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Safeguarding Strategy: Unaccompanied asylum seeking and refugee children

The rise in the number of unaccompanied asylum seeking and refugee children in the UK in recent years, and a complex, rapidly-changing international situation, have highlighted challenges specific to this group of children. We are committed to addressing these challenges.

This strategy sets out the additional actions that the Government will take to safeguard and promote the welfare of these children, in recognition of the increasing numbers and specific needs of unaccompanied children1 in the UK, unaccompanied children arriving through a legal pathway and unaccompanied children arriving clandestinely.

Our aspiration is that all unaccompanied children have access to the care, services and support they need, with a more equal distribution of caring responsibilities across the UK. This means no one local authority should be caring for a disproportionate number of unaccompanied children. We want every local authority to feel capable of supporting their welfare needs, with professionals in place with the right skills, training and experience to deliver high quality care. And we want to ensure that children have access to high quality placements and support that meets their needs and helps them fulfil their long-term potential – whether their future is in the UK or elsewhere.