Agenda item

Addressing Cost Care and Support for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeing Children

(Presentation to follow)


The Executive Director for Children Families and Education introduced the item and outlined details in a Presentation.

Following the presentation, Members had the opportunity to ask questions.

The Chair summarised that:

  • It was clear that Croydon wanted to take care of all children in need despite the current climate
  • Some progress had been made in trying to get other Local Authorities to share responsibility for UASC through the Pan London Agreement.
  • Members were unanimous in their belief that funding from central government was not adequate, in particular for the 18-25 year old group.
  • The paper was referred to Scrutiny by Cabinet but it was unclear what was being asked of the sub-committee.

It was commented that there was uncertainty as to whether this meeting was a pre decision Scrutiny exercise or just an information giving exercise. Officers said that there were two issues for consideration, the need to reduce the number of UASC children in Croydon and also the funding gap. Solutions were being sought for both issues and a decision would have to be taken to reduce the pressure on Croydon. The Cabinet Member for Children Families and Education added that the issues presented a number of complexities, the details of which were being presented for noting by Scrutiny at this stage to bring awareness that decisions on safeguarding and risk may have to be taken where relevant with little notice. There would be an opportunity for further discussions but it was vital that Scrutiny had early oversight of the situation.

In  response to a question on what measure were in place to maintain the budget  , officers said that they were working towards ensuring that they could get the best value for placements but more needed to be done in this area.

It was clear that a meeting would need to take place to discuss the matter in detail and it was agreed for an informal meeting to take place in the coming weeks to discuss the options in greater depth.


 In reaching its recommendation the Sub-Committee came to the following conclusions:

  1. It was encouraging that the need to take care of all children despite the current climate was behind all decision making
  2. There had been some progress made through the Pan London agreement
  3. The additional funding from government was welcome. The revisions to the National Transfer Scheme will need to be judged on whether it is effective in addressing the issues facing Croydon.
  4. There were still serious concerns regarding the level of funding received from government which was not enough to support and provide services for UASC and, mainly, the resulting disproportionate number of Looked After Children in Croydon due to the large number of former UASC
  5. It was unclear what was being asked of the Children and Young People sub-committee by Cabinet who recommended that this report be presented to the sub-committee. The Cabinet Member clarified that the significant costs were not sustainable, especially given the Council’s serious financial position. Consequently decisions will need to be made soon on what action to take. The Cabinet requests that the assumptions in the report are challenged at Scrutiny so that any decision is based on a robust and well-founded information.


The Sub-Committee recommended that:

  1. The Chair engage in further discussion with officers to obtain reassurance on the robustness of the case which will be the foundation of a future Cabinet decision.


Action/Request for info

  • Data on UASC in employment or further education






Supporting documents: