‘Measures may put children on streets’

Many children could end up homeless and sleeping rough because of
measures in the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants etc)
Bill, social workers and children’s charities have warned.

Under clause seven of the bill, debated in the House of Commons
this week, families whose asylum claims have failed will have
support removed which could force them into destitution.

The British Association of Social Workers has joined forces with
the Refugee Children’s Consortium to call for the plans to be
halted. They believe parents will not want to risk asking for help
for fear of having their children taken away and will instead end
up sleeping rough.

Jacqui McCluskey, policy officer at the NCH, which is a member of
the consortium, said: “It is completely hypocritical to say that
every child matters in the green paper in one breath, yet deprive
children whose asylum claims have failed of even the basic rights
and protection in the other.”

BASW director Ian Johnston warned that the clause completely
undermined the role of social work and would place pressure on
social services departments “to consider separating refugee
families for an entirely inappropriate reason”.

The consortium said the plans were “dangerous and immoral” and
called for clause seven to be removed.

The consortium is made up of non-governmental organisations
including Save the Children, the Refugee Arrivals Project, Bail for
Immigration Detainees and Barnardo’s.

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