Further push to help unaccompanied asylum seeking children as part of New Plan for Immigration
The National Transfer Scheme becomes mandatory for all local authorities with children’s services
The Home Office has stepped up efforts to help unaccompanied asylum seeking children, by directing all local authorities with children’s services to provide care placements for them, as part of the New Plan for Immigration.
In November, the Government announced that it was making the National Transfer Scheme for unaccompanied asylum seeking children mandatory for local authorities with children’s services. At that time, many councils did not accept the transfer of children, resulting in significant pressure on the few which did.
The decision to mandate the scheme will ensure unaccompanied asylum seeking children receive the critical care they need and end the use of hotels for them.
In December, the Government directed 177 local authorities to take part in the mandatory scheme, meaning they received legal notices setting out that they would now be required to accept transfers of unaccompanied asylum seeking children. Since then, there have been tangible improvements both for the vulnerable children and the local authorities already involved, including youngsters being moved from hotels to permanent accommodation.
Today, Minister for Safe and Legal Migration Kevin Foster wrote to the final group of 29 local authorities and directed them to take part.
Minister for Safe and Legal Migration Kevin Foster said:
I am grateful for the continued support of local authorities who have already stepped up to help more unaccompanied asylum seeking children.
Mandating the scheme has already led to additional placements but we know there is more work to be done.
The Home Office takes a range of factors into account when deciding the number of children that will be allocated to a specific local authority, including the proportion of unaccompanied asylum seeking children. A local authority will not need to accept unaccompanied asylum seeking children where this cohort already makes up 0.07% or more of their general child population. When numbers fall below this level, they will begin to receive children through the mandatory scheme.
Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-push-to-help-unaccompanied-asylum-seeking-children-as-part-of-new-plan-for-immigration
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