Foster families wanted for refugee children

Authorities in Styria in south east Austria are appealing for foster families for several hundred unaccompanied refugee children and teenagers who have recently arrived in the province.

Foster families wanted for refugee children
Children at Vienna's Westbahnhof. Photo: Barbara Süss

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).


Diversity and jobs: How migrants contribute to Vienna’s economy

International business owners in Vienna bring in billions of euros in revenue and taxes each year, according to a recent survey by the Chamber of Commerce.

Diversity and jobs: How migrants contribute to Vienna's economy

New figures show that Vienna’s international entrepreneurs do more than simply boost diversity in Austria’s capital city – they also significantly contribute to the local economy.

The Wirtschaftskammer (Chamber of Commerce) has revealed that business owners in Vienna with a migration background generate € 8.3 billion in revenue and create around 45,500 jobs.

Plus, these companies pay around € 3.7 billion every year in taxes and duties, reports ORF.

READ MORE: Austrian presidential elections: Why 1.4 million people can’t vote

Walter Ruck, President of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce, said: “Companies with a migrant background not only enrich the diversity of the corporate landscape in Vienna, they are also an economic factor.”

Ruck added that more than 200 international companies move to the capital each year and said the diversity is helping Vienna to financially recover from the pandemic. 

The Chamber of Commerce considers a business owner to have a migration background if they were not born in Austria and/or they have a non-Austrian nationality.

READ ALSO: What are the rules on working overtime in Austria?

According to ORF, there are 34,000 entrepreneurs in Vienna with a migration background and 7,400 of those business owners have Austrian citizenship.

Additionally, 4,500 business owners have Slovakian nationality, 3,800 are from Romania and 2,600 have German citizenship.

The most popular business sector for people in Vienna with a migration background is retail, followed by real estate and technical services.