In a response to the Department for Education (DfE) consultation on the revision of statutory guidance on the care of unaccompanied asylum seeking and trafficked children, BASW’s Asylum, Immigration and Trafficking Group, a sub group of the Policy Ethics and Human Rights Committee (PEHR), highlights the gap between good practice guidelines and the reality of the work.
BASW’s consultation response states: “While the guidance has made many points well, it is disappointing that so much of the reality surrounding the implementation of this guidance, where it is good practice, does not then permit implementation and for it to be established as best practice.”
The response also makes clear children should be viewed as children first and asylum seekers second and both the spirit and letter of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) should be honoured at all times.
Originally published in 2014, legislative changes such as the Modern Slavery Act 2015, policy developments such as the National Transfer Scheme (NTS) for unaccompanied asylum seeking children and recent global events have led to the DfE seeking to update the statutory guidance on the care of unaccompanied asylum seeking and trafficked children.
The DfE describes the consultation as determining whether the revised guidance “provides sufficient advice to local authorities in England looking after unaccompanied migrant children and child victims of modern slavery”. The Government aims to publish the revised statutory guidance by Spring 2017; the consultation opened on 3 March 2017 and closed on 17 March 2017.
BASW UK Vice Chair Fran Fuller said: “While we appreciate the move to update the statutory guidance, it is clear from members working in the field that services need urgent funding. Without adequate provision to allow social workers to do what’s best for these children, there will always remain a gap between the written guidance and the reality of what’s happening in local services”.
Click HERE to read BASW’s consultation response in full
Click HERE to visit the DfE consultation website