Sunday, January 29, 2023

Many children supported after leaving care in Thurrock were asylum seekers

MORE than a third of young people receiving support after leaving care in Thurrock were asylum seekers, a report has revealed.

Thurrock has 251, 16 to 25-year-olds who have left care and are being monitored by the council’s after care service, with 95 of them being former unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC).
Outlining a report to councillors on the hidden and extreme harms prevention committee, Luke Foment,

Thurrock Council’s service manager for looked after children also revealed it is costing more than £1.2 of Government funding to support UASC in the borough.

Mr Foment told the committee on Thursday an expected increase in the number of children Thurrock has to take under a national quota is beginning to materialise.

He said: “The quota set against the child population has recently increased nationally in response to the large number of children coming into the country via Kent. Those quotas were previously set at 0.07 per cent now having reached 0.1 per cent. What that means for Thurrock is that we previously would have been responsible for 31 unaccompanied asylum seeking children in terms of their long-term care and since the increase in that quota we are now responsible for up to 45.

“That has an impact in terms the case loads of social workers in Thurrock and personal advisors in our after care team because many of the children coming via this route are in the older age bracket of 16 up and therefore approaching adulthood.”

Between April and November 14 new UASC arrived in Thurrock. The total at the end of November was 34 children. Mr Foment said: “We are starting to see a gradual rise above that previous limit of 31 that would have been our quota and as of today we have got 37 USAC in Thurrock.”

Councillors heard between April and October there were 11 missing episodes related to three children who went missing on more than one occasion. Currently there are no long-term missing children.

The council receives a grant of £143 per person per night. Placements with foster carers or agencies range between £800 and £1,000 a week and the service is forecast to cost £1.259 million for fiscal year.

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