Child welfare failing at detention centre

Children’s welfare is not being considered in detention decisions at Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre, the chief inspector of prisons has warned.

Anne Owers said a social worker at the centre, who took up her post two weeks before an inspection in February but resigned in March (Campaigners concerned about children at Yarl’s Wood), was completing three assessments of children at the time of the inspection.

Yet there was no system to ensure her findings informed advice to ministers, who must authorise detention beyond 28 days.

Bedfordshire Council, which is responsible for the social worker post, said this week that the vacancy had now been filled.


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