top of page
Adults'
All features
Training
Children's

Directors outline ‘significant concerns’ over Illegal Migration Bill

Leaders of children’s social services say the proposals put forward in the controversial bill are in conflict with current legislation, will remove children’s rights and will ‘distort the care system’.

28/03/23

Directors outline ‘significant concerns’ over Illegal Migration Bill

The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) has released a fiery statement condemning the government’s plans to introduce its controversial Illegal Migration Bill.

Outlining the Association’s ‘significant concerns’, President Steve Crocker said the measures put forward will have a ‘damaging effect’ on children who are fleeing desperate situations.

“As Directors of Children’s Services, we have a duty to safeguard all children in our care and to ensure they receive the right support that meets their needs. If this legislation is passed, it will run counter to a number of our fundamental responsibilities set out in the Children Act 1989, such as securing permanence and having consideration for children’s wishes and feelings.”

The group, which represents local authority directors with responsibility for children’s services, said it “is clear that all new legislation must be child focussed and protect their rights, yet this Bill seeks to do the opposite and removes such protection from a specific group of children.”

“All children in this country, irrespective of where they were born, have the right to a safe and nurturing environment. Just last month the government outlined its plan to reform the children’s social care system rooted in ‘stable homes, built on love’, a key set of policy proposals, the vast majority of which ADCS has supported; however, the provisions set out in this Bill largely contradict the government’s own vision for children in our care. We also hold real concerns about the unintended safeguarding risks the Bill creates for children and families, including the arrangements for vulnerable children who are detained with their family in Home Office accommodation. The Bill creates an incentive for children to run away before they turn 18 into the arms of exploiters and traffickers to avoid being returned to their home country. There will also be a significant increase in age disputes given the increased incentive for adults to claim to be children.

“If implemented, the Bill will irreversibly distort the care system. The care system is not, nor should it, a holding mechanism for the immigration system. When a child first comes into our care, our primary focus is to find them a permanent, stable home as set out in statute. We cannot carry out this essential work if they are to be removed as soon as they turn 18 years old despite having care leaving rights and entitlements up to 25 years. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states that in all actions concerning children, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration. Sadly, this Bill is a clear step away from over 30 years of custom and practice in this country.”

The government introduced the controversial bill to Parliament earlier, stating its aim to stop people from crossing the Channel in small boats by preventing those arriving from later claiming asylum.

Under the plans, a scheme would be created whereby anyone arriving “illegally” in the UK will be removed to their home country or a safe third country, with the so-called legality of their route to the UK to be determined by the government.

The Bill is currently in the Committee Stage in the House of Commons, but is being fast-tracked through Parliament making it difficult for MPs to scrutinise and make amendments.

Legal experts and charities have previously condemned the plans, saying that they won’t work and that they may not be legal.

Paint on Face

Powys County Council

Social Worker Through Care 14+

Job of the week

Sign up for an informal interview for this role today

£38,223 to £40,221

SWT_SideAd1.png

Featured event

Coventry City Council

Open Evening

5 Mar 2024

Instant access

Featured jobs

Devon County Council

ASYE position at Devon County Council

Ambitious about Autism

Occupational Therapist

SWT_Online_Events_ad.png

Most popular articles today

Ofsted announces delay to start of inspections of supported accommodation

Ofsted announces delay to start of inspections of supported accommodation

Specialised therapy for refugee children improves wellbeing, research finds

Specialised therapy for refugee children improves wellbeing, research finds

More funding made available for young people’s mental health early support hubs

More funding made available for young people’s mental health early support hubs

Research explores the role of the social worker in the path to a new eco-social world

Research explores the role of the social worker in the path to a new eco-social world

Sponsored Content

What's new today:

Supporting social work students with additional needs during their placement

bottom of page