Asylum rules conflict with duties under the Children Act, social workers warn

    The British Association of Social Workers is considering setting
    up a charity in partnership with other agencies to prevent failed
    asylum seekers’ children being taken into care,
    writes Amy Taylor.

    Measures under the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants,
    etc) Act mean support will soon be withdrawn from failed asylum
    seekers who refuse to return home and their children will be taken
    into care.

    Ian Johnston, director of BASW, said that the measures directly go
    against the duty on social workers under the Children Act to keep
    families together.

    “If we need to establish a service that would prevent them
    [the children] from being separated from their parents then we
    will,” he said. He added that this would consist of providing
    support to the whole family.

    He said that the plans would heavily damage the relationship
    between social workers and asylum seekers and families whose
    immigration status was being disputed.

    “They are not going to want to approach social workers if
    they think social workers are the agents of the state,” he
    said.

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