The Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Iceland and Norway accepted 45,765 unaccompanied minors in the peak year of the refugee crisis, 2015, compared with the EU’s total of 88,250. This has set their migration and social care agencies an unprecedented test.
‘We didn’t have the systems in place for so many, and then there were quick changes in the legislation’, says Anna Gärdegård, project leader at the Nordic Welfare Centre and the author of a new report comparing the Nordic countries’ reception of minors. However, it is also forcing them to develop strategies from which UK authorities can learn.
Andrew Ireland, corporate director of social care, health and wellbeing at Kent county council, says Britain has decided to follow a model similar to Sweden’s.”