Webinar: EU Settlement Scheme for Looked After Children and Care Leavers
This webinar is now available to watch online
Last week, BASWs Head of Policy and Research Luke Geoghegan chaired a session organised by The Children’s Society and the Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit about children in care from the EU who need to register for the EU Settlement Scheme as soon as possible.
According to a legal judgement on 31st March 2021*, local authorities have a legal obligation to ensure that children in their care who are EU nationals have submitted applications to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) which closes on 30th June 2021. If a child does not have an application submitted, they will be viewed as being in the UK illegally. The responsibility lies with local authorities to meet this deadline and secure the rights of EU children in care in the UK to remain here legally.
It is essential that all local authorities understand their obligations towards eligible children, recognise the repercussions if no application is made, and take action to ensure that no child is failed by a local authority who did not act on their behalf. If a local authority does not submit an application, that child will not have a right to remain in the UK, and may face an uncertain and unsettled future. As children do not have the capacity to act on their own behalf, it is the duty of the local authority to act for them.
Research has found that half of EU children in the care of UK local authorities have not had applications submitted on their behalf to the EU Settlement Scheme**. It is important that social workers establish are aware of whether any children they are aware of fall into this category.
** As at 26 November 2020 the survey indicated that of those 3,300 eligible children and young people, 1,520 applications had been received.