Councils fear costs hike after ruling

The Association of Directors of Social Services is to write to the
government expressing concern after last week’s High Court ruling
that councils should act as corporate parents to unaccompanied
asylum seeker children until they are 24.

Peter Gilroy, chairperson of the ADSS task force on asylum seekers,
said resources are not geared towards every unaccompanied minor
being in care.

“The association will write to the government to say we are gravely
concerned about the grant regime and the implications based on this
judgement,” he said.

Previously, authorities would assess whether it was necessary to
take full parental responsibility for unaccompanied minors in their
18th year and “for many this was not necessary”, Gilroy

The case was brought against Hillingdon Council in London. It
welcomed the clarification of its legal duties, but said it might
need up to £5m a year to provide the additional services.
These include a qualified social worker for each case and regular
independent reviews of health and education needs.

Gilroy, who is also Kent Council’s director of social services,
warned that as the county has three times more unaccompanied minors
than others it may need an extra £15m a year. Once the cost to
social services has been quantified, Gilroy plans to contact the
government to ensure that it understands the judgement’s

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