Destitution and the UK. The fight isn't over when a child arrives here
It would be great if we could say that once children enter the United Kingdom, all will be fine. Unfortunately, this is far from reality. Legislation in the United Kingdom continues to provide challenges to refugee children, particularly those brought in under Dublin III, who often have No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF).
We have recently been supporting a young person and their relative who he settled with in the UK. In a horrifying turn of circumstances, they found themselves without accommodation and without the resources to resolve this on their own. They continued to the housing office for support, but legislation prevents the relative from considering the young person in their claim for housing, as he has NRPF.
Eventually, this resulted in both relative and young person, alongside one of us spending two days fighting with two different local authorities to try and secure support for the young person who was very close to living on the streets. This resulted in the young person being accommodated - While we try and resolve the relatives housing situation so they can be reunified once more. We are also working closely with a legal team, to try and house them together under S17 of the Children's Act.
Unfortunately, in times when you have a day before a child is on the streets, there is not time to put together eloquent legal arguments to keep a family together. The only option was to find accommodation for the child and relative separately. Legislation needs to change to make sure this can't happen, that families are kept together, not separated, particularly when a child has already had a traumatic past.
We are continuing to support this family to improve their housing situation, so they can be reunified as quickly as possible. We also continue to provide emotional and social support to both young person and relative and are helping to bridge consistent contact to ensure they are still together while apart.
You can help us support this family and other's like this by making a donation to us.