“It was like they cut off all my dreams”: Emotional health and wellbeing of undocumented children in London

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


External organisations

  • University of Wolverhampton


Undocumented children face a range of circumstances that impact on their emotional health and wellbeing. Children and their families are often living under the shadow of their immigration status, with a heightened risk of poverty, ill health and exploitation, and limited access to services. Many face an uncertain future, unable to make plans and prevented from reaching their potential. In this context, this research project was initiated to explore the prevalence, demographics and emotional health and wellbeing needs of undocumented children in London. This report presents the findings from this project in two stages: firstly, an estimate of the number of undocumented children in London and boroughs with particularly high prevalence, which was conducted through a Delphi panel process comprised of people with expert knowledge of the sector. Secondly, a review of the literature and interviews with young people and parents were carried out to explore the experiences and needs of undocumented children and families, the factors impacting on their emotional health and wellbeing, and options for support.


Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyBarnardo's
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Sustainable Development Goals