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Befriending Abdul and Helping Young Assylum Seekers 1
by (Name)
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The Abdul case was chosen because the sixteen-year-old teenager has experienced
hardships that no child should experience and need someone to talk to. He needs a friend and
someone who can help him pull through the psychological trauma brought from his life
experiences. Abdul was born in the peace-deprived, uncivil, and war-inflicted country of
Afghanistan. He is the eldest in a family of five children and belongs to the tribe of Hazara. The
key objective is to befriend him and help him cope with his stay in the youth asylum center.
Abdul needs a friend, and I can volunteer to befriend him. Befriending someone is becoming
friendly, acting as a friend, or making a friendship with an individual who might need some help
or benefit from the friendship. It is usually initiated, monitored, and supported by a statutory or a
voluntary agency. In addition, befriending involves a service user and a volunteer, a ratio of 1:1.
Accomplishing befriending and mentoring requires a particular set of social skills and
abilities. These skills allow individuals to easily befriend others they have never met before and
have no background link whatsoever. Graduateness is the set of generic qualities that any student
is expected to have to graduate. It is also defined as the effects of pursuing an undergraduate
degree on attributes, skills, and knowledge. On the other hand, professionalism is defined as the
set of attitudes, conduct, and behaviour of individuals in a business or work environment. A high
work ethic, solid professional reputation, success, and excellence at work are enhanced through
professionalism. During befriending, it is essential to be proficient at achieving the highest level
of work ethic. In this case, Abdul is in a youth asylum facility care. There are specific rules set in
those facilities. Hence I would have to be professional while visiting him at the facility. Students
in colleges and universities tend to interact with each other, forming friendships throughout their
studies (Siette, Cassidy & Priebe, 2017). Social skills are learned and acquired through
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interactions and mingling, which allows us, students, to have the general graduate skills and
capacities to apply when befriending.
Applying Specific Befriending Knowledge for Abduls Case
Befriending is known to take many specific forms, portraying positive outcomes for both
the service user and the befriender. As the befriender, I may enjoy the fact that I might make a
positive difference in Abdul’s life. In return, the level of confidence and personal social skills
will significantly improve. There are desired factors that are necessary to ensure practical,
valuable, and befriending solid skills. Such qualities include; commitment and reliability skills,
the ability to approach new people without prejudice, friendliness and warmth, strong listening
skills. A befriender also needs to have empathy and resilience skills, offer understanding and
caring presence, understand the service user or the client group, respect confidentiality, and have
a professional approach while working with the organisation case, the youth asylum management
(Toner et al., 2018). In addition, it is essential to view the befriending activities as fulfilling and
rewarding. The only way to guarantee that I keep on track is revealing and making it clear to
Abdul what I want from the outset, which is to befriend him help him with his situation.
Abdul may experience discrimination and prejudice, and it is clear that, even though he is
under Croydon, a youth asylum and social service protection, he receives limited access to
support and help. It is therefore very critical to examine personal assumptions and attitudes about
the youth asylum group. More significant barriers may be enhanced if vulnerable people take
advantage of the befriending service and be judged by those who volunteer to support them.
Abdul may experience challenges in the asylum organisation if they do not acknowledge
diversity, is they do not provide equality or do not provide inclusion (Smith, 2018). One of the
critical elements to ensure a positive, befriending and supportive relationship between Abdul and
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me is to ensure that the relationship is consciously thought about and carried out because the
relationship-building runs throughout, from the beginning to the end. All these stages are of
equal importance for both the befriender and the befriended.
Befriending relationship-building vary in terms of duration and is known to fall into three
categories. These categories of befriending relationships fall between successive, open-term, or
fixed-term. Abdul has the relative choice in choosing how long the relationship will last and
which option will suit him more than the others. It is also crucial for the volunteer befriender to
know how the relationship will last to understand what to expect and prepare in advance and
know what they have signed up to do (Scott et al., 2019). It is common to find befrienders
overlooking how vital these relationships are and befriended taking the relationship for granted.
However, the befriender plays a massive role in the life of the befriended, especially in helping
them deal with reducing social isolation risks. They can bring significant and large impacts on
the lives of the befriended.
It is also essential to understand the boundaries in befriending relationships and
understanding what is okay and what is not okay. Volunteers befrienders need to critically set the
limit and be familiar with their service’s limitations. Some of the boundaries necessary in a
befriending relationship include cash handling, people present during visiting hours, time,
duration and location of the contact, physical contact, dress code, exchange of gifts and
information, and the activities carried out during visits. Established boundaries must be
maintained, clearly understood, and vividly communicated since befriending relationships
coincidentally professional and personal, sre relatively confusing (Raithelhuber, 2021).
Therefore, fo the sake of both the befriender and the befriended, there should be strict
boundaries. In addition, maintaining the edges is also challenging. There might be some
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situations that deter the effectiveness of maintaining the boundaries. Such conditions may not fit
with limitations set, hence creating the challenges of effectively supporting the limits for
befriending relationships.
Confidentiality in the befriending relationships emphasises that the befrienders are not
disclosing or revealing any private information befriended to other parties. Befrienders have no
liberty to share or discuss any relevant personal details with other people, regardless of their
relationship. However, in the case of Abdul, it is essential to keep tabs with his social service
officer and the management of Croydon, who are the coordinators of the relationship. The
befriending triangle consists of the befriender, the befriended, and the coordinator, Croydon
management. The three should abide by the confidentiality policy and other guidelines set by
them or other relevant agencies. The coordinators’ duties are to ensure that the confidentiality
policy is adhered to by all factors in the befriending triangle (Montebon, 2017). In addition, there
should be a specific optimal unit of confidentiality and cooperation between these three factors to
guarantee an effective befriending relationship.
Furthermore, it is crucial to identify the supervision and the supporting role of the
coordinator, in this case, the Croydon management, to the befriending relationship. They ensure
that the one-on-one sessions of the befriender with Abdul occurs independently. They are also
obligated to facilitate the ongoing training opportunities and group meetings while at the same
time ensuring that the confidentiality policies and boundaries are adhered to and implemented
(Matinheikki et al., 2021). In befriending relationship, it is essential to lay down the roles and
responsibilities of the befriender and the coordinating organisation so that all the parties don’t get
confused on what functions to play and what not to do. If the roles and responsibilities do not
happen, it would be useful for the concerned parties to consider what could go wrong and review
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the policies. Honesty between the parties in the befriending relationship should also be enhanced
because there are always high possibilities of experiencing tiny endings before the end (Blake,
Bray & Carter, 2019). Therefore, during the induction stage, all parties should be vividly
discussing the terminations of the befriending relationship to avoid the befriender’s recklessness
ending the relationship, which might negatively affect the befriended, especially if they are
young, in the case of Abdul.
Applying Psychosocial Knowledge in Befriending Abdul
There are specific factors that enhance the psychological aspects of an individual. These
factors affect and influence their mental state and how they process circumstances and
experiences. In this case, it is revealed that Abdul is a sixteen-year-old teenager, meaning that he
has not yet matured, and he’s identified as a child by the social service. Being young, he will find
it hard to comprehend situations coming from all corners. Such cases include his family’s status
back home in Afghanistan to the identity crisis in the U.K. Identity is one of the key
psychosocial factors that affect minors who experience such problems (Gentry et al., 2018). Such
issues also made it difficult for the Home Office department to identify him and rejected him.
The rejection continues to affect Abdul, making him feel as if he does not belong anywhere, thus
negatively affecting his overall mental state.
In the social context, people behave differently depending on their situations and
circumstances. Individual characteristics may change or be influenced by the outcomes of the
situations. Abdul’s case reveals how he does not want anything to do with studying or attending
college. He acquires the negative mentality about college education, which was influenced by the
tough circumstances he has been experiencing in not being accepted by Home Office. He also
finds himself feeling the need to harm himself, as he burns himself with cigarettes. The social
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situations Abdul experiences also form his self-concept. Such is revealed since he has very high
tensions in his teenage life, which leads him to smoke cigarettes to calm himself down. Such
issues indicate that he might be suffering from depression since he finds difficulties sleeping at
night and has severe headaches (Gaesser, 2018). In addition, through the Social Service
department and the Home Office, the government needs to review the policies regarding the
social protection of minors under the age of eighteen, regardless of their background
circumstances. From Abdul’s case, it is clear that such policies contribute to the increase in the
rates of depression in children and young adults.
As seen in Abdul’s case, the government needs to review and adjust the policies set for
child safety, regardless of their social backgrounds. Equity should also be considered since the
Home Office department might not have accepted Abdul due to his ethnicity. He was born in
Afghanistan and not in the U.K. Befriending relationships requires the relevant parties to
complete any paperwork required by the coordinating organisation. There should be the
attendance of the support and training meetings with the befriended (Abdul). Appropriate
boundaries within the befriending relationship should also be enhanced. Meetings agreed upon
by the parties in the befriending relationship should be fulfilled, especially the training,
preparation, and support meetings. All parties should effectively follow policy frameworks set by
the coordinating organisation (Croydon) in the befriending relationship. In addition, befriending
service is unique and might contain other relevant people who have active roles in making the
relationship work and run smoothly.
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Blake, L., Bray, L. and Carter, B., 2019. “It’sa lifeline”: Generating a sense of social
connectedness through befriending parents of disabled children or children with
additional needs. Patient education and counseling, 102(12), pp.2279-2285.
Gaesser, A.H., 2018. Befriending anxiety to reach potential: Strategies to empower our gifted
youth. Gifted child today, 41(4), pp.186-195.
Gentry, S.V., Powers, E.F.J., Azim, N. and Maidrag, M., 2018. Effectiveness of a voluntary
family befriending service: a mixed-methods evaluation using the Donabedian
model. Public health, 160, pp.87-93.
Matinheikki, J., Naderpajouh, N., Aranda-Mena, G., Jayasuriya, S. and Teo, P., 2021.
Befriending Aliens: Institutional Complexity and Organizational Responses in
Infrastructure Public-Private Partnerships. Project Management Journal,
Montebon, D.R.T., 2017. Befriending the foe: Towards an instructional model on utilizing the
social media in the classroom. International Journal of Research, 6(1), pp.15-23.
Raithelhuber, E., 2021. ‘If we want, they help us in any way’: how ‘unaccompanied refugee
minors’ experience mentoring relationships. European Journal of Social Work, 24(2),
Siette, J., Cassidy, M. and Priebe, S., 2017. Effectiveness of befriending interventions: a
systematic review and meta-analysis. B.M.J. open, 7(4), p.e014304.
Scott, J., Grant, M., Rigby, P. and Engstrom, S., 2019. Befriending Services for Unaccompanied
Asylum Seeking Children in Scotland.
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Smith, S., 2018. Befriending the same differently: Ethnic, socioeconomic status, and gender
differences in same-ethnic friendship. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 44(11),
Toner, S., Cassidy, M., Chevalier, A., Farreny, A., Leverton, M., da Costa, M.P., and Priebe, S.,
2018. Preferences for befriending schemes: a survey of patients with severe mental
illness. B.M.C. psychiatry, 18(1), pp.1-8.

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