SESPM is working with our local authorities, the Home Office and their contracted asylum accommodation provider to achieve a more equitable distribution of asylum accommodation in line with the region’s population. In addition to asylum dispersal the region also has been home to contingency accommodation through the Covid-19 pandemic and through recovery.
Within the South East the following organisations hold the Asylum support contracts:
- The Asylum Accommodation and Support Services Contract (AASC) is held by Clearsprings Readyhomes.
- The Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility Assistance services (AIRE) contract is held by Migrant Help.
Asylum Seeker Mental Health & Wellbeing – Funding opportunity!
The Secretary of State for the Home Department (the “Authority”), acting through the Resettlement, Asylum Support & Integration Directorate, intends to make an amount of up to £1,000,000 of grant funding available to Local Authorities, Strategic Migration Partnerships and sector civil society organisations in the United Kingdom to help improve the mental health and wellbeing of vulnerable adult asylum seekers, before they receive their substantive decision, and as they progress through the asylum journey. This funding will be granted during 2021-22 financial year and all allocations must be spent by 31 March 2022. The Funding is to be awarded through a fair, open and transparent competition by means of a Call for Proposals and will be to support bidders’ projects that will put in place short term support for vulnerable adult asylum seekers and identify longer term opportunities for additional mental health and wellbeing support. The minimum award will be £10,000 and the maximum award will be up to £1 million.
The partnership has a seconded Principal Social Worker, Katie Thrussell, who is assisting councils on Migrant Children. Katie is providing expert support which for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC), including organising practitioner training in key areas including Age Assessment, Trauma Training and Child Trafficking as well as coordinating a practitioners’ group. SESPM also sits on the National Police Chiefs Council task and finish group on UASC issues.
The new NTS scheme
A new National Transfer Scheme (NTS) model was announced in July 2021 for unaccompanied children. The new model follows up on last year’s joint HO/DfE consultation which identified key barriers to local authority participation. Consequently, a new package has been announced that hopes to address those concerns. The Home Office are finalising the details of the rota with Ministers and hope to ‘soft launch’ the rota as soon as possible in July.
The Home Office has been working to set up a response for new asylum seeker arrivals who are displaying symptoms of Covid-19.
Welcome to our new website. We hope to be able to update you regularly with the latest news across the sector and keep you informed about resources and information in a timely fashion.
The UK Government have provided a fact sheet in relation to transfers of UASC into the UK. This includes their key points, background information and figures.