On 16 January Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid, announced the allocation of £9 million from the Controlling Migration Fund.
Published: Friday, 19th January 2018
On 16 January Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid, announced the allocation of £9 million from the Controlling Migration Fund towards specific projects for unaccompanied asylum seeking children.
From this Hounslow Council, will receive funding of £276,200 which will build on our safeguarding strategy to address the specific challenges faced by some of the most vulnerable children in our society, and the professionals who care for them.
As a council, we are committed to providing support for unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) who have become the responsibility of the UK Government.
The four key challenges we face are;
- A lack of suitable foster carers with the background and knowledge to support UASC
- Not enough specialist training available for Social Workers and key stakeholders to deal with UASC needs including trafficking, child exploitation, immigration status and cultural integration
- Insufficient resources and structure to ensure UASC are supported after leaving care
- A lack of trauma counselling
These issues restrict our ability to provide positive outcomes for UASC which can result in an inability to integrate, involvement in criminality, substance abuse and hidden mental health issues.
Councillor Tom Bruce, Cabinet Member for Children Services, Hounslow Council said: “I am delighted to hear that our bid for funding has been successful.
“Hounslow is a vibrant, cultural borough and I believe that we have and will provide a safe refuge for vulnerable children fleeing danger in their own countries.
“With the funding, we will continue to provide care and support to vulnerable children and help them more as they integrate with our communities.
“The funds will also bring a range of benefits to the whole community by increasing the number of foster carers available and reducing pressures on existing services. “
UASC continue to arrive in the borough unannounced and currently the council supports a high number of UASC under 18 years. This funding will also allow us to support the training of social care staff, education and healthcare professionals.
Resources will also include a focussed foster care recruitment campaign to increase the diversity of our current carers. Improvement of our leaving care support for unaccompanied asylum seeking children will also allow us to share expertise with mental health, immigration support and to provide a trauma counselling service.