National Transfer Scheme to be expanded

A scheme ensuring that the care responsibilities of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children is shared by local authorities to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is to be extended.

The government has said that the legislation, known as the National Transfer Scheme, will enable local authorities across Scotland and Wales, and Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland, to participate in the scheme which has been running in England since July 2016. It helps ensure there is a more even distribution of caring responsibilities and that all children get the care and support they need.

Brandon Lewis, Immigration Minister, said: “The National Transfer Scheme is essential in ensuring all unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in the care of local authorities get the support they need. I am delighted that so many local authorities have already expressed their interest in getting involved. By bringing forward this legislation we will have a truly national scheme. I hope that going forward, local authorities from all across the UK will volunteer to play their part in providing protection for the thousands of children who need our help each year.”

Local authorities are currently providing support to over 4,500 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. The scheme means that local authorities which are caring for a disproportionate number of unaccompanied children can transfer children to another council with capacity.

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