Baobab Centre for Young Survivors in Exile – Surviving violence, creating hope, rebuilding lives


Casework Support

On arrival in the UK young asylum seekers and refugees are faced with complex asylum and social welfare systems.

They have no experience or little knowledge of the support systems and resources to which they are entitled. Making sense of and navigating through these complex systems is challenging for many. Without parental or family support many of the young people who attend require considerable help with practical aspects of their day-to-day lives. There is ample evidence that asylum support systems are inadequate for all asylum seekers in the UK, leading to asylum seekers feeling marginalised and trapped in survival poverty. The destitution faced by asylum seekers is particularly acute among our young people, and our casework support has had to regularly expand over the years.

of Baobab young people received casework support in 2023
received hardship support from Baobab in 2023
attend or have attended college in the UK

Most young people at Baobab have experienced, or are experiencing a long wait to hear the result of their asylum claims.

Some are destitute or have no recourse to public funds as their fresh claims or judicial reviews are being processed. Many feel that their experiences are discounted and some find that their ages are disputed. Depending on their asylum status and age some have limited or no access to secondary or tertiary education. Baobab’s casework team, staff and volunteers, offer one-on-one practical casework support and guidance through these complicated systems. In addition, we offer support throughout the long asylum determination processes of the Home Office. Our clinicians prepare specialist psychological and developmental reports for asylum hearings at the request of the solicitors of the young people who attend.

3 years and 10 months is the average waiting time to receive asylum protection for our young community members
of young people at Baobab have been age‑disputed
of Baobab young people had their first asylum claim refused
of our young people currently have some refugee protection

With reduced services and capacity within many local authority and statutory services due to budget cuts, Baobab’s staff play an important role in ensuring that young people get the support they need and to which they are entitled.

Our casework team advocates for our young people when they liaise with UKVI accommodation providers, statutory social services, housing departments, the benefits agencies, GPs, colleges and schools to support their care, housing, health, employment and education needs (see Our partners). In addition, our casework aims to build the young people’s skills and confidence so that they are eventually able to liaise with services independently.

The Baobab Centre strives to work in a multi-disciplinary way with professionals in each young person’s network as we consider this fundamental to meeting each young person’s best interests. We are active in convening multi-disciplinary case conferences to encourage working together.