Cornwall Council’s Commitment to Unaccompanied Refugee Children

Posted on: 19th May 2016

Cornwall Council’s commitment to unaccompanied refugee children made by the Leader at Full Council this week. Below is what he said:

Statement re: Cornwall Council’s position on unaccompanied child refugees

On the 4th of May the Government agreed to resettle unaccompanied child refugees who are currently in Europe to the UK. The Minister for Immigration has confirmed that the Government will consult with local authorities in due course before specifying the number of children it will seek to resettle from within Europe.

Cornwall is committed to providing support to unaccompanied child refugees and has already supported accompanied children as part of existing Syrian refugee resettlement scheme. We are already talking to foster carers and supported lodgings providers to make sure we are ready if/when we are asked.

It is important that the views and wishes of the children and young people are taken into account when allocating them to local authority areas. Many already have family and friends in the UK and would prefer to be near them or to communities that share their language, heritage and culture. However, Cornwall has a good track record of making people from different backgrounds welcome and this is no different.

Cornwall hopes that the Government takes into account the resources available to local authorities when allocating children. We will need a little time to match these children carefully to experienced foster carers who are skilled in caring for children who have experienced trauma, separation and loss.

We welcome the expressions of interest from the public in providing foster placements and would ask them to get in touch with our foster carer recruitment team. It is important to note that a fostering assessment can take 4-6 months. Please contact the team by email  or by phone 01872 323638.