The government has launched a two-week consultation on revised guidance for social workers supporting unaccompanied and trafficked children.
The guidance outlines steps a local authority should take to support looked-after children who are unaccompanied asylum seekers, unaccompanied migrant children or child victims of modern slavery.
It sets out what social workers need to know in terms of understanding the immigration application process, the wider child protection system around child victims of modern slavery and how the child’s experiences may impact on assessment, support and transitions into adulthood.
The government said it is updating the guidance to take into account the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act in 2015.
The guidance also includes details of when social workers will be approached by the Home Office where children are presenting a case for asylum or leave to remain.
The guidance said social workers will participate in a case review, usually involving a telephone or conference call.
This “is intended to explain the asylum process, ensure the child has legal representation, check progress in completing the Statement of Evidence Form and confirm that the child is ready to be interviewed,” the report said.
Social workers will also be asked to complete a current circumstances form – part 2. This is normally used for children who have been refused asylum and the Home Office is considering returning the child to their home country.
The government is seeking views on the revisions. The consultation closes on March 17.