Providing culturally safe care in the best interests of unaccompanied humanitarian minors

Keith Miller, Carol Irizarry, Margaret Bowden

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: The increasing number of unaccompanied humanitarian minors in Australia demands research into their best care options. Aims: This paper reports empirical South Australian research that aimed to give voice to carers' concerns about providing appropriate care to unaccompanied humanitarian minors (UHM), and UHMs' perceptions of how their care meets their best interests during transition to life in Australia. Materials and Methods: Semi-structured questionnaires were used to interview 22 carers and 17 Afghani male UHMs. Results: Thematic analysis revealed carers'key concerns were achieving a balance between the UHMs' cultural safety and fitting into the Australian social context, providing UHMs with sufficient psychological support, and training. Discussion: The UHMs felt their best interests were largely met but requested broader opportunities for education, mixing with Australians and learning living skills, and expressed concern about their accommodation when they began living independently at age 18. Conclusion: Culturally safe care alone may not meet UHMs' best interests. Care policy and carer training need to incorporate UHMs' and UHMs' carers' perspectives.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)276-284
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Family Studies
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2013


    • Best interests of the child
    • Carers
    • Culturally safe care
    • Unaccompanied humanitarian minors


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