Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) Coordinator

Children’s social services during the COVID-19 pandemic: guidance (UASC Section): Read more here - GOV.Wales


Role

The UASC Coordinator oversees transfers of children into Wales through the various Home Office schemes and provides support and capacity building for local authorities and other partners receiving planned and spontaneous arrivals of children and young people. Unaccompanied asylum seeking children can arrive in Wales via a number of different routes;

  • Children can arrive spontaneously
  • Children can be transferred from local authorities elsewhere in the UK under the National Transfer Scheme
  • Children can be transferred from Europe under section 67 Immigration Act 2016 (the Dubs Amendment)
  • UASC’s can be transferred from the Middle East and North Africa under the Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme (VCRS).
  • Children can be reunited with family in Wales under the Dublin III Regulation

 

What is a UASC?

The UK Government Immigration Rules defines an unaccompanied asylum seeking child as a person who:

  1. is under 18 years of age when the asylum application is submitted.
  2. is applying for asylum in their own right; and
  3. is separated from both parents and is not being cared for by an adult who in law or by custom has responsibility to do so

 

Spontaneous Arrivals of Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children

Most UASC arrive in the UK by their own means and are encountered either at their port of entry, at the Asylum Intake Unit in Croydon, or otherwise by police, social services and various agencies throughout the UK. The local authority in which the child first presents is normally responsible for their care.

A UASC may also be routed to Wales by the Home Office if an immigration officer takes the view that the young person’s physical appearance and demeanour strongly suggests that they are over the age of 25 and is therefore being treated as an adult. In these instances, the young person should still be referred to the Local Authority in which they are residing for a full age assessment.

 

National Transfer Scheme

The National Transfer Scheme (NTS) was developed to encourage all local authorities in the UK to volunteer to support unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) so there is a more even distribution of caring responsibilities across the country. The provisions of the NTS were extended to Wales in December 2017.

For further information click here

 

Dubs Amendment / Section 67

The ‘Dubs’ amendment is also referred to as Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016. Unaccompanied children who have arrived in Greece, France and Italy could be transferred to the UK under the Dubs programme and are supported and in the care of LA’s across the UK. Because of their vulnerable circumstances, the majority are placed with highly experienced foster carers. 

For further information click here

 

Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme (link to VCRS)

The Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme was announced in April 2016 and is available to children at a high risk of harm and exploitation along with their families. Identified by the UNHCR as being most in need, they are resettled to the UK from refugee camps and other unsafe environments across the Middle East and North Africa. 

For further information click here

 

Dublin III Regulation

The Dublin III Regulation (‘Dublin’) is an EU law which sets out which European country is responsible for someone’s asylum claim. A child who claims asylum and is unaccompanied can be transferred to a country where they have family members (parent/carer, child or spouse) or relatives (aunt, uncle and grandparent). 

For further information click here

 

Funding for Local Authorities

Local Authorities may claim reimbursement of costs for supporting and caring for unaccompanied asylum seeking children and for those former UASC’s receiving support under Leaving Care arrangements. UKVI have produced funding instructions for Local Authorities on the process for making these claims. 

For further information click here


For more information contact:  Sabina Hussain - Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Coordinator 

Telephone: 02920 468670 or 07787 578873 Email: sabina.hussain@wlga.gov.uk

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The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) represents the interests of local government and promotes local democracy in Wales.

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