

Dr Ellie Ott is currently leading new research on the educational provisions offered to UASC in England and the forms of provision in high-income countries that are associated with improved outcomes (eg education, health and employment).

Research team: Ellie Ott, Aoife O’Higgins, Caitlin Prentice (Systematic review), Habib Rezaie (mapping and interviews). 

This research is partly funded by the John Fell Oxford University Press (OUP) Fund. Please contact Ellie if you would like to be involved or would like to find out further information.

Care and education pathways of refugee and asylum-seeking children 

Dr Aoife O’HIggins has recently completed a study using secondary data analysis to examine how UASC get on in school and in care.

The first part of the study compares UASC outcomes to those of other looked after children and children in general population. The second part analyses key predictors for exam scores at age 16.

Key Messages from this study (pdf)

Full Report:

O’Higgins, A. (forthcoming). Analysis of care and education pathways of refugee and asylum-seeking children in care in England: implications for social work. International Journal of Social Welfare.

Please contact Aoife for further information. 

Impact of placement type 

Dr Aoife O’Higgins, Dr Ellie Ott, and Dr Mike Shea have recently completed a systematic review of research evidence looking at the impact of placement type on the mental health, physical health, and educational outcomes of unaccompanied migrant children.

Key Messages from this study (available shortly)

O’Higgins, A., Ott, E. M., & Shea, M. W. (2018). What is the Impact of Placement Type on Educational and Health Outcomes of Unaccompanied Refugee Minors? A Systematic Review of the Evidence. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10567-018-0256-7

Please contact Aoife for further information

Caring for teenage asylum seekers

Fostering a teenager asylum seeker was challenging – and fun, (Ellie Ott) Guardian Social Care blog, February 2017

The ESRC Teenagers in Foster Care Seminar Series included a focus on caring for teenage asylum seekers: 

Asylum seeking young people in foster care ESRC Seminar 4, Nov 2014. Report of seminar discussions and recorded presentations from young people, practitioners and leading researchers.