Social participation, leisure activities and the use of social networks could be key factors in the social inclusion of young unaccompanied migrants and their transition to adult life. Thus, relevant aspects are analysed regarding the community bonding that shapes young people’s transition to adulthood and the influence the protection system, mainly residential care, exerts on this in Catalonia (Spain). More specifically, the aims are: (i) to analyse the type of social and community participation engaged in by young unaccompanied migrants; (ii) to investigate aspects related to their free time; (iii) to analyse their use of social networks and the influence they exert on these young people, and finally (iv) to prepare proposals that may help to improve public policies for children, youth and migration. Qualitative data were collected from five focus groups with young migrants, mainly from Morocco and sub-Saharan African countries, as well as interviews with social agents, with a total of 38 participants, giving voice to young people, educational agents and experts. The results reveal a lack of educational approaches, which, based on a previous design, implement measures derived from connecting the areas analysed in this text. Proposals are offered that are jointly based on the integrating and normalizing nature of participation, leisure and networks, conceiving young people as agents of social change. From the perspective of a socio-educational care and support model, several factors are identified that show room for improvement and the need to understand and seek changes in relation to the social situation of young unaccompanied migrants and their inclusion in the community.

DOI: 10.1007/s12187-022-09998-2
ISSN: 1874-897X