Care of unaccompanied and trafficked children: Statutory guidance for local authorities on the care of unaccompanied asylum seeking and trafficked children

Department for Education, UK

Unaccompanied asylum seeking children and child victims of human trafficking are some of the most vulnerable children in the UK. Because of the circumstances they have faced, unaccompanied and trafficked children often have complex needs in addition to those faced by looked after children more generally and it is the duty of the local authority providing for their care to protect and support these highly vulnerable children.

This guidance sets out the steps local authorities should take to plan for the provision of support for looked after children who are unaccompanied asylum seeking children and child victims of trafficking and it should be read alongside The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations, Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review; and, Volume 3: Planning Transition to Adulthood for Care Leavers. The guidance paper outlines: official definitions of unaccompanied and trafficked children; responsibilities of the local authority; training and awareness necessary for those working with this vulnerable population; protocol to be followed in the assessment of individual cases of unaccompanied or trafficked children; planning, protection and placement processes; advocacy and wider support available to the children who are unaccompanied or victims of trafficking; as well as protocol and resources for planning for transition to adulthood and leaving care. The guidance concludes with an appendix of resources for general guidance, child trafficking, immigration, refugee and migrant children, online training resources, and child sexual exploitation.