Today the Government announced changes to the National Transfer Scheme, which shares out responsibility for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) across local authorities.
In response Cllr Damian White, London Councils’ Executive member for Schools and Children’s Services, said:
“London boroughs have a long and proud history of looking after vulnerable children fleeing difficult and traumatic circumstances.
“We are pleased that today’s announcement recognises the need for more funding in this area. This is an important improvement in the overall package of support. We will take time to understand the extent to which it meets all the cost to boroughs, so that we are able to provide quality care and support for children and young people.
“We are concerned that the scheme is still on a voluntary basis. The previous voluntary scheme did not succeed in creating a fair and equitable national process, putting significant pressure on many councils – in particular, but not solely, in areas where UASC are most likely to present themselves, including several London boroughs. There is an urgent need for the new scheme to show that it can work.
“We will continue to ask the Home Office and the Department for Education to work with councils across the country to help us deliver high quality care for UASC.”