To receive a report from the Director of Children’s Services to provide an update in relation to Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children in Hampshire.
The Panel received a report from the Director of Children’s Services in relation to Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) being cared for by Hampshire’s Children’s Services.
The Panel heard that the majority of the UASC cared for by Hampshire had come into the UK of their own accord, although a significant minority who arrived over the last 6 months had been accepted by the South East Dispersal Scheme. It is suggested that each local authority should support a number of UASC that equates to 0.007% of their population, for Hampshire this would be 195 children and Young People.
A large number of UASC are placed with Independent Fostering Agency carers outside of Hampshire in order to achieve suitable placements for them. However this incurs a large cost and has an impact on both Social Workers time when visiting and their ability to form a relationship. Alongside this, the demand for Interpreters has increased across the county which puts a strain on good practise.
The Panel heard that these complications affect performance indicators as it is difficult to know historical details around UASC’s education or health. In addition, there is often a need for emergency placements for those who arrive without warning and a subsequent move to a permanent placement, affecting placement stability.
In response to questions Members heard that;
Resolved: That the Children and Families Advisory Board note the contents of the report and that an updated report be provided in February 2018.