A pilot scheme that could be rolled out to large numbers of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children has been declared a success by the Home Office.
Under the Safe Case Transfer scheme, 16 and 17-year-old unaccompanied asylum seekers are assessed, becoming looked-after children, then moved from Kent Council to authorities in Greater Manchester, which are then responsible for their welfare. The scheme is designed to reduce pressure on the south east council, which takes a disproportionate number of minors.
A government review, revealed last week by Community Care (news, 23 March), aims to reduce similar burdens faced by other councils in the South East and London. Immigration minister Tony McNulty said: “This pilot will help us identify how a properly managed scheme for vulnerable young people from abroad could be set up.”
Under the review, all unaccompanied minors in London could be initially assessed at Hillingdon or Croydon before being dispersed to other councils across the capital.