Of the around 6,600 refugees currently in Styria, 330 of those are unaccompanied minors who arrived without their parents or an adult caregiver.
Recognising that children and adolescents have different needs than adults, local authorities have decided not to accommodate minors in reception centres and are now looking for families who would be prepared to foster them.
"These young people, who have fled their homes and ended up in Styria, have already experienced many losses. They have lost their cultural security, might have witnessed the loss of their family, and have no idea what the future will bring. They especially need personal and relationship-oriented support,” Friedrich Ebensperger, head of the Foster Parents Association of Styria said.
Ebensperger said that around 20 families who are already registered as foster carers have expressed an interest in taking in a refugee child. He added that the children and teenagers would also have access to an interpreter and would receive extra support at school.
Families who are interested in fostering are invited to attend an information evening in Graz on October 22nd, at the Foster Parents Association (Pflegeelternverein).