Unaccompanied immigrant minors receive services from various professionals, each with different roles such as those of protection and control. Eighteen professionals (i.e., legal, first-aid and community housing educators) were interviewed as "key witnesses" in various stages of the reception system for these young immigrants. In particular, the study focused on the professionals’ descriptions and views as well as their aims and practices in working in the field with unaccompanied immigrant minors. Interviews were analyzed using a mixed-methods software for textual analysis (T-LAB). Five core themes emerged that focused on family relationships, protection, deviance, as well as educational and cultural issues. Significant differences were found in terms of specific variables, such that respondents differed according to their professional background and gender. In conclusion, the results of the study are discussed within the broader view of integration processes as well as services for these minors.
Keywords: Unaccompanied immigrant minors; organizational culture; network intervention; protection; deviance; family relationships