The events that have unfolded in Europe over the summer have brought immigration and asylum issues under the spotlight. However, attention on the situation in Europe and the Syrian resettlement scheme has taken the focus away from changes that will also have a significant impact on local authorities and organisations assisting destitute migrants in the UK.
In August the Home Office launched a consultation on proposals to end asylum support for refused asylum seeking families. Having taken feedback from the sector, we prepared a response to the changes, in collaboration with the LGA, Welsh LGA, COSLA and ADCS. Our response raises serious concerns about the consequences for destitute children living in our communities and the impact of this on local authorities.
The Immigration Bill was then published to include these reforms. We are participating in a Home Office working group to try and mitigate the impact of the reforms on local authorities but there still remains concern that social services will receive more referrals at a time when further measures are imposed to disrupt the ability of migrants, who have no immigration permission, to live and work in the UK. It is therefore all the more important for local authorities not using NRPF Connect to join the 34 local authorities that do in order to collectively monitor the impact of these changes and provide an evidence base for discussions around financial reimbursement. The Home Office will be contacting local authorities to encourage membership of NRPF Connect.
We are pleased that DCLG and London Councils have undertaken work over the summer to capture more evidence of the cost pressures of NRPF service provision, which has been used by both organisations in their submissions to the Government’s spending review. We are grateful to all the local authority representatives who contributed to these events and surveys.
Do follow us on Twitter @NRPFNetwork to stay up to date with our latest news.
First Care Act case considers the provision of accommodation for an asylum seeker (23 September 2015)
Local authorities to consider whether a homeless person’s needs for care and support can be met by providing accommodation and must disregard Home Office asylum support.
Immigration Bill announced (18 September 2015)
New provisions likely to drive more referrals into social services.
Asylum support to be withdrawn for refused asylum seeking families (17 September 2015)
Local authorities raise concerns that the proposals do not safeguard children and create cost shunts.
Support rates significantly reduced for asylum seeking families (10 August 2015)
Home Office revision of section 95 financial payments for asylum seekers and refused families cuts rates for children and lone parents.
Other useful information
Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR)
Choices (Refugee Action) will no longer be operating the Home Office’s AVR programme as of 1 January 2016, when the Home Office will take over management of the scheme. The final date for applications via Choices will be Monday 30 November 2015, and potential applicants will need to contact Choices by 16 November 2015.
The Home Office have not published details of the new scheme yet but we are aware that they will focus the scheme on vulnerable groups and that the Home Office intend to work more closely with local authorities. We will be engaging with the Home Office in discussions around this and will provide more information on our news page as soon as we are able to.
NRPF Network website updates
Updated! NRPF Connect
- To include recent data from the 34 local authorities using the system.
Updated! NRPF Information
- These pages have been revised to provide clearer and more comprehensive information to members of the public and practitioners on NRPF matters.
Telephone and email advice service
Unfortunately due to capacity issues we have been unable to operate a full telephone advice service. We apologise to anyone who has contacted us requesting advice in the last few weeks and has not received a response. No telephone advice will be provided until the week beginning 2 November 2015, so please do not contact us until after that date. We will also respond to any email enquiries after that date. However, in the meantime, please check our website information as this may contain the answer to your query.
Upcoming training dates in London
16 November 2015 NRPF and Human Rights Assessments (Children & families)
To book a place and for more information click here.
We can also provide in-house training to suit the needs of your organisation. Please contact us for more information.
Regional NRPF Network Meetings
Read more about the regional networks and how to attend these here. Details of the next meetings are as follows:
|Regional NRPF Network||Next meeting date||Venue|
|East of England||21 October 12.30-3pm||West Suffolk House, Bury St Edmunds|
|London||9 December 2pm-4pm||London Councils|
|North West||8 December 2pm-4pm||Manchester Town Hall|
|South East||20 October 11am-1pm||Oxfordshire County Council, County Hall|
|South West||9 January 2016 1.30pm||Taunton- venue TBC|
|West Midlands||29 October 10am - 12||Birmingham- venue TBC|
|Yorkshire & Humber||TBC||Leeds – venue TBC|