Social workers are taking asylum-seeking children hundreds of miles across the UK for meetings with immigration caseworkers only to find they cannot take place because of a lack of interpreters, it has been claimed.
Under the new national asylum model, every person applying for asylum has a named caseworker.
But Judith Dennis, policy advisor at the Refugee Council, said in some cases interpreters were not available and the caseworkers themselves could not attend, undermining the whole system.
She told a Community Care conference last week: “It is not unusual for social workers to spend half the day travelling from Norfolk to Solihull with a child only to find there is no interpreter. The Home Office needs to look at the system again and improve it.”
Dennis also said the Refugee Council was dealing with increasing numbers of cases where immigration officials who disputed the age of an applicant were failing to accept the birth date the charity provided.See The Child Minders view on asylum seeking children