Mark Whitehead 08 December 2017

Scheme to share responsibility unaccompanied asylum-seeking children is extended

A scheme to make sure local authorities share responsibilities for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children is to be extended to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The National Transfer Scheme means local authorities which are caring for a large number of unaccompanied children can transfer some to another council which has spare capacity.

New legislation means local authorities in Scotland and Wales, and health and social care trusts in Northern Ireland will now participate in the scheme which has been running in England since July 2016.

Local authorities are currently providing support to over 4,500 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

Immigration minister Brandon Lewis said: 'The National Transfer Scheme is essential in ensuring all unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in the care of local authorities get the support they need.

'I am delighted that so many local authorities have already expressed their interest in getting involved. By bringing forward this legislation we will have a truly national scheme.

'I hope that going forward, local authorities from all across the UK will volunteer to play their part in providing protection for the thousands of children who need our help each year.'

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