Thursday, 05 March 2015

Child asylum seekers will receive worse care, union warns

Unison has warned that funding cuts could lead to child asylum seekers receiving worse care.

Dave Prentis, the union’s general secretary, has written to the United Kingdom Border Agency to express concern about cuts to funds paid to councils for caring and supporting unaccompanied child asylum seekers.

Some councils are receiving cuts to their unaccompanied asylum seeking children service of up to 15 per cent, the union said.

Mr Prentis said: ‘Unaccompanied child asylum seekers are some of the most vulnerable young people in our society. They come to the UK alone, seeking safe haven from terrible situations, and we should help them to rebuild their lives.

“Councils have a legal duty to protect all children, wherever they come from. Not only is it deeply worrying that children from abroad could get worse care than local citizen children - it is also illegal.

“We are calling on the Home Office and the UK Border Agency to think again about the needs of these vulnerable young children and stop these damaging cuts.” Solihull Council in the West Midlands has received a cut to its UASC budget of £1.2 million, the union said.

Unison says that plans are being drawn up to remove children aged 16 and a half from care and put them into independent accommodation. It says Solihull Council is also planning to cut the number of social workers and support workers working on unaccompanied child asylum seeker cases, making them deal with higher caseloads.

Readers' comments (3)

  • It may sound unkind but seriously, unaccompanied or accompanied asylum seekers should not be detained in this country for any length of time - but speedily dealt with and deported to their countries of origin or their embassies asked to pay for their upkeep.

    We are in this pickle for literal adhearance to European human rights law - in effect this is misplaced kindness as in the longer term these people suffer discrimination and exploitation and would have sorted out a life for themselves in their own countries. Many would not venture out if it was not for the misplaced do-good pronouncements from here..

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  • I could not agree more. Airlines should be told that unaccompanied children should have the correct paywork, and will not be let off the plane without. They should also pay the full cost of taking care of the child, if they make a claim for asylum, until they can be returned. Or to make it easy £50 K a year , with no limit. I think they would check people flying or sailing a great deal more carefully.
    We should stop accepting AS, All should be returned within 7 days of landing in any sea or airport. All those in the country should be told to leave now. All state benefits should be stopped immediately and anyone who arrives of any category should be told you need ten years of NI contributions BEFORE you qualify to be considered for ANY benefits, housing ,child asssistance etc.

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  • Ivana Hart

    More left wing drivel from Unison, quelle surprise. This country is such a soft touch. Whatever happened to claiming asylum in the first country where it is safe to do so as the UN Convention states should happen? Oh yes, of course, I remember. They don't claim asylum in France or Italy as they don't get free housing and benefits for life and the right to invite some enormous extended family of 20 or so. Instead they make their way to Dover in order to get on a lorry to the promised land of the soft touches and Unison. Just great.

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