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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport eTheses
Title: Getting it right? the role of children’s services with families with precarious immigration status
Author(s): Calum, Lindsay
Supervisor(s): Whincup, Helen
Cheyne, Helen
Callaghan, Jane
Keywords: Migration
Children's services
Social Work
Child wellbeing
Family wellbeing
British immigration policy
Hostile Environment
Ontological Security
Social Capital
State of Exeption
Issue Date: 15-Jun-2022
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This thesis describes a qualitative exploratory study examining the wellbeing of children in families where members have precarious, unsettled or uncertain immigration status. These families are subject to a range of competing, even contradictory policy provisions – hostile, colonial immigration policy, an apparently more supportive devolved approach to migration and to child wellbeing – and actors at multiple levels (reserved, devolved and localised). Through interviews with parents and third sector practitioners and eco-mapping approaches with children, all in Scotland, the project explores the wellbeing impacts of precarious status and the key sources of support for families. Adapting anticolonial critiques of migration policy and Bourdieu’s capitals, it explores how the immigration system systematically prevents the accumulation and conversion of important resources that might be mobilised into economic, social, cultural and emotional capitals. Family life occurs in a site of nonbeing and necropolitical exception where routes to wellbeing are closed off because of status. The study finds several impacts: extreme material deprivation; temporal uncertainty and hypermobility; pressures towards isolation; and lives patterned by ontological insecurity. These have significant impacts on parents’ and children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing, social networks, sense of belonging and ability to construct liveable lives. The study then uses the candidacy framework of Dixon-Woods et al (2005) and Honneth’s (2004) recognition theory to explore interactions between family members and services. Capital dynamics in services lead to inaccessibility, inadequate responses and feelings of discrimination, hostility and exclusion. The existence or presentation of a need is not sufficient for it to be met; instead, persistence, advocacy and crises are required to secure support from services poorly aligned to families’ circumstances. Throughout, the thesis describes tactics and strategies used by family members to resist nonbeing, accumulating and mobilising resources to support wellbeing and a more liveable life.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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