Kent County Council has taken legal action against the Home Office after saying its children’s services have reached a “breaking point”.
So far this year, a total of 242 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASCs) have reached the Kent coast and the authority’s director of children’s services said “enough is enough”.
There are currently nearly double the number of UASC children in care in the county that the government says it is safe to look after.
following a similar plea last year, the Home Office and the Education Department have pledged to reform the national system so that services in Kent will not come under the same pressure this summer.
But, the council says that over the next nine months, although it welcomed government support for the transfer of some children out of Kent, assistance with age assessment and a Additional funding, the substantive changes needed to the National Transfer Scheme (NTS) to prevent a repeat have not been made, the council says.
A statement from the board said: “Once again, Kent services are at risk of being overwhelmed by the number of new UASC arrivals by boat, which already has 60 more children than at the same time of year. last.
“Kent’s services have reached breaking point for the second time in less than a year.”
The council has now taken the first steps in legal proceedings aimed at “implementing a long-term solution that will prevent this crisis from happening again”.
The proposed judicial review asks the Home Secretary to use his existing powers to order local authorities other than Kent to “receive their fair share from the UASC”.
Roger Gough, the authority’s director of children’s services, said the current pace of arrivals and the pressure on care services would likely mean that he will soon no longer be able to safely accept new UASC arrivals in Kent.
The Border Force will then be invited to place the new arrivals directly in other …
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This notice was published: 2021-06-06 15:00:00