LGA - Unaccompanied child asylum seeker costs must be reimbursed
4 Aug 2015 11:17 AM
Find out more about the current pressures facing councils dealing with unaccompanied children seeking asylum.
Commenting on the current pressures facing councils dealing with unaccompanied children seeking asylum, Cllr David Simmonds CBE, Deputy Chairman of the Local Government Association, said:
"Councils are rallying together to help deal with the current emergency situation, but with around a third of migrants aged under 18, the LGA is calling on government to commit to reimburse the costs in full as the strain on already-stretched children's services budgets risks becoming unsustainable.
"When an unaccompanied child arrives in the UK, it is the council area where they arrive that is responsible for all costs associated with that child up until the age of 25. This includes schooling, foster care or children's homes, through to university fees and housing costs, whether they stay within the area or are moved elsewhere in the country.
"At the moment, these costs fall on the authorities covering the main entry points of the channel sea ports and the international airports, but the situation is becoming unsustainable as some have faced a doubling of the number of children in their care in a matter of weeks.
"In times of particularly high demand, councils work together to ensure that no young person is left with nowhere to go, but the current situation is placing unprecedented pressure on an already overburdened system. With the well-publicised issues around the channel tunnel, both local and central government need to work together to identify long term solutions to ensure that local communities do not have to cope with all of the pressures caused by an international problem."