Cornwall taking Unaccompanied Child Refugees
Cornwall to take unaccompanied child refugees will be welcome news by the many who have asked me what Cornwall Council is doing but I know some that read this will not be happy. Personally, I think this is the right thing to do and it fits with my grandmothers philosophy, that I subscribe to “do as you would be done by” (from Water Babies by Charles Kingsley, 1963). This will be part of Government plans to resettle unaccompanied child refugees who are currently in Europe or the UK (many in Kent).
Those who fear this, there will not be a ‘flood’ of children and my reason for sharing this information is to put facts out there as too often judgements are made without them.
Cornwall Council has agreed to take part in the ‘Regional Rota’ to receive young people aged 16-17 years, who represent the majority of children seeking asylum in the UK. The Council has been informed that the main countries of origin are currently, Albania, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa affected by war. Nearly three quarters of the children are male and have been ‘age-assessed’ as 16-17 years old.
An agreement has been reached with Government to allocate unaccompanied asylum seeking children to local authorities in numbers proportionate to the child population of each area. On this basis Government is asking Cornwall to take 73 children in the first phase which is over the next two years.
I am confident that the residents of Cornwall will want to welcome and support these youngsters who will have suffered much trauma to get here.
Anyone able to offer help such as providing a foster placement or supported lodgings for unaccompanied asylum seeking children, please get in touch with Cornwall’s Recruitment Team. The fostering assessment can take 4-6 months but for supported lodgings, often appropriate for older children, it is shorter. Please contact the team by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 01872 323638.