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Migrant children, social capital and access to services : transitions, negotiations and complex agencies

Sime, Daniela and Fox, Rachael (2015) Migrant children, social capital and access to services : transitions, negotiations and complex agencies. Children and Society, 29 (6). 524–534. ISSN 0951-0605

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    For migrant children, moving to a new country is marked by excitement, anxiety and practical challenges in managing this significant transition. This paper draws upon the concepts of social capital and social networks to examine migrant children’s access to services post-migration. Using data from a qualitative study with Eastern European families in Scotland, we identify a range of cumulative barriers that limit children’s access to services and illustrate how their experiences are shaped by ethnicity, social class and place. The study shows that migrant children are often disadvantaged post-migration and develop their own mechanisms to mitigate the impact of migration on their lives. We argue that migrant children’s own social networks are relevant and they need to be analysed through a more individualised approach.