Berlin urgently needs accommodation and helpers for underage refugees
Berlin is becoming a place of longing for more and more young people from countries where there is a risk of being drafted into the military and poverty in dictatorships. achieved this year so many unaccompanied minor refugees the city since 2015/16. By the end of November there were 2727, in 2015 there were 4252 – last year, however, only 699 children and young people. According to youth senator Astrid Busse (SPD), an average of eleven children and young people arrive every day without parents.
No matter how hard the employees of the authorities try to accommodate, care for and integrate the young people who have been fleeing for years without their parents – the places that the city can offer in youth welfare are obviously almost exhausted. The Senate has increased it tenfold for free providers in residential groups, hostels and hotels in the past few months. But they are not enough.
In Berlin, 682 places are currently occupied for initial reception at the state youth welfare office and 290 for the clearing process, in which school status, asylum applications, the will of the parents for family reunification and the state of health are checked. Here the Senate creates 80 new places every week, as the State Secretary for Youth Administration, Aziz Bozkurt, has now announced. After that, young people are allocated to the district youth welfare offices according to a key.
These are having increasing difficulties in accommodating young people in the regular system. The young refugees who are currently reaching Berlin are increasingly older than in 2015/16, and they prefer to say they are 16 or 17 years old. As of November 15, 126 children under the age of 14, most of whom had come via smuggler routes, were now accommodated by the State Youth Welfare Office.
And while the state office is setting up further initial reception centers to clarify the situation of the young people, the support system is running out of educational staff and accommodation, according to information from the Tagesspiegel. Related professions are already being used in the care of teenagers without family support. Many have been left to their own devices in hostels for a long time.
Some want a party, others want peace and quiet
Provided there are supervisors, there are always tensions between refugees under the age of 18. On the one hand there are young people from the Ukraine who escaped the military in a short time by coach and now some “want to party”. Mostly young men come from Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon, many different countries and Kurds from Turkey.
They have had a sometimes traumatizing flight for years without a mother and father as well as an existence under inhumane conditions in refugee camps and on escape routes – and according to the educators, they simply long for rest and bed.
Wanted: Retired leisure workers and teachers
The Senate now has the coordination center with the “SozDia Foundation Berlin”, the donation bridge Ukraine, the refugee church and Tamaja “Surround” created. As a first step, it is intended to bundle civic commitment, for example from voluntary leisure time workers or former German teachers, as well as donations of warmer, youth-appropriate winter clothing (from size 164) and shoes to new special distribution points.
The care for the unaccompanied minor refugees (UMG) is the “supreme discipline” of refugee aid, said Bozkurt at the presentation of the new project. The Senate Youth Administration is planning to increase the capacities of the honorary guardians and the youth careers aid and to involve the district foster family services. The youth policy spokeswoman for the left, Katrin Seidel, and the Green youth expert, Marianne Burkert-Eulitz, welcomed this.
Special child protection applies to everyone under the age of 18, which is why the fate of the particularly suffering refugees is rarely made public. They have to be protected from sexualized violence here, which is why, according to Pastor Peter Dennebaum, project manager of “UMGeben”, the wanted volunteers must also present an extended certificate of good conduct.