Our values and approach
We believe everyone has a right to family
The values of safety and belonging are inherent to how we think about families. A strong sense of identity and belonging is critical for people to thrive, achieve their goals and realise their ambitions. This 'family' may be a biological family, a foster family, or the community around you that supports you.
We are committed to helping everyone we meet realise these values, secure their right to safety and belonging and help them realise their ambitions as a part of strong families, communities and networks.
Practice rooted in rights
We draw heavily on rights legislation, conventions and frameworks to inform our work and philosophy, including the European Convention on Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on Rights of the Child. These frameworks provide a foundation on which to assess need and challenge the oppression of migrants and refugees who face adversity. These frameworks are of particular importance in a climate where political instability and popular politics are leading to an increasingly oppressive and hostile climate for migrants and refugees.
All of our work starts and ends with rights. Be this an assessment of need that focuses on the rights of the child or a piece of work helping a young person understand and exercise their entitlements.
a critical & radical tradition
Put simply, we believe that every meaningful action in practice should incorporate a political or structural action. In a hostile climate against migrants and refugees, it is of increasing importance that their voices are enabled to be heard. We achieve this through publishing the stories of those who want their stories told on our website, contributing to reports, guidance and campaigns and through pushing and campaigning.
We recognise that many of the issues migrants and refugees in both the UK and EU face are the result of oppressive immigration policy, political instability and the creation of a climate that seeks to be hostile towards them. Our work aims to identify these factors and work with children, young people and families to help change their individual circumstances, whilst campaigning for bigger change.
It is also of great importance that we recognise the destitution, poverty and poor conditions many migrants and refugees live with day in and day out, both in the UK and Europe. It is well evidenced that poverty is a key driver for so many issues affecting children, young people and families, yet policy seeks to individualise more of these problems and locate them in individuals. We are committed to challenging structural inequality in our work - Be it highlighting it in assessment, fighting for better conditions and subsistence and working with families to advocate for their rights in this area.
Innovative, democratic and anti-oppressive
Drawing from a range of professions and experiences, we are committed to developing approaches that further our anti-oppressive, liberating and democratic agenda. We draw a lot of what we do from highly effective evidence bases and theoretical frameworks from Northern Europe, such as Social Pedagogy.
We take a constructionist and social ecological approach to practice that recognises the complexity of people's lives. We focus on the 'co-construction' of practice, that is working in partnership with, not inflicting work on or working for another person.
Our focus on the co-construction of practice and social pedagogy relies on putting relationships at the heart of everything we do, removing the power barriers and allowing those we are working with to shape the way we work. Humans working together - Not practitioner and client. This puts the focus on empowering people by considering the power struggles and oppression facing migrants and refugees at home and abroad.
We are one of only a few, yet growing number of organisations that adopt social pedagogical approaches in the UK. We are committed to measuring our impact and outcomes and demonstrating the effectiveness of these approaches in working with migrants and refugees.
We believe that these values and approaches make for effective and meaningful relationships with those we meet. These relationships allow for effective assessment, advocacy, direct work, education and activities that are tailored to each and every individual.
Working together, achieving more
We firmly believe that in order to find solutions to the oppression and difficulties facing migrant and refugee children, young people and families in the UK and abroad, many skills are needed.
We recognise the power of many different skill sets, professions, young people and families working together to co-construct a new, holistic model of support. We are working to deliver support, in partnership with those who need it, designed to empower people to secure their futures and tell their stories.
We also believe working with other agencies is critical to success. We dedicate a lot of time developing good relationships with other agencies to further the work we do.