Experiences and impact of child language brokering in health care settings

Funded by Chief Scientist Office.

Collaboration with Glasgow Caledonian University.

Between 1993 and 2015 the proportion of the UK population that is ‘foreign born’ has almost doubled from 7% to 13.5%, and in Scotland, 4.3% of the population in 2015 were foreign born. A large proportion of migrants to the UK are young people, including children migrating with family members. Children tend to acculturate to the host country quicker than adults, and consequentially often learn the host language more quickly and with more proficiency than their parents or other adults. As a result, migrant children often language broker (performing the role of translator, mediator and interpreter) for their parents, other adults, and at times other children, across a range of settings. Research from the US indicates that this can impact on the child and on parent-child relationships. However there is limited understanding of the role, extent or impact of child language brokering in the UK, particularly around sensitive or potentially traumatic interactions such as health care setting, and the impact this has on the child and family relationships. This project aims to explore the scope of child language brokering in health care settings, and the impacts of brokering for the child and family relationships by undertaking qualitative interviews with child language brokers, family members of brokers, and health care professionals.

Total award value £1,047.00


Dr Sian Lucas
Dr Sian Lucas

Lecturer, Social Work

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