Local authority support for child refugees, 2 November 2017

Councils have a strong track record in welcoming asylum seeking children and continue to work hard to support the many programmes for refugees and asylum seekers currently in operation.


Key messages

  • Councils have a strong track record in welcoming asylum seeking children. Working with central government, national partners and regional bodies, councils showed great leadership in building additional capacity for children from the Calais camp. As well as volunteering to support children resettled in their area, councils freed up social workers to assess children before their arrival in the UK and to undertake assessments of new families in the UK often with only a day’s notice and with limited information on the needs of the children.
  • At the moment, funding rates only cover part of the cost of support. Councils wish to ensure that the needs of new arrivals under any system can be met effectively. In order to provide effective support, local government needs full recovery of costs and better real-time information.
  • The challenges faced by councils in ensuring that the needs of children can be met are not just financial but also relate to access to therapeutic services, places to learn English, legal advice, and translation services. We need a conversation across government and with other partners to enable access to these services.
  • Councils continue to work hard to support the many programmes for refugees and asylum seekers currently in operation. In addition to unaccompanied children seeking asylum in the UK, councils also directly support children in families through the resettlement schemes, and children in destitute families whose asylum applications have been refused by the Home Office. We need greater alignment of these programmes so any ongoing needs can be met without creating unsustainable pressure on local services.

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Local authority support for child refugees, 2 November 2017