Campaigners have raised concerns about the long-awaited Home Office consultation on reforming the support arrangements for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, published today.The Refugee Council said the proposals put children’s immigration status before their needs as children. The document’s proposal for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children to be potentially taken away from their foster parents when they turned sixteen was an example of this, it added
Anna Reisenberger, acting chief executive of the Refugee Council, said: “When it comes to immigration control, child welfare comes a poor second“
Welfare support is well-legislated for as far as children are concerned and we should focus on making the system we already have work better for this group of children.
Above all, any reforms of policy for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children should start with what is in the best interests of the childThe document’s key proposals include placing unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in a number of regions to relieve the pressure on local authorities in the South East, and using dental x-rays to assess the children’s ages.