According to official statistics, as of 31 March 2017 London boroughs were looking after 1,540 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children – one third of all UASCs in England.
This figure is rising. The percentage of UASCs in most boroughs is well over 0.7%. The actual cost of caring for UASCs is high. Central funding is inadequate. A significant number of London Boroughs have reported cumulative funding pressure as a result of having to deliver unfunded responsibilities for UASCs.
The Pan London Rota and the National Transfer Scheme were intended to share out the responsibility for UASCs, but not all councils are making the best use of the National Transfer Scheme in particular, or their decisions are being challenged by solicitors who are rapidly gaining interest and expertise in this area and, as a result, are getting ahead of the game.
Local authorities need to be on top of the relevant legislation and guidance if their decisions are to withstand potentially costly challenges.
At this roundtable discussion, Kelvin Rutledge QC and Zoë Whittington will provide you with a timely update on the relevant law and practice concerning local authority support and dispersal of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASCs) under the National Transfer Scheme, including steps to be taken to minimise legal challenges.
If you are interested to attend, please contact Sherine Morgan (firstname.lastname@example.org).