Scottish Guardianship Service


We help refugee children and young people, and victims of trafficking who arrive in Scotland alone. The service supports unaccompanied asylum-seeking and trafficked children and young people. All of the refugee children and victims of trafficking that we support, have arrived in the country without their parents.

The children and young people we help in the Scottish Guardianship Service have been through unimaginable traumas. Now, they must they cope with being apart from their families in a strange, new country. They also face language and cultural barriers. In addition, the welfare and immigration system is  very complicated and it can be difficult for them to understand.

These factors make it very hard for child refugees and victims of trafficking when they come to this country.

how we help


Our guardians help child refugees and victims of trafficking to navigate the immigration and welfare processes. First of all, they provide information and advice to make sure they feel empowered throughout the asylum process. They also act as advocates on their behalf, in order to make sure their voices are heard. Finally, they offer emotional support needed to go through the process. Our guardians help them to make informed decisions about their future and to settle into a new life in Scotland

In 2015 the Scottish Parliament passed the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act. This places the service into law and puts a duty on public bodies to refer to the service.

We work in partnership with the Scottish Refugee Council to deliver the service.

Any local authority of agency in Scotland can make a referral.

If you would like to refer a young person for help, fill out our Scottish Guardianship Service Referral Form or contact us.


Befriending Young Refugees was developed to provide social and community support to the increasing number of unaccompanied children and young people arriving in Glasgow. We match unaccompanied children and young people individually with a trained volunteer befriender who will support them to get to know their local area and connect with their community.

Befrienders will also support unaccompanied children and young people to overcome the range of challenges often encountered such as language and cultural barriers, poor mental health, the impact of trauma and anxiety about living in a new community and a different country.

This pilot service has been developed through consultation with unaccompanied children and young people and works closely alongside the Scottish Guardianship Service. We work in partnership with University of Stirling and are part funded by the European Social Fund and the Scottish Government.


Could you become a volunteer befriender?

We are looking for volunteer befrienders to support unaccompanied asylum seeking children across Glasgow. Building social networks and social integration are a crucial part for young peoples’ successful transition to their new country and a volunteer can help support this, by developing trusting positive relationships, being a social support to them and helping with community integration.

Find Out More

Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner

Contact Details

Scottish Guardianship Service
Scottish Refugee Council
6th Floor, Portland House
17 Renfield Street

G2 5AH

(0141) 445 8659