KCC has announced today that it will once again be admitting unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) into its reception centres.
However, it has warned that the current level of arrivals across the Channel makes it unlikely it will be able to safely accommodate all UASC arrivals on Kent’s shores.
KCC Leader Roger Gough, said: “We are in very advanced discussions with the Home Office to develop a safe and sustainable solution for Kent to support those who arrive in the county. This reflects the realities of the government strategy for the distribution of UASC around all local authorities in the UK through the National Transfer Scheme, without our services being overwhelmed by the numbers of new arrivals.
“In June this year we informed the Home Office that we no longer had the capacity to safely look after newly arrived UASC from the port of Dover because of the strain on our Children’s Services, given the number of arrivals. Similar action was taken in August 2020 for the same reason.
“We remain of the view that the only long-term solution to caring for and distributing UASC fairly and safely is for the Home Secretary to use her power under the 2016 Immigration Act to make participation in the National Transfer Scheme mandatory for all local authorities and will keep all legal options open to pursue that if necessary.”