Comment on NTS announcement
Commenting on the announcement of a new National Transfer Scheme, ADCS President Charlotte Ramsden said:
“We welcome any additional funding that has been made available for supporting unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) entering the UK as well as a national approach to age assessments which will share the risks associated with legal challenges where age assessments are disputed. Whilst this is a modest uplift in funding, and remains insufficient to cover councils’ costs, we support the principle that funding will follow the child. This is recognition of the pressures faced by local authorities, caused by rising demand and pressures within the care system as a whole. Councils simply do not have the resources to divert spend from support for other vulnerable children in their care to cover any shortfall in the costs.
“In our joint response to last year’s national consultation on the National Transfer Scheme, ADCS and LGA recognised the growing strength of feeling amongst our respective members in supporting mandation and ADCS is disappointed that the scheme is to remain voluntary. However, we are keen for the revised system, based on regional rotas, to work. This will take into consideration the totality of migratory pressures within a local area when deciding the number of UASC that will be transferred. That being said, there remains several unresolved issues that we have been raising with Department for Education and Home Office officials for a number of years. Funding levels remain inadequate, there is still a need for a range of suitable placement options to meet the needs of those who arrive, better availability of specialist mental health support and significantly quicker immigration decisions for young people, particularly those approaching their 18th birthday. We will continue to work with government on these pressing issues.”