If you are under 18 and enter the United Kingdom by yourself to seek asylum, you will become the responsibility of a local authority. You have the right to an assessment of your needs under the Children Act 1989.
An age assessment may also be carried out if there is uncertainty about how old you are and you do not have documents to prove your age. If this happens, you will be offered an independent visitor, who has had training and understands your needs, to support you.
This information is for young people aged 16 and under, who are in the care of Kent County Council.
What to expect:
Kent County Council will provide you with suitable accommodation that meets your needs.
You are also entitled to an education and you will be found a place at a school or college.
You are entitled to free health care from the NHS.
You will be helped to find an immigration solicitor who will support you with your asylum claim.
You will receive help with money and planning for the future.
You are entitled to support from an interpreter during meetings with your Social Worker, immigration solicitor and others so you understand what is being said and can more easily give your view.
We will aim to meet your religious and cultural needs.
Some of the people who will support and help you are:
Your Social Worker
Independent Reviewing Officer
This is the person who is employed by Kent County Council who works with you. When you first arrive in the country, a Social Worker will be appointed to you. They should spend time making sure you are settled and will visit to make sure that you are happy with the way you are being cared for. You can phone your social worker and ask them to visit you (in between their regular visits) if you need to talk to them about something. Your Social Worker is there to help you and make sure you have all the support you need. They will work with other organisations if you need additional support, such as counselling. They will also help you with the asylum process and can attend asylum interviews with you.
You will have a Care Plan that sets out your needs and how they will be met.
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.
Your IRO is in charge of monitoring your case. They have to make sure the local authority is doing what it is supposed to do for you while you’re in care, make sure where you live is right for you and that you are happy. This is different from the job of your social worker, which is to manage your case. Your IRO will chair your Child in Care review meetings which happen every six months and check that your care plan is right for you. It is their job to make sure that everyone listens to what you have to say and considers it carefully when they are making decisions. They check that everyone is keeping to their part of the plan and that there are clear plans for your future. It is the IRO’s role to make sure that decisions made are implemented. It is important that your needs as an asylum seeker or refugee are thought about and they make sure this happens.
The Designated Teacher at your school or college is there to support you with your education. They (and the other teachers) will help you settle into your new school and make sure you have everything you need to do your best.