Policy and guidance / UASC

UASC hub

Updates on policy news relating to unaccompanied asylum seeking children in the UK. With sections on:


Covid 19 update

The Home Office has resumed UASC screening interviews which are now being conducted at Waterside Court, Leeds by telephone and in person. Referrals can be made as usual to the MIU inbox MIUminor@homeoffice.gov.uk

All the Government’s specific advice for children and young people can be found on their dedicated section on the LGA’s Covid 19 hub


Statutory guidance

Assessing age for asylum applicants

December 2020 [updated]

Home Office

Description Guidance for Home Office staff on age assessment.

Comment Social workers should also refer to the Age assessment guidance published by ADCS [Association of Directors of Children’s Services], which provides support on how to undertake a thorough, high quality age assessment. For more information on updated guidance, please see Age Assessment: court appeal judgement.

Care of unaccompanied migrant children and child victims of modern slavery

November 2017

Department for Education

Description The revised statutory guidance.

Criminal exploitation of children and vulnerable adults: county lines guidance

September 2018

Home Office

Description This guidance is primarily aimed at front line staff who work with children, young people and potentially vulnerable adults.

Interim guidance for independent child trafficking guardians

December 2109 [updated]

Home Office

Description Guidance on roles and responsibilities of Independent Child Trafficking Guardians [ICTGs]. Referral forms are also included as part of the guidance.

Legal aid eligibility for separated children with immigration or nationality issues

October 2019

Description Legal aid has been reinstated for immigration and nationality law for unaccompanied and separated children in care. This form of legal aid will also cover children in the care system who might be struggling to get through the EU Settlement Scheme because of complexity of their situation. More information about this change is available through Coram Children’s Legal Centre.

National transfer scheme [NTS] protocol

October 2018

Home Office

Description The new NTS protocol.

National transfer scheme: questions and answers

October 2018

Home Office

Description This question and answer document provides responses to some frequently asked questions in relation to the scheme. It should be read in conjunction with UASC National Transfer Protocol.

National referral mechanism: guidance for child first responders

November 2020 [updated]

Home Office

Description Provides details on how to refer a child into the NRM and complete the referral form, reviews of decisions and the benefits of referral.

New guidance available on legal aid for separated children

July 2019

Coram Children's Legal Centre

Description New guidance from charities working with separated migrant children has been published, outlining how to access legal aid for this group.

Policy on age dispute cases in detention centres

October 2020

Home Office

Description This instruction sets out the policy and procedures to follow where an immigration detainee under escort or in an immigration removal centre claims to be under 18 years old but there is a lack of physical or definitive documentary evidence to prove this is the case.

Safeguarding strategy: unaccompanied asylum seeking and refugee children

November 2017

Department for Education

Description Updated version of the guidance.

Safeguarding strategy: letter to the Children’s Commissioner

January 2019

Home Office and Department for Education

Description A letter from the HO and DfE to the Children’s Commissioner for England outlining the progress made on the commitments in the Safeguarding Strategy for unaccompanied asylum seeking and refugee children.

What is a suitable placement for an unaccompanied asylum seeking child? Information for local authorities to accompany the national transfer protocol for unaccompanied asylum seeking children

April 2018

Department for Education

Description New guidance provided by the DfE.

Yorkshire and Humber local authority in-region transfer requests

Migration Yorkshire

Description The Yorkshire and Humber in-region transfer process is available to local authorities who receive spontaneous arrivals and have exceeded the 0.07% UASC to resident child population ratio. Local Authorities who wish to refer new arrivals should follow the In-region Procedure and complete the Unique Unaccompanied Child Record.


Government rules, regulations and information

Age Assessment: court appeal judgement

Published May 2019

Home Office

Description A landmark decision has been made which makes changes to how age assessments are undertaken. The impact on local authorities could be twofold; there will be more full age assessments for spontaneous arrivals and fewer referrals from adult asylum accommodation for young people sent into the adult system without proper assessment. 

Brexit: the end of the Dublin III Regulation in the UK

December 2020

UK Parliament

Description The ‘Dublin III Regulation’ and all other aspects of the Common European Asylum System will no longer apply to the UK from January 2021. Further to this research briefing, the UK Government have published a statement in regards to legal routes to the UK for unaccompanied children.

Briefing: immigration and nationality options for children in care

January 2021

Free Movement

Description Information for local authorities when applying for British Citizenship for children in care.

Consultation and review on legal routes to the UK for unaccompanied children

November 2020

Parliament UK

Description The Government have committed to a consultation and review on legal routes to the UK for unaccompanied children. They have also been asked to present a statement on the outcome of the review and to parliament.

Child exploitation disruption toolkit

April 2019

Home Office

Description This guidance provides disruption tactics for those working to safeguard children and young people under the age of 18 from sexual and criminal exploitation.

Disproportionate impact of COVID-19 lockdown on looked after children and young people seeking asylum, including those who have been trafficked

June 2020

Description 21 charities have written to the Children’s Commissioner asking her to investigate failings to looked after children seeking asylum, including those who have been trafficked, during the Covid-19 pandemic. Issues highlighted include: children going missing and being re-trafficked; issues with public health information being inaccessible to children; lack of access to technology and the internet and an increase in mental health issues.

Dubs Scheme

August 2020

Home Office

Description The Home Office have confirmed that they successfully completed the Dubs scheme and has comprehensive data for section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016

EU Settlement Scheme: toolkits and guide for local authorities

May 2020

Description The Home Office has produced formal guidance on EU Settlement Scheme applications for looked after children, setting out the role of local authorities and health and social care trusts. The Children's Society has also produced a guide for local authorities specifically for looked after children.

EU Settlement Scheme: what you need to apply

Home Office

Description The Home Office has produced a guide to applying for settled status, including what you will need to apply.

Kent Intake Unit social worker guidance

Published September 2020

Home Office

Description Guidance for a new team of social workers who have been contracted to work within the Kent Intake Unit to support with the safeguarding and age assessment of children arriving in Kent. The social workers are also there to provide advice to the Home Office in relation to unaccompanied children and, in some cases, accompanied children where there are safeguarding or welfare concerns.

Leave to remain for UASC who came from Calais - written statement HCWS961

September 2018

Caroline Nokes [Minister of State for Immigration]

Description A written ministerial statement to inform parliament of its intention to create a new form of immigration leave for those transferred to the UK to reunite with family as part of the Calais camp clearance between October 2016 and July 2017 and who do not qualify for leave under existing rules [ie are refused refugee status / humanitarian protection].

Positive engagement with the NTS by Norfolk County Council

December 2020

Description Norfolk council has been featured in a positive article about their participation in the NTS, having taken almost 50 unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

Safeguarding children who may have been trafficked

Published March 2015; last updated December 2020

Department for Education and Home Office

Description This guidance is for local authorities, to help agencies and their staff safeguard and promote the welfare of children who may have been trafficked. It should use it together with the related statutory guidance ‘working together to safeguard children’.

Separated migrant children given better access to legal aid

October 2019

Ministry of Justice and Legal Aid Agency

Description The Ministry of Justice re-introduced legal aid for the immigration and citizenship cases for separated children so those eligible to apply for EUSS could get free legal advice.

Statement of changes in immigration rules - written statement HCWS768

June 2018 Caroline Nokes [Minister of State for Immigration]

Description The government has announced new immigration rules, which allow young people who enter the UK under Section 67 [the Dubs amendment] to be granted S67 leave if they are not granted refugee status. 

 Support for vulnerable children during COVID-19

24 April 2020

Home Office

Description The Government have announced a multi-million pound package to fund projects 14 that will support vulnerable children and young people, particularly to keep children who are at risk of neglect or abuse, safe during the Covid-19 crisis.

Unlawful age assessment case

January 2020

Description A High Court judge has found that a council’s assessment of an Afghan national’s age, based on his physical appearance and demeanour, was unlawful because the abbreviated assessment failed to adequately acknowledge the potential margin for error and give him the corresponding benefit of the doubt.

Update on UASC arriving in Kent and Portsmouth 

December 2020 - March 2021

Description Kent County Council is now in a position to resume their statutory duties for unaccompanied asylum seeking children [UASC] arriving in Kent, despite the continuing high numbers. Portsmouth County Council has also now agreed to resume their duty and will start collecting new arrivals from 1 April 21.


Funding information

Unaccompanied asylum seeking children and leaving care: funding instructions

Last updated June 2020

Home Office

Description Updated funding instructions have been published for 2020 - 2021 for both UASC in care and for those leaving care.

Further funding uplift announced for councils caring for children seeking asylum

June 2020

Home Office

Description The Home Office have announced an uplift in funding for councils looking after unaccompanied asylum seeking children [UASC] leaving care.


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Page last updated: 20/04/2021 12:15:25

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Your contact for Yorkshire and Humber

Dinah Beckett - Regional Asylum and Refugee Integration Manager

Phone: 0113 378 9012