Support for Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children

Support for Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children  Image

Dundee is offering support to Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children (UASC) after a report was approved.

The children and families services committee voted in favour of the council joining the national transfer scheme (NTS) to accommodate small numbers of young people aged 16-17 who have arrived in the UK as asylum seekers.

The young people are described as likely having travelled for many months. They may have experienced very difficult and traumatic living circumstances, including time spent in refugee camps, separation from their families, being victims of human trafficking, physical and sexual abuse and their basic needs generally not being met.

Councillors were told that in response to changes to the NTS nationally, a working group involving key partners from the council, NHS Tayside, further and higher education and the third sector has been established to plan and coordinate a local approach.

The emerging emergency situation in Afghanistan is also acknowledged in a report.

Committee convener Councillor Stewart Hunter said: “Changes to arrangements nationally mean that Dundee has a chance to take responsibility and offer support and care for these young people through the national transfer scheme.

“We already have a strong track record of helping families from Syria. I strongly believe that our city wants to reach out to those who are suffering and offer shelter and support. That is why I am keen we can assist those who have suffered so much trauma in their young lives.”

The committee met on Monday September 6.

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