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Tue, 09 Jul 24 10:00

Comment: National Transfer Scheme

Andy Smith, ADCS Vice President, said:

“The High Court judgment on 27 July further highlights how the way in which we care for and support unaccompanied children who are fleeing desperate situations does not work. The National Transfer Scheme (NTS) no longer effectively functions; the scheme was not designed to support the dispersal of such high numbers of unaccompanied children and young people which is why we need a comprehensive system wide review of how it operates.

“There are inherent system pressures impacting on the ability of local authorities to support the efficient functioning of the NTS, such as a lack of adequate funding, a national shortage of placements and local authorities are supporting an increasing number of former UASC care leavers. Local authorities are proactively exploring all options available to them to find suitable places for children in their care to live and to reduce the insurmountable pressures placed on Kent as a result of the judgment. We do not believe the proposals in this letter will sufficiently expand placement capacity in the way that we need, and not in the time frame we need. ADCS has serious concerns about the reforms to semi-independent accommodation, recent research suggests the reforms could increase costs and significantly reduce capacity when we need it most. Furthermore, you can’t reopen a children’s home overnight not least because there is a shortage of registered managers and residential care workers to staff the homes. We need a coordinated plan over the short, medium and long term to meet the needs of unaccompanied children who need our support. ADCS is actively engaged in discussions with government to try to find a sustainable solution to the way in which the system responds to the needs of unaccompanied children and young people arriving in the UK.”


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