Councils prepare for the arrival of children from Calais

Councils are making preparations for the arrival of 14 children from the Calais refugee camps into the UK.

The children are among 100 minors who will be brought over by the Home Office under a registration scheme, before the Jungle camp is dismantled. An EU regulation allows the children to seek UK asylum because they have close relatives already living in the country.

On arrival from the Jungle migrant camp, the children will be brought to register with the Home Office in Croydon.

Cllr David Simmonds, Chairman of the LGA's Asylum, Refugee and Migration Task Group, said: “Councils have a strong track record of supporting children travelling alone. The number of unaccompanied asylum seeking children living in England increased by more than 60 per cent to over 4,000 in the last year, and the vast majority of councils are already providing care and support for these vulnerable children and young people.

"Those arriving from the Calais camp will require care and support packages directly from councils and their partners. For those children relocated with existing family living in the UK, councils will still want to be assured that arrangements put in place can meet the child's needs and that they are safe and well.

"Many will have also experienced horrendous conditions within and since fleeing their country of origin, so councils will want to ensure they are able to settle into communities as quickly and easily as possible with ongoing support made available when they need it.

"Already, councils have offered to provide expert children's social workers to carry out assessments to help ensure the process is managed effectively and at speed. They will also play a crucial role in co-ordinating the support of charities and local volunteers.

"Councils also require long-term funding arrangements from government so that the commitment to support those children starting a new life in the UK is properly funded.”

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