The Big Question

Is it acceptable to have a two-tier leaving care system, one for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and one for the rest?

Jaya Kathrecha – Carer
If you create a two-tier leaving care system, you create a two-tier population – those integrated into society and those who aren’t. That is why any locally applied policy of removing unaccompanied asylum-seeking children from care sooner than the rest is worrying. The government should ensure that all children are treated the same.

Len Smith – Gypsy activist
I can never understand the mentality of bureaucrats who believe that it can be right to treat people with the same obvious needs in totally different ways. It seems to fly in the face of all reason, let alone the aims of much policy. Surely, if anything, the asylum-seeking child needs more care to help cope with an alien environment.

Angie Lawrence – Single mother
The government has placed much emphasis on Every Child Matters and yet clearly it doesn’t provide enough support for councils. If any council were to offer unaccompanied asylum-seeking children less help than other children that would be ludicrous. They may need more support because of issues of language, culture and so on.

Karen Shook – Disability equality adviser
Many looked-after children have a raw deal when it comes to support before, during and after leaving care. Unaccompanied looked-after children may also face the added plight of being considered for removal when they reach 18, however long they have been here. In no way should they be treated differently.

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