Previous Project: Fostering Hope


This research project was designed to shift public perceptions about fostering unaccompanied child refugees has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award for public engagement. Recognised by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) through its 2016 Engage Competition, the project - ‘Fostering Hope’ – is bringing together researchers from the University in partnership with Bristol-based fostering charity TACT (The Adolescent and Children’s Trust) to tackle a recruitment challenge in finding new foster carers for refugee children.

With seed funding from the University's Public Engagement Unit, the team involved

worked with a group of fostered refugee children, sharing their experiences through a photo-voice project designed to challenge some of the many of the misconceptions that exist and act as barriers to fostering. These included issues about meeting the cultural needs of children as well as misperceptions about what being an asylum seeker means.

The participatory project involved running focus groups with foster carers organised through TACT, and workshops for the young people, giving them a voice to drive the research. By providing cameras, the researchers challenged young people to document their day-to-day lives and activities, depoliticising ideas that persist and showing fostered refugees first and foremost as children.