Youth Voice Journal (YVJ) is an international, multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal that publishes theoretical contributions and empirical studies on international issues affecting young people. YVJ is published by IARS Publications, a member of COPE. YVJ is ranked and indexed by Scopus, ORCID, Kudos, Criminal Justice Abstracts, EBSCO Information Services and The European Reference Index for the Humanities and the Social Sciences (ERIH PLUS).
The aim of this paper is to suggest that European communities integrate young refugees as peer mentors to indigenous foster children. This proposal relies on the idea that policy makers view refugees as fixed in the receiving end of help, while their potential to reciprocate and to inspire host societies is underestimated. After analyzing four cognitions academically shown to promote resilience in refugees, making meaning, persevering, appreciating help and discrediting attacks, the author proposes that they communicate these ideas to children in alternative care through a peer mentorship program. By determining the features and the needs of foster children in Europe, she pinpoints the common grounds between them and their close-in-age refugees and she acknowledges pre-existing strengths such as their own sense of determination. To conclude her paper, the author recommends that young refugees work with foster children to help them create meaning of their experiences, review their opinions about the agents who help them and rebuff non- constructive criticism.
Keywords: refugees, integration, mentorship, foster children
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