Kent’s children services have reached “the limit”

Kent County Council HQ
Kent County Council
Kent County Council has warned it has “reached the limit” on the number of unaccompanied migrant children it can look after.

The council says it is no longer operating at a safe capacity – the second time in the space of a year this has happened.

From Monday it will no longer be able to accept any new children and is calling on the Home Office and other local authorities to do more.

I am profoundly saddened to be in this unthinkable position once again in such a short period of time. Despite warnings, and continued dialogue with government, Kent’s UASC support resources are again significantly overwhelmed.

Roger Gough, Leader of Kent County Council
It follows an announcement from the Home Office on Thursday, which would encourage more local authorities across the UK to take in child migrants who arrived unaccompanied.

The authority had previously threatened legal action against the Home Secretary over the extreme pressure on its services. However, it is still waiting on a response from Priti Patel before considering its next steps.

If every other local authority in the UK were to take two or three under 18-year-old UASC who arrive at Dover into their care, Kent’s numbers would reduce to the council’s safe allocation immediately. This remains, a small problem for the nation to resolve but a huge and unreasonable responsibility for Kent.

Roger Gough, Leader of Kent County Council
The Home Office says it is grateful for the role Kent plays in the care of migrant children.

The Home Office is grateful for the role Kent County Council has played in supporting unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and we have provided them with substantial operational support, including transferring those in need of support to other local authorities in the UK. We recently announced vital updates to the National Transfer Scheme to alleviate pressures on certain areas.

Home Office spokesperson


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