Arriving in the UK

If you are under 18 and arrive in the country by yourself with no one to look after you, you will be cared for by a local authority.

This information is for children aged 16 and under who are in the care of Kent County Council.

What will happen:

  • You will be given somewhere to live.
  • You will be able to go to school.
  • If you are ill or hurt, you can get free health care.
  • We also aim to meet your religious and cultural needs.
  • We will help you to find an immigration solicitor who will help you with your asylum claim. This is when you ask to stay in the UK as it would be unsafe for you to return to where you lived before.
  • If you need it, someone will help you by translating what is being said into your own language, so you understand what is happening.

Some of the people who will support and help you are:

  • Your Social Worker
  • Independent Reviewing Officer
  • Designated Teacher

How will your Social Worker help you?

When you first arrive in the UK, you will be given a Social Worker. They will spend some time with you and make sure you are happy with the way you are being cared for. They will support you during asylum interviews and assessments and help you with the asylum process. If you need extra help, like counselling, from other people or organisations, they will help you get this.

You will also have a Care Plan that sets out your needs and how these will be met.

Find out more about the role of Social Worker here.

Find out more about your Care Plan here.

How will your Independent Reviewing Officer help you?

Your Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) is in charge of checking your case. They must make sure that Kent County Council is doing what it is supposed to do for you while you’re in care, make sure that where you live is right for you and that you are happy. They lead your Child in Care review meetings which check your care plan is working and make sure everyone, including you, has a say in the plans for your future. Once decisions have been made, they make sure they are carried out. It is important that your needs as an asylum seeker or refugee are thought about and they make sure this happens.

Find out more about the role of IRO here.

How will your designated teacher help you?

The designated teacher at your school is there to make sure you settle in well and are getting the support you need in class to do your best. Find out more about the role of the designated teacher here.

Other organisations that can help you

The Refugee Council

The Children’s Section works with children across England. They can help you understand the asylum process.

Visit their website for more information.

Migrant Help

This website gives advice about how to claim asylum and the asylum process.

Visit their website for more information.

It also includes translated information.

Visit their website for more information.

Kent Refugee Action Network (KRAN)

This is an educational and youth based centre offering support to young unaccompanied asylum seekers and refugees.

Visit their website for more information.

To go, a referral must be made through your social worker.

They offer a one-to-one advice line with a solicitor on all issues affecting migrant, asylum-seeking and refugee children and young people, whether you are separated or with your family.

Visit their website for more information.

The Red Cross

The Red Cross can help you find missing relatives abroad through their international family tracing service.

Visit their website for more information.