A minor rescued at sea | Archive photo/ANSA
A minor rescued at sea | Archive photo/ANSA

According to a recent survey by U-Report on the Move in Italy, six unaccompanied foreign minors in 10 are not aware that they could live with a foster family, despite the fact that three-fourths would like to be part of a family.

Over 60 percent of unaccompanied foreign minors (MSNA under the Italian acronym) living in Italy have not been informed of the possibility of living with a foster family. 

The survey was carried out by U-Report on the Move, a digital platform launched by UNICEF to listen to the voice of young migrants and refugees living in Italy. 

A reported 75 percent of those polled said they would like to live with a family while 12 percent said they were not interested and 13 percent were uncertain. 

A family to feel at home 

Based on the results, over 70 percent of minors would choose to live with a family to feel more at home. ''The survey reveals the importance of the family dimension for adolescents who arrive in Italy alone and the need felt by the majority to re-build the relations and environment that are typical of a family, which they lost when they migrated'', according to the website of U-Report on the Move. 

An additional 12 percent of those polled said they would like to live in foster care because they don't like hosting centers. A reported 54 percent of those who did not want to live with a family said they were satisfied with living conditions at the center and 38 percent said they wanted to become more independent in the short term. 

Relationship with tutors 

In the Italian system to protect unaccompanied foreign minors in Italy, a tutor is assigned to each minor. However, only three in 10 minors polled in a separate survey said they were acquainted with theirs. In addition, out of the few who did know their tutor, only 64 percent felt supported in their legal practices, health and school issues. 

Over 80 percent of those who knew their tutor felt someone was listening to them. ''The tutor isn't just perceived as a help in case of need (for 25 percent of those interviewed) but in over 50 percent of cases such a person is perceived as a friend or family figure they can count on'', said U-Report on the Move. 

Some seven unaccompanied foreign minors in 10 asked for continuity in their relationship and said they wanted to spend more time with their tutor outside the center where they live.

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