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British Association of Social Workers (BASW) Response to the statutory guidance for local authorities’ consultation on the “Care of unaccompanied migrant children and child victims of modern slavery”

BASW has participated in formulating and is a signatory to the response submitted by the RCC (Refugee Children Consortium). Our stand alone response is to further and in greater depth address the social work issues experienced by our members.

BASW welcomes and supports the updating of the statutory guidance to address legislative change and agrees that the children covered by this guidance and consultation process are some of the most vulnerable in the country. BASW believes the overriding principles which must be applied to these children and young people and in keeping with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC);

1. That these are children first and foremost and their immigration status whatever it may be should not be the primary or deciding factor which influences their Care Plan or their Pathway Plan.
2. That services provided are based on assessment of need and best interest decision making principles.
3. That decisions by all the responsible authorities must be made in a timely way that secures stable and permanent outcomes to avoid unnecessary delay and uncertainty which are deeply damaging for these children and young people.