Daniel Hedlund, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Child and Youth Studies, Stockholm University

Guardianship (godmanskap) for unaccompanied migrant minors

In my postdoctoral project I focus on how the institution of guardianship (godmanskap) works for unaccompanied minors using interview data and participant observation. I also address two questions currently under debate in Swedish policy circles; whether unaccompanied minors should remain within the current institution of guardianship or whether the care for unaccompanied minors should be transferred to other areas of Social Services (socialtjänsten), leading to what some have termed a “professionalisation” of guardianship.

These discussions appear related to recurring demands for better training of case officers at the Swedish Migration Agency (SMA; Migrationsverket) and to improve their competence in addressing children’s particular needs.

I have also continued to analyse data from the SMA, work that was initiated during my PhD candidature. By utilising one calendar year of SMA decisions, I investigate how case officers respond to different types of asylum claims from unaccompanied minors to increase the knowledge of the asylum application process, in particular how evidence assessment is done and how it can influence outcomes.

At this seminar I will present some preliminary results and the design of the different studies I am working on. My ambition is to connect and integrate these studies using a legal evolutionary approach, in order to contribute to discussions about the trajectory of child politics and policy in Sweden.

Daniel Hedlund is a Postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Child and Youth Studies, Stockholm University. This position is funded via the Human Science Area initiative Children, Migration, Integration (CMI). Daniel is also a law graduate with experience of working at several public authorities, including the SMA, before entering the PhD program at Stockholm University.

All seminars in the series.